Punk rock group Rise Against is on a fast rise in America’s music scene. The band started as in Chicago in 1999, and changed its name in 2000 before it struck a record deal with Fat Wreck Chords, headed by Fat Mike of NOFX. These days, the group is continuing to record under the Geffen label, which is part of Universal Music Group.
Bandmembers include Tim McIlrath, on lead vocals and guitar, Brandon Barnes, percussionist, Joe Principe on bass and Zach Blair, also on guitar. Everyone except Brandon Barnes is heavily involved in PETA and is a devoted vegetarian. Early on, the band had a few changes, but its core members are now solid and cohesive, partners both personally and professionally.
The band had its first contract with Fat Wreck Chords, a place many top acts have gotten their start. The band has toured hard and its hard work has begun to pay off. Music and merchandise began to flow and to attract attention as the band played with groups like Strung Out, NOFX, Sick of It All, and AFI. In 2003’s Warped Tour, major record companies began to notice the group and came to call on them. By 2004, the group had had one of its biggest accomplishments, making the first of its albums under the Geffen label. In 2004, their album, Siren Song of the Counter Culture, was released.
With that, the group began to appear on the Billboard charts, and finally got a gold record. In 2006, they recorded The Sufferer and the Witness. This album hit the Billboard charts at number 10 and sold almost 50,000 copies during its first week. Some of the top songs for the band during 2004 through 2006 were Prayer of the Refugee,” “The Good Left Undone,” “Give It All,” and “Swing Life Away.” In 2008, their album Appeal to Ransom was released. It contains such hits as “Reeducation through Labor” and “Audience of One.”
Rise Against keeps on touring and works constantly in the studios and on stage, and has released there own brand of Rise Against merch. Their efforts have produced a much bigger fan base, but the edgy punk sound has mellowed to some extent. Fans don’t really care about this, though, because the group’s talent and drive continued to be the catalyst for their great musical talents, and they are continually on show. In 2009, the band will tour again in Canada and the United States, with punk bands Billy Talent, Rancid, and the Riverboat Gamblers.