Slipknot guitarist Jim Root has criticised the “backwards” message of Rage Against The Machine‘s classic protest song ‘Killing In The Name’.
The explicit, politically-charged single was released back in 1992, and features on RATM’s self-titled debut album. It was written about the abuses of power and issues within US society.
Back in 2020, guitarist Tom Morello said that the track’s “Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me” chant remains a “universal sentiment” despite its simplicity. He also responded to the line being shouted at police in Portland in the wake of George Floyd’s death. “Well that’s what it’s for!” Morello tweeted.
In a recent interview with Music Radar, Root offered his opinion on ‘Killing In The Name’ while speaking about the lyrical themes of Slipknot’s forthcoming seventh album ‘The End, So Far’.
He told the outlet that the contents of the record – the follow-up to 2019’s ‘We Are Not Your Kind’ – had been affected by the “weird cultural moment” that the world finds itself in currently.
“Everything is so bizarre and so bananas, I don’t even know what’s going on with the world right now,” Root explained. “I couldn’t even tell you what is going on with the culture, because, being locked up for two years, and then you come out and everything’s upside down, it’s really… I don’t get it.”
He continued: “I thought rock ‘n’ roll, and punk and metal, and all that stuff was meant to be anti-establishment and against the man, and now it seems more and more like, ‘Obey!’ and do as you’re told sorta shit, and that seems backwards to me.
“I don’t know if I am the only one that feels that way. I haven’t really talked to anyone in the band about it, ’cause we’re just trying to get through these tours, through the protocol and the COVID shit, and all that.”
Root went on: “We haven’t really checked in with one another to see how we’re doing, how we’re feeling about the state of the world and all that, but when I hear a band that’s saying ‘Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me‘ telling me to do what the government tells me to do, that seems backwards to me.
“I think people are just so fucking sick and tired of sociopolitical content because you are just hammered with it, no matter if it’s a news cycle, a feed on social media, or any of that shit.
He added: “What I get, when we go out and play shows, is people just don’t fucking care about that anymore. People have their issues, and people have their things they are concerned about. Yes, of course, and they always will. But for the most part people just wanna shut off, come out and forget about the world for a while, and they wanna have fun.”
Slipknot are due to release ‘The End, So Far’ this Friday (September 30) via Roadrunner (pre-order/pre-save here). It’ll feature the singles ‘The Chapeltown Rag’, ‘The Dying Song (Time To Sing)’ and ‘Yen’.
Corey Taylor recently responded to speculation over the album’s title, which some fans believe could be signalling an impending band break-up.
Last month saw Rage Against The Machine cancel their 2022 UK and European tour, as well as their headline slots at this year’s Reading & Leeds. Frontman Zack de la Rocha was advised not to proceed with the group’s scheduled shows after sustaining an injury on-stage.