“They say that in war that truth be the first casualty…” A quotation so profound and intense such as the above could only come from one man. That’s right, after years of being out of the mainstream scene, Zach De La Rocha one of the most talented and activist singers/songwriters/poets since Bob Marley is back. The quote is the first few words you will hear on the first song off the debut EP of De La Rocha’s brand new musical project called One Day As A Lion. For all of you who thought that Zach fell off the face of the earth after he left his former (now current again) group, the legendary Rage Against The Machine, think again; One Day As A Lion is one bad ass return to form for the renowned MC.
Before looking at One Day As A Lion in a little more depth, let’s try to fill in the blanks about what Zach has been up to over the last several years. Despite some monstrous success over the years, De La Rocha left Rage Against The Machine in October, 2000 due to what he termed as “creative differences” with the rest of the band. After Rage dissolved, the other three members enjoyed some solid success with Chris Cornell in the band Audioslave while Zach largely stayed out of the limelight. It was said that he was working on a solo album around the time of Rage’s breakup and Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails even confirmed working on about twenty songs with De La Rocha, but that work has never seen the light of day. The only new material made public by Zach has been a few song collaborations with other rappers and a solo song here and there but never a complete debut solo record. And despite the fact that Rage Against The Machine reformed last year, the group has no plans to make a new studio record in the near future.
With his solo work put aside and Rage only playing live, De La Rocha focused his attention on a collaboration with former Mars Volta drummer Jon Theodore that has resulted in One Day As a Lion. The collaboration is named after an infamous black and white graffiti photo taken by Chicano photographer George Rodriguez. The photo features the caption “it’s better to live one day as a lion than a thousand years as a lamb.” Although the project features a fairly different sound than Rage Against The Machine, De La Rocha is still finding the inspiration for his lyrics and subject matter from politics and activism. Although Zach mostly sticks to his trademark rapping style, his vocals in One Day As A Lion do feature some more melodic singing than we might be use to.
The duo’s debut EP was released in July and features five awesome tracks full of wicked and classic Zach lyrics as well as some solid keyboard and drumming beats. What’s really remarkable about this EP is that it might very well be Zach’s best lyrical work since the early days of Rage Against The Machine. Unfortunately as of now, One Day As A Lion has no plans to do any touring, largely because De La Rocha’s involvement in Rage’s ongoing reunion tour. Even though Zach and Jon aren’t out on the road with this project, rumours are circulating that a full length debut album from One Day As A Lion might surface by the end of 2008. Let’s just hope that it does because Zach is far too talented and important of a voice in today’s world to stay silent for another eight years. [ END ]