Rise Against is an American punk rock band from Chicago. The group’s current line-up comprises vocalist/rhythm guitarist Tim McIlrath, lead guitarist Zach Blair, bassist Joe Principe and drummer Brandon Barnes. Rooted in hardcore punk and melodic hardcore, Rise Against’s music emphasizes melody, catchy hooks, aggression in both their sound and playing, and rapid tempos. Lyrically, the band is known for their outspoken social commentary, covering a wide range of topics such as animal rights, economic injustice, environmental disasters, forced displacement, homophobia, modern warfare, and political corruption.
The band spent its first four years signed to the independent record label Fat Wreck Chords, on which they released two studio albums, The Unraveling (2001) and Revolutions per Minute (2003). Both the albums were met with underground success, and in 2003 the band signed with the major label Dreamworks, which was absorbed by Geffen. Rise Against’s major label debut Siren Song of the Counter Culture (2004) brought the band mainstream success, largely in part to the popularity of the singles “Give It All” and “Swing Life Away”. The band’s next album, The Sufferer & the Witness (2006), peaked at number ten on the Billboard 200 in the United States, and was Rise Against’s first album to chart in countries outside of North America.
With the release of Appeal to Reason (2008), Rise Against’s music shifted toward a more accessible and radio-friendly sound, with greater emphasis on production value. The album’s third single, “Savior”, broke the record for the most consecutive weeks spent on both the Hot Rock Songs and Modern Rock Tracks charts. Rise Against’s popularity grew with the release of Endgame (2011), which peaked at number two on the Billboard 200, and charted highly worldwide. The band’s two most recent albums, The Black Market (2014) and Wolves (2017) continued the trend of commercial success, and both peaked with the top ten on the Billboard 200.
Rise Against is also known for their advocacy of progressivism, supporting organizations such as Amnesty International and the It Gets Better Project. The band actively promotes animal rights and most of the members are straight edge (excluding Barnes), PETA supporters and vegetarians.