Drummer Brad Wilk built his career playing protest music with politically charged Rage Against the Machine.
Having provided the backbeat for Audioslave and for Black Sabbath’s “13” album (as a session player), Wilk is back making protest music with the new group The Last Internationale, which was founded by NYC natives Delila Paz and Edgey Pires.
The band opens Weezer’s sold-out show at The Fillmore Wednesday. The band will release its debut album on Epic Records later this year. Wilks spoke to The Observer Friday about the new band.
Q. Were you actively looking for a new band?
A. I was not. I got a text message from Tom (Morello) telling me his friends were in desperate need for a drummer. ... I originally was just going to record a couple songs with them, but we got in a room together and after three or four days things started clicking. ... They called me at the end of November. By the last two weeks of December, while everyone was home by the fire, we were making a record at breakneck speed. It was crazy.
Q. Did you find you had similar political views?
A. Our philosophies were in line, or at least on the same track. To be honest, it had nothing to do with the reason I joined in the beginning. It really was a musical decision. However, I come from one of the most political bands of all time, so it felt comfortable for me being in this environment. There’s a real lack of bands like this.
Q. How do you decide which issues to focus on?
A. We sit around and talk about different causes, but for the most part around the world and in the U.S. there’s this huge gap. The poor are getting poorer. The rich are getting richer. There’s no middle class. Corporations still own Congress. I’m all for people voting, but it’s certainly not going to change our country. If we can be the backdrop and the soundtrack for unrest in the country, I think it’s a good thing. ... Unfortunately, when you see revolution, violence is attached to it. I’m a little older and I have two kids (boys, 5 and 7), and my views have changed a little. ... Of course, I would love to see change in this country in a nonviolent manner, but the odds are not in that favor.
Q. What topics will the album cover?
A. It’s all over, but the general consensus is revolution, bringing revolution, equality and justice to a country that’s in great need of that.
Q. Weezer isn’t a very political band. Was part of the idea to join this tour to get in front of audiences where you aren’t necessarily preaching to the choir?
A. Yes and no. I happen to personally love the band Weezer. The singer from Weezer, Rivers Cuomo, and I – our kids went to nursery school together. Every band isn’t the same. We’re a new band, and we’ll be opening for a lot of bands. As long as we’re able to do what we do and not change our views in any way ... we’re OK with that. Sometimes you got to be inside the machine to fight the machine.
Q. How does the Last Internationale compare musically to your other bands?
A. It couldn’t be more different than Rage Against the Machine. It’s more of a stripped-down, blues-based band with a female singer. Thank God it’s very different than anything I’ve done. It was hard to compete with those bands. The music is so different, but the similarity is it’s very rebellious rock. The similarity is (also) the drummer. And I can’t help that.