When a band sets up on stage, all the players stretch across the front, usually with the singer in the middle and the drummer in the back. What they all have in common is that they face the audience.
But if you’re a long-time Rage Against the Machine fan, you’ll remember that they didn’t necessarily believe that they needed to do this. In the beginning, drummer Brad Wilk set up so he was facing the back of the stage. The audience looked at his back for the entire gig.
This was interesting for people who liked to watch what the drummer was doing but not so good for Tom Morello and bass player Timmy C.
Facing backwards meant no visual cues–and not knowing where your bandmates are. At one early show, Tom jumped up on the drum riser to finish “Bullet in the Head.” Brad thought he was an intruder and punched him in the face.