Tom Morello Working on Solo Album: 'I Want to Make the Craziest Guitar Record Ever'

"This is the Hendrix of now," the guitarist adds.

Ultimate Guitar

Extensive performing schedule with rock legend Bruce Springsteen and his E Street Band has reportedly inspired guitar master Tom Morello to work on a solo album, and it's not just any effort we're talking about, but the "craziest guitar record ever."

Chatting with Billboard, Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave guitarist confirmed being "in the midst of making my first solo big rock record," remembering the specific moment of the Boss' tour when the inspiration struck. "It was on that [Anaheim] stage that I realized there might be a way to combine all the things I do as a songwriter and a guitar player, and this record is going to be that."

Revealing "a big batch of songs written," Morello added a few tidbits bound to excite every guitar fan. "I want to make the craziest guitar record that anyone's ever heard," he said. "The idea is that this is the Hendrix of now."

Describing the "spectacularly exciting" experience of performing with Springsteen, Tom shared a humble stance. "The E Street Band has a long, storied history," he explained. "I'm a big fan of the E Street Band, and when asked to play I consider it a great honor. As I've told Bruce, my principle concern is to do no harm. It's been one of the best live bands on the planet without me, so don't f--k it up is job one - and then, when called upon, to play my heart out."

As reported, Morello performed on a total of eight tracks on Springsteen's latest studio effort "High Hopes."

71 comments sorted by best / new / date

    IMO he's still one of the coolest guitar players ever and I can't wait to hear new stuff from him wether it's solo or with one of his bands.
    I'm not a fan of baseball caps.
    I think he's secretly a huge d o u s h, but who am I to judge. I'm still exited to see him make a good record.
    If Tom’s secretly a douchebag then he's pretty damn good at hiding that part of his personality. If you'd have said Zach de la Rocha seems like he might be a tool then MAYBE that would've made a bit more sense because -believe it or not- he's a pretty introverted guy, so it's hard to tell what exactly he's up to Tom however is eloquent, enthusiastic and always engaged in whatever is being discussed, whether it's music or politics or whatever. The guy's had plenty of opportunities to show us his inner Mustaine because he’s been making records for over a quarter of a century, yet every time I've heard him speak he's come across as a gentle person who loves doing what he does. If deep down he were a total prick I think we would've been able to tell by now I don't like jumping to conclusions, but if you base your comment on the fact that you don't agree with his views (which is usually the case whenever you hear people hating on RATM) then at least say so. If that's not the case then I apologize in advance
    Glad to see that Tom is very dedicated to his side projects, but it's really disappointing to see Rage stay under wraps.
    I don't know, as much as I love Rage Against the Machine, I'm actually ok with them not releasing any new music. The music they made was phenomenal and I feel really blessed to have the opportunity to listen to those three albums whenever I feel like it. And anyway expectations from a new RATM album would be so high, they could not possibly please everyone. I'm glad to just check out all the other music the guys are making these days.
    I'm pretty sure it's not Morello putting off Rage, he has stated in the past that if he had it his way there'd be more Rage records...Hate to say it but Zac De a Rocha is likely the one putting Rage off.
    I wish R.A.T.M would still exist. Just saying.
    One of the most innovative we've seen in a long time. Looking forward to this! Kinda wish we could get one more RATM album though....
    Calling a record "The Hendrix of now" is only going to put the expectations for the record at an inconceivable level. Regardless of how talented he is, making claims like this to an album that hasn't even been finished yet is not going to do anything but disappoint the listener. Remember when guitarists were modest? Good times.
    Yeah this is true, not to mention it's going to annoy fanboys like some of the guys in the comments here lol
    Looking forward to this, even though I like his folk stuff with The Nightwatchmen better than anything "rock" he came up with since RATM.
    Agreed, Audioslave and SSSC have their moments but Nightwatchman is a good dylan/cash style mix.
    "The idea is that this is the Hendrix of now." Statements like these irk me. Hendrix was so monumental because he wasn't setting out to be "the next" anything. He just wanted to play music and be himself. Saying you're going to be the modern version of a past icon is a paradox.
    I like a lot of his Audioslave stuff, but "Hendrix of now"? come on...
    too bad hes a commie
    "Communism is evil! Muh government said so! Look under yer bed for repressive Stalin!" Come on lad, come on.
    I really enjoyed his guitar playing not only in above mentioned bands but also the Lock Up album he played on before rage.
    'I Want to Make the Craziest Guitar Record Ever' Oh yea? Who are you gonna hire to play it for ya?
    He probably just means he is going to buy some more pedals. That's all that was ever crazy about his playing. Vastly overrated guitarist.
    This is a very ignorant comment. Morello's unique style comes from a lot more than just a wide variety of pedals, if you ever watched him play a solo its pretty obvious. I think you were referring to The Edge...
    He has a crybaby, whammy, phase 90, boss delay and an equalizer for them. Basic versions of all of those. That is a very common setup for a lot of players.
    I'm sorry but anyone who thinks that Morello's playing is all pedals is just naive and doesn't really understand guitar or guitar-based music yet. I hate to make a statement that general but I get so sick of hearing people say that.
    If Morellos playing is "all pedals" then that must mean Hendrix's playing was "all reverb, fuzz, and delay" - nothing special, no big deal, right?
    Yea, that's pretty much right.
    Every time I try to give him a chance he just annoys me into submission. Any style he has just gets buried under layer upon layer of pedals and crap. He's not bad just vastly overrated.
    I upvoted ya ! At least someone speaks sense .
    Are you guys serious (or deaf)? Tom is one of the most innovative guys out there, instantly recognizable tone and style
    You give him more credit than he deserves. The political message of RATM is probably where you guys all come together on how "awesome" that band is. They aren't saying anything that other bands are saying, but they are saying it louder than other bands.
    I disagree with their politics, but can recognize a group of talented musicians when I hear them. Even with Audioslave, Morello & co. played some great music.
    I love Tom's riffing and chord playing, but at least half of his soloing makes zero sense to me, and they ruin most songs, in my opinion. I do like some of his solos and I'm glad he's trying to expand the guitar vocab by doing all of his crazy effects and tricks, but I wish the dude would just play a damn solo every once in awhile.
    Innovative?....its a stretch but ill go with it....comparing himself or his work to Hendrix is nothing but self serving blasphemy.....Tom you are Good but you are no Hendrix.....
    He's not comparing himself to Hendrix, calm your tits fanboy
    No that's exactly what he did. The quote from the article "The idea is that this is the Hendrix of now." That means that if Hendrix was around today, this is the kind of music he would be writing. Bluck is right. Morello is good, but not Hendrix level.
    The only Tom Morello albums I want to hear are: 1) An album with him on guitar, Chris Cornell on vocals, and I dunno, maybe the rhythm section from RaTM. 2) An acoustic album in the vein of the first Nightwatchman album. No "T Streeet Band" Tom, it doesn't suit you.
    Psycho Pigeon
    Great musician, but when it comes to politics the guy's an idiot, if he actually believed what he preached them give me some of your profits