"I know our record will be in a bin next to Lionel Richie—but so are John Coltrane, KRS-1 and Boogie Down Productions, and Public Enemy."
–Zach de la Rocha (Rage Against the Machine)
This quote is just funny to me, because time and time again, I see MT at the newsstands cuddled up right next to Teen Vogue or some creepy cat magazine, but that's just how it goes.
Moving on, while shooting Dan Gilliland's insanely detailed Toyota for our cover this month, I realized a couple things but mainly, that he has a very welcoming ear for all types of music. There are murals of some very obscure metal import albums painted on his truck, and alongside them are memorial pieces dedicated to Tupac and Biggie. Usually, these musical genres would be thought of as polar opposites of one another. On one hand, you have amplified distorted guitars, black leather-sporting, Satan-worshipping, angry dudes with long hair, and on the other are slow-tempo beats and characters from the street who threaten to bust a cap in your ass if you step a foot in their hood, look at their ho the wrong way, or dis their crew. These are wildly over-generalized stereotypes, of course, but you get the idea.
Anyway, there are two pieces of art in this highly intricate paintjob that tie both worlds together. One is located on the inside of the tailgate, which reads Your anger is a gift, and the other is shown on this page. The words are lyrics from Rage Against the Machine's song "Freedom," and the bony guy wielding the five-string axe here is a likeness of Tom Morello—RATM's lead guitarist. If there's any band in the world that successfully captures the speed and aggression of metal as well as the smooth flow and delivery of hip hop, it has to be Rage. I kinda figured Dan had a tremendous fondness of the band after noticing these pieces, but it wasn't until the day after the shoot that his true passion for the band surfaced. "Tom Morello is my hero. I actually met him when he was on his solo tour after Rage split up. They are my favorite band in the world," Dan told me via text. Now it all made sense.
Dan's painter, Alan Farias, laid down some amazing work that I catch myself coming back to in the photos taken the day of the shoot. This isn't a truck you can take a 20-second glance at and just walk away. Especially if you start recognizing where the artwork is coming from. Congrats on the cover guys, you really did bring something very cool and self-expressive to the table with this one.
And with that, make sure to check out another truck that was built around its owner's character. Slappy McNasty's (no, that's not his real name) super-long, super-low, and super-cool surf truck is definitely one you'd be able to pick out at any show.
Time to start on the next issue. Rock on!