|Timothy James McIlrath|
Tim McIlrath performing as a part of Rise Against at 2006's Warped Tour
|Birth name||Timothy James McIlrath|
|Also known as||James Kaspar (pseudonym in The Killing Tree)|
November 3, 1978 |
Indianapolis, Indiana U.S.
|Origin||Chicago, Illinois, U.S.|
|Genres||Melodic hardcore, punk rock, hardcore punk, post-hardcore, alternative rock, metalcore|
|Occupations||Musician, singer-songwriter, lyricist, composer, vocalist, guitarist, bassist, activist,|
|Instruments||Vocals, guitar, bass|
|Labels||Fat Wreck Chords, Geffen, DGC, Interscope|
|Associated acts||Rise Against, Baxter, Arma Angelus, The Killing Tree, Berri Txarrak, Cancer Bats, Flobots Thursday|
|Gibson Les Paul
Timothy "Tim" James McIlrath (born November 3, 1978) is an American punk rock musician. He is the lead singer, rhythm guitarist, songwriter and co-founder of the American punk rock band Rise Against. McIlrath is known to support animal rights and actively promotes PETA with his band.
Personal life 
Tim McIlrath was born November 3, 1978 in Indianapolis, IN. At a young age he read dystopian novels such as Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell and Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, which would influence his later work. As a child he went to Our Lady of the Wayside, where he was taunted for his left eye being blue and his right eye brown, known as heterochromia. As a teenager, McIlrath's friends were interested in snowboarding, so he saved his money for a snowboard. But, as his interest in music grew, he instead decided to spend the money he had saved on a Gibson SG guitar.
McIlrath attended Rolling Meadows High School in Rolling Meadows, IL. This was also the set for the music video, "Make It Stop (September's Children)." In college (Northeastern Illinois University), McIlrath majored in English and Sociology. In his junior year, he met Joe Principe at a Sick of It All concert. Principe asked McIlrath to sing over a few tracks that he and Mr. Precision had recorded. It was at this time that Rise Against was formed, and McIlrath left college.
Music career 
Baxter (1995–1999) 
McIlrath began his musical career in his early years; he was very active in the Chicago local alternative rock/punk scene. His first band was the post-hardcore band Baxter, formed in 1995 along with future The Lawrence Arms drummer Neil Hennessy and future Killing Tree and Holy Roman Empire bassist Geoff Reu. Their first release was a full length, self released, cassette, Troy's Bucket, which was released in 1996. Troy's Bucket was met with warm reception from the scene, and Baxter became a popular band in the Chicago underground scene.
In 1997 they released a 7" EP Lost Voices on Static Station Records. After some local touring, the band split up.
McIlrath played bass and sang backup in the first incarnation of The Honor System. He sang on their demo and on some songs on their debut album Single File. He and drummer Neil Hennesy could also be found in a brief lineup of the grindcore band Yellow Road Priest, whose members went on to form Pelican. The band broke up in 1999.
Arma Angelus (1998–1999) 
McIlrath joined the band Arma Angelus, Chicago metalcore band fronted by Pete Wentz, who was to become bassist in mainstream pop punk/emo band Fall Out Boy. McIlrath played bass with the band until 1999 when he quit to form Transistor Revolt, which would eventually become Rise Against.
Rise Against (1999–present) 
In 1999 McIlrath formed the band that would become Rise Against with former 88 Fingers Louie bassist, Joe Principe, guitarist Dan Precision (A.K.A. Mr. Precision), and drummer Toni Tintari under the name 'Transistor Revolt'. Drummer Brandon Barnes did not join until 2001; it was at the same time the band was renamed Rise Against. They officially recorded their debut album The Unraveling on Fat Wreck Chords in 2001.
In 2002 guitarist Mr. Precison left due to arguments with the band, and Todd Mohney filled his role. Later that year they released their second album Revolutions per Minute which was greeted with warm success . They toured the U.S. steadily that year, though by the end of it, Mohney left. In order to replace him, former Reach the Sky guitarist Chris Chasse joined in 2004 and they released their Geffen debut Siren Song of the Counter Culture.
With the release of the singles "Give It All", "Swing Life Away", and "Life Less Frightening", Rise Against became more popular with mainstream fans, but still kept their underground sensibility. After more touring (including a European tour and spots on the Vans Warped tour), the band went back to the studio and recorded their fourth album The Sufferer & the Witness, which included four singles ("Ready to Fall, "Prayer of the Refugee", "The Good Left Undone", and "Behind Closed Doors".)
