Rise Against talk Nowhere Generation and the “American Dream” in 2021

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Summer of 2021 feels like the perfect time for a new album from RISE AGAINST. After 4 years of Trump, as well as the BLM movement, a global pandemic and more, the world is a divided and unsettled place with people looking for answers and some sense of positivity.

“There always seems to be chaos in the world,” agrees bassist Joe Principe. “So it seems, it always seems like a good time to release something that’s gonna help people get through, you know, like crazy, crazy times. It’s a very high-energy record. I feel like everyone needs that right now.”

Multi-Gold and Platinum punk rock band RISE AGAINST is back with a provocative and dynamic new album, Nowhere Generation, the group’s first new studio effort in four years.  On this release, the outspoken band points a finger at big business and politics for stacking the social and economic deck against Millennials’, Gen Y’s, and Gen Z’s pursuit of The American Dream. 

“I think there’s a severe lack of older generations trying to help younger generations. When I was a kid, there were definitely adults that would offer advice and help me through difficult times. And I feel like my parents experienced that even more. So I feel like my grandfather was the hardest worker, but he always took time out to help his children. There seems to be a lot more of this overtone of just being selfish. And I definitely attribute that to my generation. I feel like people are trying to step over one another to reach the top, you know, it’s like the me-first kind of thing.

So I think it makes that American dream seem a little bit more impossible. And the American dream is supposed to be, you have a job that pays you enough to live comfortably in your life. And I’m not saying like, everyone’s going to be a bazillionaire, but you earn enough to be comfortable in your life and to be able to have housing and buy food and pay your bills. But it seems to be more and more of a hurdle, you know, and I worry for my children. I do think that it’s up to us to guide the ship a little bit better, you know, to help them out, to help kids out when they graduate from college and get out in the workforce. The minimum wage (should be) enough to where they could actually have their own apartment and live a comfortable life.”

Musically, the album is blazing, aggressive punk rock; lyrically, the eleven songs were inspired in part by input from band members’ young children and Rise Against’s community of fans.  

In addition to the communal call to arms embedded in Nowhere Generation’s dynamic title track, there’s the fast and furious anti-establishment manifesto “Broken Dreams, Inc.,” the moody ballad “Forfeit,” “Sudden Urge,” a true nod to the band’s rock’n’roll side with an overall punk-vibe, the simplicity of “The Numbers” with a melody that will stick in your head, and the surprise pop candour in “Talking To Ourselves,” a standout song about wanting to be heard and wondering if anyone is listening. “It describes a lot of what Rise Against does,” says vocalist Tim McIlrath, “to speak and scream when we feel there are things that are happening that aren’t being addressed.” 

Watch the interview below:

Nowhere Generation is out now and is Rise Against’s first with new label Loma Vista Recordings/Universal Music Canada

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