Joe Principe, bassist for Chicago-based punk/hardcore outfit Rise Against, began his musical career at age 15, learning to play by ear and influenced during his formative years by Bad Religion, Minor Threat, Bad Brains, the Descendents and other like-minded bands.
Rise Against formed in 1999; the quartet featured Principe on bass, with Tim McIlrath (vocals), Tony Tintari (drums) and Mr. Precision (guitar and vocals). Influenced by ’70s and ’80s punk/hardcore tinged with pop inflections a la Elvis Costello and the Police, the band went through lineup changes while it released indie debut album The Unraveling in 2001 and follow-up Revolutions Per Minute in 2003. Rise Against toured extensively behind both albums.
The band signed to Geffen Records in late 2003 and scored major label successes Siren Song of the Counter Culture (2004) and The Sufferer & the Witness (2006). As of 2008, the lineup consists of Principe and McIlrath, plus guitarist Zach Blair and drummer Brandon Barnes.