Tom Morello Of Rage Against The Machine On ‘People’s Party With Talib Kweli’

Tom Morello Of Rage Against The Machine On 'People's Party With Talib Kweli'

In this episode of “People’s Party With Talib Kweli”, Talib Kweli and Jasmin Leigh sit down with musician, singer, rapper, songwriter, actor, political activist, and legendary guitarist for Rage Against The Machine:


This guitar icon gave them one of our most interesting interviews to date. Here’s what they discussed:

  • Unlikely inspiration drawn from Kanye West during quarantine
  • Being born in Harlem to a mother of Italian and Irish descent and a Kenyan father
  • His mother’s work as an activist and his father being the 1st ambassador to the United Nations
  • Tom and Talib first meet at a benefit concert for Mumia Abu-Jamal
  • The reasons why Tom chose to attend Harvard University
  • Finding his calling to become an electric guitarist at age 19
  • The making of “Killing In The Name” and not knowing how iconic the song would become
  • The guitar work on “Bulls On Parade” taking inspiration from RUN DMC’s Jam Master Jay
  • Cypress Hill, Soundgarden, and Ice Cube’s ‘AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted’ inspiring the RATM sound
  • The mutual respect shared between Tom, B-Real, and Chuck D during the Prophets Of Rage project
  • Why Wu-Tang Clan left in the middle of the tour they co-headlined with Rage in 1997
  • Tom shares a classic Ol’ Dirty Bastard story from that ’97 tour
  • How in 1996 Rage joined the short-list of bands permanently banned from performing on SNL
  • Tom’s take on all politicians being beholden to their lobbyists regardless of party
  • Getting himself fired from his job working as scheduling secretary for a Democratic Senator
  • His principle influences being revolutionaries like the Black Panthers, Che Guevara, and others
  • The making of the music video for “Sleep Now In The Fire” with RATM storming Wall Street
  • Tom being encouraged by the younger generation’s openness to socialism over capitalism
  • The silver linings that come from racists playing and enjoying Tom’s music
  • The spooky first meeting of Chris Cornell before the formation of Audioslave
  • How Tom’s ‘The Nightwatchman’ project, playing folk music opened up a whole new world
  • Opening for Suicidal Tendencies before Rage Against The Machine became known
  • Rage Against The Machine’s songs being banned from the airwaves following September 11th
  • Being on the road with Bruce Springsteen during the 2014 High Hopes Tour
  • Boots Riley and Tom forming the rap/rock group Street Sweeper Social Club
  • Tom, Talib, and others putting on a free concert in Ferguson during the protests
  • The thoughtful intentions behind Tom’s ‘The Atlas Underground’ project
  • Tom’s ‘Comandante’ release being dedicated to the “guitar tribe”
  • Fans of Tom and GNR’s Slash being unaware or denying that they’re Black
  • Metal band Living Colour not getting credit for blurring the color lines of the genre
  • Why Tom felt he had to deny his love for Jimi Hendrix’s music as a young guitarist
  • The making of “Let’s Get The Party Started” featuring the band Bring Me The Horizon
  • Tom convincing Bruce Springsteen to perform “Highway To Hell” in Australia
  • Explaining to Jasmin why playing Guitar Hero isn’t the same as playing the guitar
  • A glimpse into what’s coming next from Tom Morello

“People’s Party With Talib Kweli” is also available to give a listen via Spotify | SoundCloud | Google Play | Apple | Luminary