Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello and electronic artist The Bloody Beetroots have teamed up for The Catastrophists EP. The seven-song release arrives June 18th, and the two acts have unleashed the single “Radium Girls” featuring a large cast of collaborators.
Pussy Riot’s Nadya Tolokonnikova appears on “Radium Girls” along with White Lung’s Mish Way, The Interrupters’ Aimee Interrupter, and The Last Internationale’s Delila Paz. The talented crew provides vocals for the incendiary track, co-written by Tolokonnikova, Savages’ Jehnny Beth, Carl Restivo, and Simone Cogo.
“Four extraordinary women and the ferocious production of The Bloody Beetroots breathe life into the true story of the Radium Girls, young Illinois factory workers who were the victims of one of the most heinous crimes in US industrial history,” Morello stated in a press release.
The guitarist went on to explain the origins of the song, a tribute to the female workers infamously exposed to radium while producing glow-in-the-dark watches at an Illinois factory in the 1920s.
“I spent every summer as a kid near Ottawa, Illinois where these doomed girls used deadly radium laced paint to make glow-in-the-dark watches,” Morello said. “They were encouraged to lick the paintbrushes to a point to increase productivity and profit and in the end their bones literally fell apart from cancer and they were so toxic they had to be buried in lead lined coffins. The resulting court cases and publicity led to historic nationwide labor protection legislation. Every year I place flowers at the small monument to these quiet heroes and this song is dedicated to their memory.”
As a public figure, Morello has always used his platform for political activism and awareness. The Catastrophists EP falls in line with his work with Rage Against the Machine and Prophets of Rage in that regard.
Added the Bloody Beetroots on the new song: “‘Radium Girls’ is what happens when two punks go off to battle; each with his weapon of choice.”
Morello previously teamed up with Pussy Riot’s Tolokonnikova on the recent single “Weather Strike”. A Bloody Beetroots remix of that song also appears on the upcoming EP.
Watch the Morello-directed video for “Radium Girls” and check the out the EP artwork and tracklist below. You can pre-save the EP on digital platforms here.
The Catastrophists EP Artwork:
The Catastrophists EP Tracklist:
01. The Devil’s Infantry
02. Radium Girls (feat. Pussy Riot, Aimee Interrupter, Mish Way, and The Last Internationale)
03. Lightning Over Mexico (feat. Ana Tijoux)
04. Keep Going
05. Weather Strike (feat. Pussy Riot) [The Bloody Beetroots Remix]
06. Field Of Tigers
07. Mary Celeste