Tom Morello & His New Label: ‘Making Music with a Purpose’


By Brian Ives | Radio


By his own admission, Tom Morello has led a charmed life. Morello is best known as the guitarist from Rage Against the Machine, but he’s also sold millions of albums with Audioslave and, more recently, he’s recorded on his own as the Nightwatchman and with underground rapper Boots Riley in Street Sweeper Social Club. On top of all that, in 2014 Morello spent much of the year as a member of Bruce Springsteen‘s E Street Band, and later this year he’s playing in Ozzy Osbourne‘s backing band. All this is by way of saying: there’s a lot to talk to about with Tom Morello. During his recent visit, the main thing on Morello’s mind is his brand-new record label, Firebrand Records. He also talks about his next album, the night he searched for the grave of the late AC/DC singer Bon Scott, his unlikely friendship with Ted Nugent and his relationship with former bandmate Chris Cornell. Oh, and that new video Rush has been using every night on their tour that features Morello, Paul Rudd, Jason Segel and Peter Dinklage, among others. So, I think the big question on everyone’s mind is: how did you get involved in the video that Rush plays during their performance of “Roll The Bones” every night on this tour? 

Tom Morello: [Laughs] Oh, it was really one of the most challenging artistic endeavors of my entire career! I actually rapped the lines, I didn’t lip-synch. I saw Rush’s concert in Chicago, I was pleased that I made the final cut.

I was at the New Jersey show and the fans went crazy during the video. Anyway, tell me about why you decided to start a label in 2015. 

There has been a void in the music industry for a long time; we are a record label that focuses exclusively on artists with revolutionary lyrical and musical content. The idea was a global label for all your rebel music needs. We have literally scoured the planet from Egypt to Sweden to my hometown of Libertyville, Illinois, for artists that don’t just talk the talk, but also walk the walk. We’re very proud of this diverse group of artists that have one unifying characteristic: they’re making music with a purpose.

I know you’ve been involved in the Last Internationale‘s career; the story goes that they were having Thanksgiving dinner at your house, and they mentioned that they needed a drummer, and you hooked them up with your former (Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave) bandmate, Brad Wilk. But how did you get to know them? 

My good friend Boots Riley [his bandmate from Street Sweeper Social Club] sent me a YouTube video of them. Boots Riley sends me a lot of YouTube videos, most of them you don’t want to watch! But this one was interesting: they were a very different kind of band. Shortly thereafter they were playing a show in L.A., I thought they were great, and we started talking afterwards. When I moved to Los Angeles, I was a “stray,” and I’ve always endeavored to take in strays. They were kind of strays and we took them in! They’re lovely people and a great band. We spent some time around the kitchen counter talking about music and politics and having a lot of laughs. We’ve been friends ever since, and now they’re on my record label.

I know they released an album on Epic; I was wondering if they’d get lost on a major label.

They did get lost on a major label. While our coffers aren’t as deep as Sony’s, we certainly care about them in a way that other labels won’t.

They remind me of the great alternative rock bands of the late ’80s and early ’90s; I imagine they could have held their own on stage at Lollapalooza alongside bands like Rage, Primus, Nine Inch Nails, Jane’s Addiction, etc., and I don’t know that that’s the case for many current “indie” bands. 

Hell, yeah! They’re a great great band that has a musical and personal integrity. It’s raw and it’s powerful and in my mind, Delia Paz is the greatest singer to come along in memory.  In memory, dude! She’s like, part Joan Jett, but she could win American Idol, and she’s committed to the social justice struggle. It’s an incredible combination. Their cover of Mahalia Jackson’s “I’m Going To Live The Life I Sing About In My Song,” that’s the best thing I’ve heard all year. They’re one of those bands where, if the right s*** lines up, there’s no ceiling for them. They could be the biggest band in the world. They’re destroying Europe right now, they’re opening for the Who, and Incubus, they already opened for Robert Plant.

[Read more here]

Originally entitled: “Tom Morello and His New Label Are ‘Making Music with a Purpose'”

Robert O'Leary 150x150Robert O’Leary, JD BARA, has had an abiding interest in alternative health products & modalities since the early 1970’s & he has seen how they have made people go from lacking health to vibrant health. He became an attorney, singer-songwriter, martial artist & father along the way and brings that experience to his practice as a BioAcoustic Soundhealth Practitioner, under the tutelage of the award-winning founder of BioAcoustic Biology, Sharry Edwards, whose Institute of BioAcoustic Biology has now been serving clients for 30 years with a non-invasive & safe integrative modality that supports the body’s ability to self-heal using the power of the human voice. Robert brings this modality to serve clients in Greater Springfield (MA), New England & “virtually” the world, with his website, He can also be reached at romayasoundhealth

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