If you look through the comments on the video for Rise Against‘s single “Nowhere Generation,” you’ll find people of all ages sharing how relatable the lyrics are to them. As frontman Tim McIlrath tells ABC Audio, that’s what he’d hoped to accomplish with the song, which is also the title track off the Chicago punk outfit’s new album.
“A lot of what we’re dealing with today as a result of concentrated wealth and the decay of the middle class and climate change, a lot of the affects of that are not gonna fall on one specific birth year,” McIlrath shares. “They’re gonna fall on everybody.”
Of course, Rise Against has been, well, rising against those issues throughout the band’s career. With Nowhere Generation, though, they also tackle newer and more extreme world problems that have particularly affected today’s younger people.
For McIlrath, a self-described “younger” Gen Xer — “Depending on which chart you look at,” he says — it wasn’t immediately apparent to him that those problems were unique to Millennials or Gen Z.
“I was tempted to just dismiss it as ‘Yeah, well, that’s what we thought too, man. That’s what everybody thinks,'” McIlrath says.
However, trends including the “unprecedented” rise of the one percent and environmental degradation convinced him otherwise.
“You’re seeing this this shareholder economy that is no longer focused on civil society, or just keeping us a civilization at all,” McIlrath says. “But more about just hoarding things towards the top and then convincing people to vote against their own self-interest to keep the people hoarding the things at the top.”
“Those, to me, those are new things happening in history,” he says. “Those are new and improved ways to f*** people.”
Nowhere Generation the album is out today.
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