Tom Morello

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Tom Morello
Tom Morello (born May 30 1964) is the guitarist of the band Audioslave, and formerly of Rage Against The Machine.

He was born in Harlem, New York and grew up in Libertyville, Illinois. His mother, Mary Morello, is a founder of Parents For Rock And Rap, an anti-censorship group. His father was a Mau Mau guerilla, a Kenyan revolutionary who later was the first Kenyan delegate to the United Nations. Morello's uncle, Jomo Kenyatta, was the first elected president in Kenya.

In 1986 Morello graduated with honours from Harvard University with a degree in political science. He moved to L.A. with the intention of joining or starting a band. He joined a band called Electric Sheep with Adam Jones, soon-to-be-guitarist for the experimental nu-metal band, Tool.

In 1988 he joined Lock Up, who released one album through Geffen Records before splitting up. Afterward, Morello approached Brad Wilk, who had auditioned for Lock Up, about forming a band. After meeting with Zack de la Rocha at an LA club where Zack was rapping, Zack introduced him to his friend Tim Commerford and their new band, Rage Against The Machine, was formed.

In 2000, Zack de la Rocha left Rage Against the Machine. The remaining three members formed the band Audioslave with former Soundgarden vocalist Chris Cornell. Audioslave have since achieved commercial success with their eponymously titled debut album.

Tom Morello and Serj Tankian of System of a Down are the co-founders of Axis of Justice, which helps people, teens especially, find ways to be activists in their communities.

Morello is famed for his guitar style, which consists of punk/funk hybrid riffs and hip hop inspired sounds. His guitar playing is also characterized by heavy use of guitar effects, such as delay, modulation, harmonizers, and others in unique ways and combinations. Morello's innovative use of effects has gained him significant critical acclaim.

He is also less known for his folk music, where he goes by the alias "The Nightwatchman." To quote Tom:

"The Nightwatchman is my political folk alter ego. I've been writing these songs and playing them at open mic nights with friends for some time. This is the first time I've toured with it. When I play open mic nights, it's announced as the Nightwatchman. There will be kids there who are fans of my electric guitar playing, and you see them there scratching their heads.
But it's something that I enjoy doing. I look at it more as an extension of my politics. Then again, some of the songs are not explicitly political. It really helped me grow as an artist and songwriter. Once you prick the vein you never know what is going to come out. You could aim for all union songs and you find yourself in other territory."

One of his folk songs, No One Left, appears on the album Songs and Artists That Inspired Fahrenheit 9/11.

Tom is also a fan of Star Trek, having appeared twice in its various forms (he played Crewman Mitchell in an episode of Star Trek: Voyager, and a Son'a warrior in the ninth feature film Star Trek: Insurrection).

External links

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