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From “meandering” to a “punch in the gut,” Rise Against’s Tim McIlrath details journey of “Nowhere Generation”

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Credit: Wyatt Troll

If you’re trying to share your message with the masses, then what better way to do it than with a catchy-as-hell chorus?

That seems to be the approach Rise Against took with “Nowhere Generation,” the current single and title track off the punk band’s upcoming new album. The song wastes no time getting to the hook, opening immediately with its big chorus. However, as frontman Tim McIlrath tells ABC Audio, “Nowhere Generation” didn’t begin as the singalong anthem it is now.

“When I first put it together, it did not start with the chorus,” McIlrath recalls. “It had this really long intro that was kinda meandering.”

“It took a long time to get to the chorus,” he laughs. “That’s why I have a producer.”

McIlrath shares that he had “Nowhere Generation” in his back pocket for quite awhile, but, for some reason, he found that the song was going, well, nowhere.

“I actually had the idea around for a long time before I really took it seriously,” he explains. “There were just pieces of it that I couldn’t get to fit, and so…I never came back to the song, I would overlook it for other ideas.”

Eventually, though, the idea came to move the chorus to the front of the song, which, along with some extra backing vocals, unlocked its “anthemic nature.”

“Then it all kinda came together,” McIlrath says. “It made it less of a meandering, way-too-long song, and more of a punch in the gut.”

Nowhere Generation the album will be released June 4. It also includes the previously released songs “Broken Dreams, Inc.” and “The Numbers.”

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