Digital Playlist: Rise Against’s Tim McIlrath

Who: Tim McIlrath, frontman for Rise Against.
What: The top five songs rocking his iPod.
Where: On tour across America.
Latest Project: Rise Against Endgame.

He may be punk rock, but Tim McIlrath likes his pop and hip-hop too.

1. REFUSED “Coup d’état” — “I just love Refused. They were such an important, historical hardcore band and Dennis [Lyxzén] was such a wordsmith. Everything he wrote deserves to be tattooed across my chest — just great, great lines. I’m listening to them because they just announced their Coachella reunion.”

2. P.O.S. “Goodbye” — “I love hip-hop, although there’s not a lot of it I love. How this didn’t become the biggest single of last year I don’t know. It’s an injustice. This is socially conscious hip-hop, not just songs about cars and money and bling like mainstream hip-hop. Punk and hip-hop are cousins of each other, and there are obviously deviants from that family. In the end, I think an artist like POS has a lot of punk rock in what he does.”

3. IN FLAMES “Sounds Of A Playground Fading” — “I love metal. I just love how incredibly musical In Flames makes metal. There’s so much melody to it, and I love his [Ander’s] voice. They’re one of the best metal bands, in my opinion.”

4. FUGAZI “Suggestion” — “Fugazi is one of my all-time favorite bands. They’re one of the most incredibly aggressive sounding bands but still maintaining a lot of rhythm and melody. They weren’t just going to bark into the microphone for an hour. They took that same aggression from punk rock and put it into something with an incredible amount of melody in it.”

5. JANELLE MONAE “Cold War” — “I love this song, although I know it’s not something that a punk rock singer should be listening to. I just can’t get enough of it. She’s like pop and R&B. I love the lyrics and like the vocal. It’s just a guilty pleasure.”

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