Love Letter To A Record: RACKETT’s Ally Gaven On ‘Rage Against The Machine’


Written by Emmy Mack on October 3, 2018

Many of us can link a certain album to pivotal moments in our lives. Whether it’s the first record you bought with your own money, the chord you first learnt to play on guitar, the song that soundtracked your first kiss, the album that got you those awkward and painful pubescent years or the one that set off light bulbs in your brain and inspired you to take a big leap of faith into the unknown – music is often the catalyst for change in our lives and can even help shape who we become.

In this series, Music Feeds asks artists to reflect on their relationship with music and share with us stories about the effect music has had on their lives.

RACKETT’s Ally Gaven – Rage Against The Machine’s Rage Against The Machine

To my beloved Rage Against The Machine,

I don’t know where to begin to express the love and gratitude I have for you. At 16, I was studying classical piano, listening to Laura Marling and writing folk songs in a pink polo tee. Then my dad gave me you, and it changed the course of my life. It hit me hard in the pants like nothing I’d heard before. Picture me in my room, in my undies, slaying guitar hero on expert mode to “Killing In The Name’. It almost felt like I was there with you, and who knew that later on in my life this would be the inspiration for picking up the bass. Enter rebellion, teen angst and Black Tees.

You were special to me because you were different to what my peers were listening to, yet I couldn’t deny the power you had over me. Everyone I knew was studying musical theatre and classical music, and all I wanted to do was turn on an amp and let it feedback. You lead me back through the decades to Black Sabbath, Frank Zappa, Led Zeppelin to more recent artists like System of a Down. I heard you in all of them. The heavy head banging riffs of Sabbath, the unbridled Creativity of Zappa, the rhythm section of Zeppelin and the dissonant modal guitar solos of System.

Zack de la Rocha was a huge inspiration to me. Learning about the chaos and destruction that lies beneath the initial layer of our day to day life. His delivery is so personal and real. With every ‘Uhh!’ I grew closer to you and felt like I was part of your struggles. Before you, there were love songs, and unrequited love songs, and songs for the sake of songs. It was a false sense of security in my life, and you burst that bubble good. It made me care about things that actually mattered outside of my own existence; animal cruelty, poverty, and general human decency. The words resonate and hit hard, and it gave me and so many others a sense of belonging in the middle of such chaotic world. Who knew something born of anger, hate and frustration at the system could result in bring so many people together. I still remember telling my mum, for the first and only time “FUCK YOU I WON’T DO WHAT YOU TELL ME”. It didn’t end well.

I will never tire of your heavy, funky, riffs, especially ‘Take the Power Back’ and ‘Bombtrack’. I never knew a rhythm section could be so tight. The production is very 90’s, and the music is all the better for it. Crisp and clear. You can play this on a walkman, sit on the other side of a room and still nod your head. I always roll my tone nob down because I’m terrified of treble. But whenever I hear ‘Wake Up’ or any of these songs for that matter, it reminds me to embrace the treble!

Tom Morello. There is only one. If aliens ever invaded earth, this would be the record I would play them. It demonstrates raw emotions, deep un-deniable grooves, and other worldly guitar playing. If you didn’t know that it was a guitar, half the time you wouldn’t believe it. It’s a miracle that you became so well known, because it really is weird music. But if you know what you’re talking about, if you know your music, if you’re not “under control” then you probably love this album.

You are with us in every car ride, to every show. Pushing the boundaries of rental car speakers all over the country as a pre-show ritual.

Forever Yours,


Catch RACKETT performing live at the Gold Coast’s Crafted Beer & Cider Festival in Broadbeach alongside Bootleg Rascal, Young Monks & more this Saturday, 6th October, before they head off on a huge national tour in celebration of their new single, ‘Tried To Quit’!


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