2009 is bound to be a busy year for Tom Morello (known for his work with Rage Against The Machine, Audioslave, and The Nightwatchman). Teaming up with vocalist Boots Riley of The Coup, Tom has formed Street Sweeper Social Club and is preparing to release the band's self-titled debut album on June 16. The band is currently touring with the likes of Nine Inch Nails and Jane's Addiction and according to Morello; the invitation to join them on tour came as a surprise.
We were finishing mixing our record when Trent called up and said, 'Hey, want to do the [Nine Inch Nails/Jane's Addiction] tour?' Morello tells Billboard.com. So all of a sudden the leisurely mixing process became, 'We gotta get this out right now! We've got to start rehearsing for the tour tomorrow!'
Morello adds that it was an easy decision to make. He says, Both bands are friends from back in the day, so there's a very good, family kind of vibe. [Reznor] has been a great host on the tour.
Morello recalls how Street Sweeper Social Club began back in 2007 when he offered tour-mate Boots Riley to join a new band with him. When Audioslave broke up, we had dinner and I made him an offer he couldn't refuse, Morello says. I told him, 'We're in a band. It's called Street Sweeper Social Club. It's revolutionary party jams.' Then I handed him a cassette tape of 24 song ideas and said 'Write to this.' He was given no choice in the matter - and to date, he hasn't said 'yes.' But it's been going very well.
While the new band's rapping vocals and political themes will undoubtedly draw comparisons to Rage Against The Machine, Morello says that what sets this band apart is in Boots' delivery. Boots' storytelling relies a lot on humor and satire, Morello says. One of my main jobs as a producer was to really present his lyrical vision in a way that people really see how great this guy is. I think they'll be blown away.
Morello confirms that Street Sweeper Social Club is planning to embark on a headlining tour of North America and possibly Europe as soon as late summer and early fall. He also reassures fans of The Coup, The Nightwatchman, and Rage Against The Machine that all those bands will continue alongside Street Sweeper Social Club.