New music from Zack de la Rocha is a gift.
It’s now been well over a decade since the former Rage Against the Machine frontman has released new music. He’s made the occasional appearance - a 2011 Rage reunion here, an excellent Run the Jewels guest spot there - but for the most part one of music’s most unmistakable voices has remained largely silent.
de la Rocha admitted to the Los Angeles Times in 2008 that he had essentially scrapped a solo album he was 20 tracks into because he felt like he had yet to find his own sound distinct from Rage Against the Machine. Fans howled in frustrated anticipation, but powerful music takes time, and now, at a time of upheaveal, when his voice is perhaps more needed than ever, that power has finally arrived.
This is “Where the Days Are All Night,” released via BitTorrent Now.
“Digging for Windows” is a bruising effort that finds longtime collaborator El-P providing a signature dystopian beat and de la Rocha vocals and lyrics sounding as shattering as ever. This might not prove to be music for the revolution, but it's certainly revolutionary music.
“Digging for Windows” is the first single from de la Rocha’s upcoming album, which has yet to receive a firm title or release date, but it rumored to be dropping sometime in 2017. For those of us, like myself, who saw Rage Against the Machine’s music as a band but as a toolkit that contained both a map and a light to navigate the world by, this song is an extraordinary thing.
Listen to the song above, read the lyrics below and welcome back Zack de la Rocha. A wait for music that truly matters is no wait at all.
"Where the Days Are All Night" Lyrics
“fuck that bright shit
the spot or the flashlights
we in la ducking both
in the shadows with lead pipes
the days are all night
see if i pay edison
these blues ain’t more better when
my fever rise in the jungle
as quick as the price spikes
the days are all night
my future snapped like a rubber band
off my fold on a hand to hand
he drew from his waist
i put two in his roof
and i can still hear his screams
now they ride their portfolios
rise every time my cherry glows
on the end of my cig as
the smoke blows through the bars
and the co’s laugh fades
as he strolls away
says i gotta pay
off that roll away
or its fuck your visitation days
and i pop off so in solitaire
i dream of offing these fred astaires
and the skin off my fingers tear
we digging for windows here
where the days are all night
this city’s a trap my partner
under the lights of they choppers
bodies tools for they coffers
not worth the cost of our coffins
i stare at a future so toxic
no trust in the dust of a promise
won’t mark the name on a ballot
so they can be free to devour our options
and just like you I’m a target
ill defined by the guap in my pocket
but the stage make figures
as quick as it off em
what marley and pac get?
i put these caps in capitals
leave minds blazed in they capitols
i step with a fury so actual fact
that my offense could be capital
we digging for windows here”
produced by el-p
additional guitar by matt sweeney
additional keys by nick hook
mixed by joey raia
mastered by joe laporta
Thanks to the late Manuel Alvarez Bravo for creating the cover art photo “Fireworks for the Infant Jesus”, 1990 (Castillo en el barrio del Niño), by Manuel Álvarez Bravo (c) Copyright 1990 Archivo Manuel Álvarez Bravo, S.C.