INTERVJU: Tim Commerford och Dj Lord, Prophets of Rage

When people see the name “Prophets of Rage”, knowing it’s an old Public Enemy song It kind of feels that this band was written in stone a long time ago, just waiting for the world to need it the most. What are your thoughts about that?

Tim: Tom Morello was inspired to call us based on what was happening in our country and the politics with the election and the world in general. We got together, we all got the call and nobody was hesitant. We all wanted to play.

So it was kind of Tom’s idea?

Tim: It was Tom’s idea yeah.


You guys go way back right. All three bands?

Tim: Public Enemy goes back to the very beginning of Rage Against the Machine. Both Public Enemy and Cypress Hill were direct influences of the band. And Cypress Hill also go way back I mean, you can see B-Real in the “Killing In The Name Of” video (RATM). We were inspired by them so with this band it feels like home you know.

RATM and Public Enemy have been very political since the beginning. So the news about Chuck D teaming up with the rest of RATM wasn’t that surprising. How did B-real fit into all of this? 

Tim: As I said, we go way back and B-Real is a part of this whole history.

Dj Lord: Cypress Hill you know, they also speak about different topics as far as like the legalisation of marijuana and human rights. So it’s not like B-Real Is out of his element. He’s always been speaking out if you listen to the lyrics.

Tim: And we covered “How I Could Just Kill A Man” on the Renegades album (RATM). 

One of my favorites.

Tim: One of my favourites too. So he’s always been a huge influence. 

Dj Lord: We’ve always been affiliated with each other. When I’m out with Public Enemy I would see Tom on the road and I always said like “One day I’m gonna battle you man, one day we’re gonna go at it”. Even in an interview I gave a long time ago when I was competing as a turntablist they asked we what my ideal dj to battle would be and I said Tom Morello. Fast forward to 2017 and who am I battling on stage? Tom Morello.


You have an album coming out in September. What can we expect? 

Tim: It’s a different blend of Hip Hop and Heavy Rock, Funk, RnB.

Dj Lord: Yeah, clear your mind. That’s what I would say. Because it doesn’t sound like anything you heard before.

Tim: We’re different musicians now than we were back in 1993. We’re finding the craft and trying to figure out better ways of feeling and playing like, Chuck D says “bleeding”. You get to that part when you’re bleeding the song on stage. You have like, you learn the song, you record the song, you perform the song, you believe in the song and you bleed the song. And bleeding the song, as far as in a live context… When you’re bleeding. What you’ve done, you may get there but you’re not gonna stay there. It’s like a sport. You need to be there all the time and we’re in the process of bleeding the songs. We’re like a team on stage. Running a play. And you can run it good or you can run it great. Or even amazing. It’s about bleeding the songs.

I just heard the album and the quality sounds great! It sounds really organic. Is this one of the reasons you teamed up with old RATM producer Brendan O’Brien?

Tim: Brendan also did the last Audioslave record. When we got to Brendan we got that great sound quality because Brendan is the real deal. He’s an amazing musician on all levels of the bass, the guitar, the keyboard, the drums. We’ve worked with him so many times he’s more than just a musician. He’s an incredible engineer, knowing exactly what equipment to use and what microphones and what amps and how it’s gonna sound. He’s that, and then he’s a friend who we trust. He is like the next person after we’ve written a song who has the opportunity to check out the song and tell us what he thinks it needs. The whole album from coming up with the music, to having it mixed and mastered took us three months. 

Are you playing any of the new songs live tonight on your set?

Tim: We’re playing one song, “Unfuck The World” and we have a single coming out soon called “Living on the 110” so look out for that one. And when it’s out we’re gonna play that one as well.

Is it because you don’t want the songs to end up on YouTube before the album comes out?

Tim: Doesn’t matter though dude. Truth be told, Geddy Lee (RUSH). I didn’t get to see Geddy Lee with YES at the Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame thing so I went on and saw it on YouTube and it was just as great. 

Could you see other musicians from other bands joining Prophets Of Rage in the future. Like a collective of like-minded making the world rage together?  

Tim: Yeah I can imagine that, sure. But you know we’re all a team, not an all-star jam so we’re still a band and that’s what it’s all about. I’m trying to learn how to play with a dj and we’re all still playing with each other trying to be a band. So ultimately it’s a battle where we trying to bleed the music together. I wanna bleed shit, I really do.

Dj Lord (laughing): That’s what it’s about dude, bleeding that shit on the stage. 


I’ve been a fan of all three of your bands since I was a kid. So when I found out about you guys doing this I thought someone was joking with me because the line-up was just too perfect. But you can really tell by listening to the album that this is a new band. And you can really hear all the individuals playing together. 

Tim: Yeah, it’s not Rage, it’s not Public Enemy or Cypress Hill. It really is a new thing and you heard that on the record so you know what I’m saying. I totally feel it as well and I’m really proud of what we did. Whatever happens next I’m really happy about what we did together on that record. We recorded it old school you know. With the best takes from the drums and so on and we play together in the room. So you get this imprint of this amazing song that we’ve done. And then we have to take that song up on stage.

Dj Lord: And perform the shit out of it!

Tim: And believe it. And then bleed it!

Intervju: Coffe Bloodeng