They had ended their tour and were back in the studio in the process of making their next album, when Chris Chasse decided to leave the band in order to pursue family life.
In 2008, Rise Against recorded their fifth album Appeal to Reason with the help of guitarist Zach Blair, who is now a permanent member and has known the band for many years. Appeal to Reason was released on October 7, 2008. The band recorded it at The Blasting Room in Fort Collins, Colorado with Bill Stevenson and Jason Livermore, who produced Revolutions Per Minute and The Sufferer & the Witness.
The Killing Tree (1999–2006) 
McIlrath has played in his metalcore side project The Killing Tree along with former Rise Against guitarist Todd Mohney and former Baxter and Holy Roman Empire bassist, Geoff Reu. During the early years of the band, all members used pseudonyms (Tim's being James Kaspar) out of concern for it. The Killing Tree has not produced any music or toured since 2004, but contributed their previously unreleased song "Dressed to Fuck" on the 2006 Thick Records compilation album Hair: Chicago Punk Cuts, which featured Emily Schambra (of Holy Roman Empire) as guest vocals on the song. Schambra also contributed backing vocals on Rise Against's album The Sufferer & the Witness for the songs "The Approaching Curve", "Roadside", and the b-side "But Tonight We Dance".
||This section of a biography of a living person does not include any references or sources. (April 2012)|
- Tim provides vocals for Alkaline Trio's song "I, Pessimist" from their album My Shame Is True.
- Tim is featured on the song "Denak ez du balio" by Basque alternative rock band Berri Txarrak from their album Libre ©.
- Tim was also in "Lords of Dogtown" a film in which he performs "Nervous Breakdown" of Black Flag.
- Tim sang on the song "Let Them Eat War" in Bad Religion's Live at the Palladium DVD
- Tim sings vocals in the Cancer Bats song, "Harem of Scorpions". From their 2008 album Hail Destroyer.
- Tim is featured on the song "Resuscitation of a Dead Man" by Thursday from their album Common Existence.
- Tim sang vocals on the Bullet Treatment 7" on Fat Wreck Chords in 2009.
- Tim provided vocals for the song "Mute Hearts" by Holy Roman Empire.
- Tim was featured at the end of the NOFX music video for "Cokie the Clown".
- Tim sings vocals in the Anti-Flag song, "The Gre(A)t Depression". From their 2009 album "The People or the Gun"
- Tim is featured on the Flobots song, "White Flag Warrior" on their album, Survival Story.
- Tim is featured in "The Sims 3 - Ambitions". He sings the song called "Savior" in Simlish.
- Tim sang vocals on Stephen Egerton's song "South for the Winter" from his album, The Seven Degrees of Stephen Egerton.
- Tim is featured on the song "Achtung" by Basque alternative rock band Berri Txarrak from their album Payola.
- Tim appeared briefly in the cover of "Short Songs" on Silverstein's 2012 EP of the same name, originally performed by Dead Kennedys
- Tim represented Rise Against on the German television channel Pro7 in March 2012.
Straight Edge 
Tim and his bandmates, except for Barnes, are straight edge; a lifestyle that eliminates drugs, alcohol and tobacco, but can also encompass other things seen as potentially addictive such as promiscuous sex or caffeine.
PETA work 
Tim is a vegetarian, as are his fellow band members. They are active with the animal rights group PETA. Tim often takes part in PETA protests and gives out PETA books and flyers at shows. Rise Against's fifth album, Appeal to Reason, even included a PETA sticker, encouraging people to stand up for the rights of animals. He has given many interviews on the matter along with other bands.
He has appeared in many videos made and distributed by PETA expressing their beliefs on veganism as well as issues and the meat industry and fast food industry, fur and fashion use of animal skins and animal testing and dissection.
- "PETA2 // Out There // Top 10 Reasons PETA2 Loves Rise Against". Peta2.com. Retrieved 2011-11-08.
- "Tim McIlrath".
- "Rise Against enter the studio to record next album". Punknews.org. Retrieved 2011-11-08.
- "Various - Hair: Chicago Punk Cuts". Punknews.org. Retrieved 2011-11-08.
- Tim McIlrath at the Internet Movie Database
- The Killing Tree's Website (Hasn't been updated since 2004)
- Rise Against's Official Website
- The Killing Tree's Website (archived)
- Tim Mcllrath Interview