Rise Against was formed in Chicago in 1999 in the wake of the breakup of melodic hardcore band 88 Fingers Louie. At the time, the lineup was slightly different, including Mr. Precision on guitar and Tony Tintari on drums. With this lineup, the band produced a self-released EP, Transistor Revolt, which lead to their signing with Fat Wreck Chords, where they released their first two studio albums, The Unraveling in 2001 and Revolutions Per Minute in 2003.
Rise Against moved on to Dreamworks in 2004 to begin the most successful part of their career. At Dreamworks, they recorded Siren Song of the Counter Culture, but by the time the album was released, Dreamworks no longer existed, having been swallowed up by Geffen. This didn’t prevent the band from launching forward, and 2006 saw The Sufferer and the Witness, peak at #10 on the Billboard 200, while their 2008 release Appeal To Reason brought them even bigger commercial success, opening at #3 on the Billboard 200.
All the members of Rise Against embrace extremely liberal philosophies, and publicly endorse and are a part of PETA and Punk Voter. In an interview I conducted with lead singer Tim McIlrath, when I asked about the bands politics, he shrugged it off, saying:
Do I give a s**t about what happens in the world I have to live in? F**k yeah, I do! Don’t you? Does that mean I’m political? Does that make us „extremely political“? The only reason our band is viewed as being „extremely political“ is because of the lack of bands in the punk/hardcore scene today that are saying anything important.