In a new NME interview, Tom Morello revealed that he is still in contact with his former Rage Against The Machine bandmate Zack de la Rocha.
More than just one man against the world, then, Tom’s so-called solo album is a means to unite him with likeminded people once more. It begs the question, of course – will we ever see another Rage Against The Machine reunion? Prophets Of Rage are his main group, he admits, quipping that they’re “like The Avengers” and revealing that they’re halfway through a second full-length, but is he still close with the missing link to Rage Against The Machine – rapper Zack De La Rocha?
“We’re all still in contact – and still friends,” he says, succinctly. “If there is a Rage reunion, count me in.”
Until then, he’s focussing on striking out solo. And as the politics of the self – LGBT rights, Black Lives Matter, mental health discourse et al – dominate political discourse, Tom Morello remains confident that that larger change can come from within: “Hopefully in the pursuit of those rights, we can find an overarching solidarity to confront the huge issues confronting the planet.”
He also discussed his new album The Atlas Underground in a new Premier Guitar interview.
“Different songs were written in different ways. For example, the tune that I did with Gary Clark Jr., ‘Where It’s At Ain’t What It Is,’ came from a three-hour jam that he and I had at my studio. We recorded the whole thing and then I went through it to find the choicest riffs and the best turns of phrase. I made a three-and-a-half-minute song out of that three-hour jam, with a turbo charged beat to it, in a way that recontextualizes his and my playing. For “Battle Sirens,” which is one of the heavier songs, which starts the record, with [Australian electronic-music duo] Knife Party, I would send them a riff tape: ‘Here’s 10, maybe seven, big riffs. Here’s five crazy guitar noises. Here’s a bunch of shreddy bits.’ With the idea being that if my guitar playing is like the black-and-white photograph, then what I want to hear is the smashed-up Picasso version of that, where it’s recognizable as me, but it’s heard in an entirely different way.”