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After a time "adrift," Tom Morello's now "re-energized" with new music: "There's more jams coming"

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At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Tom Morello found himself in a mental place he hadn’t been since he first picked up a guitar at age 17: he had no interest in making music.

“I was adrift,” the Rage Against the Machine guitarist tells Rolling Stone. “I had no ideas, I didn’t want to play music, I had nothing creative, I didn’t want to do anything…I didn’t want anything to do with music or creativity.”

That changed, however, when he saw that a Black Lives Matter protest happened in his hometown of Libertyville, Illinois.

“A town where I was once the only black person, a town where there were nooses in the garage…over a thousand people showed up at the town square and marched,” Morello says.

“It made me think, get off your a**!” he laughs

That provided the initial inspiration for the new song “Stand Up,” which also features Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds, musician and activist Shea Diamond, and producer The Bloody Beetroots. Working on that track, Morello says, “re-energized” him.

“I’ve been working a lot on music,” Morello shares. “During this time where I’m trapped in the studio, I really intend to make the most of it.”

“There’s more jams coming,” he teases. “The riffs have been hot and heavy…I’ve really been enjoying it.”

By Josh Johnson
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