Electric guitar

“The electric guitar is an instrument of the future, not just a past! – Kerrang!


If we sometimes have the impression that the era of the guitar hero is fading, it is largely because the said heroes refuse to roll with the punches. It’s an indictment that could never be brought against Tom Morello, however. After enduring the failure of the original group Lock up, which had signed and then dropped the prestigious Geffen Records during a three-year whirlwind of existence between 1987 and 1990, the six-string wizard was forced to face the fact that being a virtuoso player is not as important as doing something new. Rising again with Rage Against The Machine, he deconstructs the instrument down to its woodwind and threads, innovating and winning legions of new fans.

Thirty years after Los Angeles rap rockers first reunited, the need to innovate and push genre boundaries is more urgent than ever. With rock music now facing competition from the new alien sounds of EDM, Rap SoundCloud, and hyperpop, doubling down on what worked in the past is a mistake, when we should be looking at what makes those sounds so. exciting and learning from it.

Increasingly collaborative as his career progresses into his fourth decade, Tom has already forged new territory with 2018’s The Atlas Underground LP. Driven by the isolation and stagnation of the lockdown, however, he contacted friends around the world for his dazzling follow-up to The Atlas Underground Fire, bringing together artists as disparate as British metal overlords Bring Me The Horizon and Bruce Springsteen, New Jersey stadium rock legend, Palestinian DJ Sama ‘Abdulhadi, the Jamaican reggae royalty Damian Marley and Detroit singer-songwriter Mike Posner – who climbed Mount Everest while collecting his contribution…

Now is a good time to return to the Atlas Underground, Tom?
“It was a record set during the lockdown desperation. It was a liferaft, a way to stay sane in everyday life when it felt like mental health was soaring. Between the age of 17 and March 2020, I wrote, recorded and performed non-stop. It all came to a screeching halt, and for the first four months of the lockdown, I didn’t touch a guitar. I had no desire or inspiration to play or write. The inspiration came from a very strange source, where I read an interview with Kanye West and he was bragging about having recorded the vocals from a few of his albums on his iPhone voice memo. So I started recording guitar riffs in my iPhone voice memo and they sounded really fantastic. I started sending them to producers and engineers all over the world. It became the cornerstone of this record. I never thought, ‘Hey, I’m gonna do the next Atlas Underground album…’ It was always more like a lifeline, a way to keep playing music and connecting with others. musicians.