Tom Morello’s new album, The Atlas Underground Fire, is underway, and it features a star-studded lineup of guest appearances. During a chat with Loudwire Nights, the rocker explained how rapper Kanye West inspired the album, and what fans can expect from it.
“The Atlas Underground Project — this is the second Atlas Underground record, the sister-record to the one that came out in 2018 — was to forge across different genres, like-minded musicians to create powerful music,” Morello stated. “During the last year, where much of that year has been spent in lockdown, for me it was a real life raft.”
The guitarist recalled how depressed he felt when the pandemic started, since he didn’t know whether he’d be able to tour again or how he’d write and record music — something he’s done nonstop for decades.
“I read an interview with Kanye West, who was bragging about the fact that he had recorded vocals for two of his albums on the voice memo on his phone. And I said, ‘Well if it’s good enough for vocals on a Kanye West record, maybe I can record guitar riffs into my phone,'” he explained.
“I just bypassed all the microphones and set my phone on a chair, hit the red dot, and all of a sudden was sending these riffs to engineers and producers around the world — to [Bruce] Springsteen, Eddie Vedder, the Bring Me the Horizon guys and Damien Marley — and created this like, global community of collaborators that, in the midst of a very, very stressful time, was a tremendous lifeline and a way to create. That was the genesis of The Atlas Underground Fire album.”
Other contributors to the record include country artist Chris Stapleton, Mike Posner, grandson and more. To hear more stories about The Atlas Underground Fire, which will be out Oct. 15, listen to the rest of the interview below.
Tom Morello Explains How Kanye West Inspired His New Album
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