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Tom Morello talks politics, music, and his latest projects with Rolling Stone

06 Aug 2020

Photo: Tom with mother and activist Mary Morello, by Rhoads Morello

In an in-depth interview with Rolling Stone, Tom Morello has shared his views on the politics of today, as well as the stories behind some of the photographs in his upcoming photo memoir, Whatever It Takes. Morello reflects on his first experiences playing the guitar and his high school band that paved the way for his career as a musician after having a rock 'n' roll 'epiphany'.

'We came out, the keyboard was out of tune, we were completely out of tune, but we were on a riser - a photo in the book captures this - and there was this moment of my rock 'n' roll 'epiphany'. It was right before the chorus, and things were not going well musically but I did have some athletic ability, and I jumped off that riser, got tremendous height, and the crowd went ape shit.'

In the interview, Morello has a hopeful outlook for the future of the guitar and rock music, citing bands such as Red Hot Chili Peppers, Foo Fighters, and Nine Inch Nails who continue to sell out venues. The hope is that it is these performances that will connect younger audiences to the guitar, the instrument that he feels is the best ever created.

'There is nothing, at all, like that feeling of strapping on an electric guitar, hitting that distortion pedal, and hitting that chord. It resonates in the reptilian DNA in a way that nothing else has ever done.'

Speaking from his home, Morello explains that he is always working on something, and has used lockdown as a way to share his message creatively. Most recently he released 'Stand Up', a protest inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement (BLM). His involvement in numerous protests, from the Occupy movement to the BLM movement and more, is recounted in Whatever It Takes.

Watch the full interview here.

Whatever It Takes is available to pre-order now.
Whatever It Takes

Whatever It Takes

Tom Morello


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