One Day as a Lion

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One Day As A Lion
OriginCalifornia, United States
GenresRap rock, political hip hop
Years active2008–2011
Associated actsRage Against the Machine, The Mars Volta, The Locust, Queens of the Stone Age
MembersZack de la Rocha
Jon Theodore
Joey Karam

One Day as a Lion is a power duo that was started in 2008 by Zack de la Rocha, the vocalist of Rage Against the Machine, and Jon Theodore, former drummer of The Mars Volta and current drummer of Queens of the Stone Age.[1] The duo blends elements of rock and rap.[2] One Day as a Lion released their eponymous debut EP in July 2008 on the Anti label.


Zack de la Rocha had known Jon Theodore for several years before the band was formed and was very impressed with his skills as a drummer, comparing him to John Bonham and Elvin Jones.[3] The duo first started playing together at a mutual friends rehearsal room with Theodore on drums and de la Rocha playing an old Rhodes Mark 1 keyboard through a delay pedal and an old metal amplifier.[3] The band's name was taken from an infamous black and white graffiti photograph taken by Chicano photographer George Rodriguez in 1970 reading "It's better to live one day as a lion, than a thousand years as a lamb."[4] This comes from a minatory slogan popular during the 1930s in Fascist Italy, "Better one day as a lion than a hundred days as a sheep."[5] The saying is an allusion to Psalms 84:10, "Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere." The band had soon written a number of songs and signed with Bad Religion guitarist and co-founder Brett Gurewitz's record label ANTI-.[3]

On July 16, 2008, the song "Wild International" was made available to stream on the band's MySpace profile and was given its Australian radio premiere by Triple J and American radio premiere by KROQ. The band's eponymous debut EP was released on July 18, 2008 on the Anti-label in Australia and four days later in the US, and was also released on iTunes. The vinyl version was released on October 7, 2008.[6] The EP placed as the 28 album of the week,[7] selling 17,000 copies in its first week.[7] The album has sold extremely well for a five track EP.[8]

On 11 August 2008, de la Rocha spoke to the Los Angeles Times about the new project, his first interview in over eight years. He revealed that a full-length album was scheduled for an Autumn 2008 release,[9] and stated that they "want to play shows and be a band and go out and start some noise".[3] He also mentions adding members to the group, revealing "We're still in the process of forming as a band - we need a keyboard player, I'm not good enough to do it all myself - so that will be rectified soon".[10]

On June 1, 2010, One Day as a Lion announced that they would play their first festival show at the Fuji Rock Festival in July via MySpace.[11] On July 17 and 18, the band performed live for the first time in Pomona, California, with Joey Karam of The Locust on keys.

During their Australian tour in January 2011, One Day as a Lion dedicated 100% of their Melbourne show's proceeds to the Queensland flood relief.[12] In an interview that same month, drummer Jon Theodore confirmed the official addition of Joey Karam to the band, and that a second album was in the works.[13]



Extended plays
Year EP details Peak chart positions

2008 One Day as a Lion
  • Released: July 18, 2008
  • Label: ANTI-
  • Format: CD, LP, DI
28 3
Year Song Peak chart positions Album

2008 "Wild International" 20 6 One Day as a Lion
"One Day as a Lion"
"—" denotes a release that did not chart.


  1. ^ Tao, Paul (July 1, 2008). "Anti Records Signs One Day as a Lion". Retrieved 2008-07-02.
  2. ^ One Day as a Lion at Allmusic
  3. ^ a b c d "Zack de la Rocha talks to Ann Powers". LA Times. Eddy Hartenstein. 2008-08-11. Archived from the original on 2008-08-13.
  4. ^ "About". One Day as a Lion. Archived from the original (Adobe Flash) on 2008-08-28. Retrieved 2008-07-07.
  5. ^ Cassels, Alan (1996). Ideology and International Relations in the Modern World. New York, NY: Routledge. p. 159. ISBN 0-415-11926-X. Now the time had come, in Mussolini's words, for 'reaching out to the people', the only ideological raison d'être he had to fall back on was militant nationalism. Therefore, 1930s Italy was deluged with slogans at once minatory and somehow ridiculous: 'Better one day as a lion than a hundred years as a sheep'; 'War is to man what motherhood is to woman'; 'Whoever has iron has bread'.
  6. ^ "New Merch Store". 2008-10-03.
  7. ^ a b "Miley Cyrus Leads Sales Charge". FMQB. Friday Morning Quarterback Album Report. 2008-07-30. Archived from the original on 2008-08-17. One Day As A Lion, the collaboration between Rage Against the Machine's Zach de la Rocha and ex-Mars Volta drummer Jon Theodore, bows at No. 28 with its self-titled EP, selling 17,000.
  8. ^ "Tower Records sales numbers". Archived from the original on 2008-09-07.
  9. ^ Kerr, Dave (2008-07-02). "Rage and Mars Volta men re-emerge with new group". The Skinny. Radge Media Limited. The EP will precede a full length LP due this autumn.
  10. ^ "GNR Daily". Retrieved 19 April 2018.
  11. ^ "Featured Content on Myspace". Retrieved 19 April 2018.
  12. ^
  13. ^ "One Day As A Lion". Faster Louder. David Swan. 2011-01-07. Retrieved 2011-02-19.
  14. ^ a b One Day as a Lion > Charts & Awards Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved: 2009-07-29
  15. ^ "One Day as a Lion Artist & Song Chart History". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Archived from the original on 2008-08-22. Retrieved 2008-08-03.
  16. ^ - Norwegian charts portal Hung Medien. Retrieved: 2009-07-29

External links[edit]