Tim McIlrath and his bandmates in Chicago’s Rise Against didn’t quite know what to think when their fourth album, “The Sufferer & the Witness,” debuted at No. 10 on the Billboard 200 chart in July.
“Punk was a whole different monster when I started 10 years ago,” McIlrath, 27, explains. “I believe in the back of my mind that mainstream success is impossible; no one wants to hear some kid screaming about the problems in America. I’m just kind of conditioned to believe that.
“But now it gets played on radio and TV, and you can have an album be the 10th best-selling record in the U.S. in a given week. That’s surreal to me. It’s definitely crazy to think about.”
Rise Against has no problems rising up to the fan demand, however. The quartet spent the summer on the Vans Warped Tour and is now co-headlining its own four-week jaunt. And on Dec. 5, Rise Against releases a DVD, “Generation Lost,” that features a documentary fi lmed during the Warped Tour, as well as footage from a May concert in Los Angeles and a selection of videos.
“The footage really caught us off guard,” McIlrath says. “They not only talked to us but to a lot of kids in the crowd and our fans, really in-depth to fi nd out what Rise Against meant to them and how it fits in their lives.
“It’s a really cool, unorthodox DVD — not just, ‘Here’s where we started.’ ‘Here’s footage from this show.’ It’s a really in-depth look into Rise Against and what it means to people. It was eyeopening for me to watch, so I’m really glad we’re getting it out there.”
Rise Against, Thursday, Circa Survive and Billy Talent perform Wednesday (November 15th) at the State Theatre, 2115 Woodward Ave., Detroit. Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $20. Call (313) 961-5450 or visit www.livenation.com. Rise Against will perform an acoustic set at 4 p.m. Wednesday at Rock-A-Billy’s, 8411 Hall Road, Utica. The event is free and open to the public, but the group will be collecting donations for the Kristin Brooks Center/ Hopeline Network, an antidepression and suicide prevention program. Call (586) 731-0188 or visit www. rockabillys.com.
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