Legendary guitarist and former member of Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave, Tom Morello, has embarked on a solo career with the release of an upcoming album heavily influenced by electronic dance music. The album, The Atlas Underground, incorporates a handful of electronic elements, and represents Morello’s love for all things dance music.
In an interview with Lars Ulrich (the drummer from Metallica), Morello reveals why his solo album is a departure from what you’d expect from a traditional rock guitarist.
“I wanted to make a record that was the Hendrix of now. It has three components to it in my mind. One: it has to have guitar playing that is outside of the norm and is extraordinary. Two: one of the defining things of Hendrix was hit radio songs. He didn’t just look cool and played some exotic guitar. The reason why we know his name is because he had blasted jams that connected with a mass audience.
And then three is the ‘of now’ part. Hendrix was blues rock and now it is a world of hip-hop and EDM. So what I wanted to do was to create a new genre of music that combines my analog Marshall stack guitar playing with the sounds of now, and with some of my favorite singers and rappers.”
Having worked on The Atlas Underground for about eight months, Morello has accomplished something that truly represents the music of now, by blending what does best in the field of rock with what other’s are doing in the realm of dance and hip-hop. Collaborating with the likes of Bassnectar, Knife Party, Steve Aoki, and tons more, it promises to truly be an eclectic masterwork for the rock legend.
One thing remains true, music evolves and changes with time: Musicians either change with it, or they fizzle out, stuck in the same traditions that audiences eventually outgrow. But, Morello is showing the world that you can still honor your roots as a musician while embracing the new.
Check out a preview of an upcoming track from the album, featuring Bassnectar, Outkast’s Big Boi, and Killer Mike.