Join us for an Audacy Check In with Rise Against

Going inside the band's new album 'Nowhere Generation'
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Chicago rockers Rise Against just released their brand new, ninth studio album Nowhere Generation and took us inside the making of the record and the messages from fans that inspired it.

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There’s many themes found in Rise Against’s newest album, many of which stemmed from conversations frontman Tim McIlrath and his bandmates had with fans on tour. “We were touring around the world and whenever we’d interact with fans they’d have their different stories or different experiences with Rise Against,” he told Ryan Castle in an Audacy Check In.

“But the one real common motif that kept showing up in the conversations - whether it was Berlin, or Moscow, or New York, Dallas, Tokyo, or Sydney - was young people feeling like they were slipping through the cracks, feeling invisible, and feeling like they were on this constant moving treadmill and never reaching a finish line.”

McIlrath added that young people were “doing what they were being asked of, but never quite reaping the benefits of it.” As a result, “they were starting to wonder ‘does it still work the same way it did for the previous as it does for me?’”

For an album that deals with a myriad of topics that feel especially timely, McIlrath noted that the album was pretty much complete before the COVID-19 pandemic took hold.

“This wasn’t one of those ‘we wrote it remotely during lockdown,’ [records]” McIlrath remarks, “we were writing this thing before all this.”

McIlrath says the band really dug into the record in “winter 2019, 2020.” When the COVID-19 pandemic began to shut everything down, he said the band was putting the finishing touches on the record.

“It’s been in the can since then,” he adds. “We were hoping to have this thing out last summer.”

Despite the delay, McIlrath notes that a lot of the themes found on the record were, and continue to be relevant. “A lot of the things that we saw unfold over 2020, these were existing things," he says. "Obviously things like racism aren’t new, 2020 just really put it front and center.”

As a result of the events of the past year and a half, the songs on Nowhere Generation have taken on new meaning to McIlrath. “We didn’t anticipate that all those things would accelerate a lot faster, which is I think is what happened and what we saw in 2020,” he said.

“It made the record take on this patina in a way and made the songs, I don’t know, I heard them differently. I know people are hearing them now, maybe thinking that we wrote this thing during lockdown, but the reality is that we didn’t. We wrote it before that.”

McIlrath noted that the pandemic changed his perspective on some of the songs and laughed saying that he’ll “have a hard time convincing anybody I wrote that thing before the pandemic.”

Rise Against’s latest album is available now. Be sure to stay tuned for even more conversations with your favorite artists right here on Audacy.com/live.

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