Tom Morello

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About Tom Morello

Tom Morello is a man with many hats: heavy-metal god, political activist, folk singer, and, of course, guitar innovator who reinvented the riff. Born in Harlem in 1964 but raised in Illinois, he spent his youth spinning ’70s hard rock and later hip-hop and punk records. These influences would inspire him as he cofounded Rage Against the Machine in 1991. Their fusion of radical politics with jackhammer fret work and syncopated beats laid the foundation for rap metal and nu-metal. This proved only the beginning for Morello’s career. In the ensuing years, the musician started several more popular projects (Audioslave, Street Sweeper Social Club, Prophets of Rage) and dropped solo albums both under his own name and as The Nightwatchman, the alias attached to his forays into protest folk. If all that weren’t enough, Morello’s devotion to collectivism is expressed through his love of artistic collaboration. He has worked with rockers and rappers across the genre map, including the mighty Bruce Springsteen, with whom Morello shares a deep love for the working-class ethos of troubadour Woody Guthrie.

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