Tom Morello on Solo Album, Prophets of Rage, and Why We Shouldn’t Wait for a Rage Against the Machine Reunion

"Rather than people waiting around for RATM, form your own band"

Tom Morello at 2019 Sonic Temple Festival, photo by Amy Harris

    Tom Morello is a busy man these days. The guitarist released the solo album The Atlas Underground in October 2018, and he has shows scheduled this summer in Europe with his band Prophets of Rage, the group combining members of Rage Against the Machine, Public Enemy, and Cypress Hill.

    We caught up with the legendary guitarist backstage at the recent Sonic Temple Art + Music Festival in Columbus, Ohio, and spoke to Morello about his new album, the status of Prophets of Rage, the 2020 presidential election, and about the possibility of a return of Rage Against the Machine.

    As for Prophets of Rage, who unfortunately had their 2018 summer tour canceled due to a vocal ailment that sidelined M. Shadows of headlining act Avenged Sevenfold, Morello told us, “We’ve been working on new music. Hopefully, there’ll be new music out before the end of the summer …. It’s like The Avengers — we all come together for the Infinity War!”


    Meanwhile, this year marks the 20th anniversary of Rage Against the Machine’s 1999 album, The Battle of Los Angeles, which Morello revealed to us was “brutal to make,” but was a “pretty good way to go out” as far as being RATM’s last LP of original material.

    And regarding the potential for a Rage Against the Machine reunion and the impact they can make during the current Trump administration, Morello responded, “I would say, rather than people waiting around for Rage Against the Machine, form your own band. Let’s hear what you have to say. Get out there and do it. Don’t sit around twiddling your thumbs waiting for some other band to do it.”

    For more from Morello, see our video interview with him in the player above. And pick up the guitarist’s solo album, The Atlas Underground, at this location, plus see Prophets of Rage’s upcoming European tour dates here.


    Update 11/1: Rage Against the Machine are reuniting for a series of show in 2020. Get the details here.