Nickname Message
Tom_Morello There is no release date yet for the new Rage album, nor has there ever been an official release date.

Tom_Morello Timmy, Brad, and I finished our instrumental parts on Oct.1 Zack is still working on the lyrics and is about 1/3 of the way done.

Tom_Morello We do not know how long it will take to complete. The tracks so far sound awesome and as soon as it's done, the band will issue an official release date.

Tom_Morello We are as eager as all of you are for the new Rage record to be out and we want to make sure that it not only lives up to the standards of our previous releases but that it is by far and away the best Rage record to date.

Moderator Q: Are you planning on touring in Canada?

Tom_Morello We have several shows booked for the summer regardless of the release date. Including Woodstock.

Tom_Morello (in July) and New York City sometime in June.

Tom_Morello Those are the only shows booked to date. More dates and touring plans will be finalized and announced upon the completion of the album.

Moderator Dan Lockhart, Rehoboth MA. Hello Tom, are you aware of the condition Leonard Peltier is in now and has been in since 96? If so I would like to know what you are doing to put pressure on the BOP to get him treatment at the Mayo Clinic. I am part of a mailing list for Peltier, and there was a hunger strike on his behalf. We were wondering if you could do a concert on behalf of Leonard to raise awareness as you did for Mumia? Thankyou

Tom_Morello We've done a massive benefit concert for Leonard Peltier in '95 with the Beastie Boys, Cypress Hill and X.

Tom_Morello Because Leonard's health has worsened, it is now more important than ever for those concerned with his plight and those concerned with human rights in general to pressure President Clinton and their local Congressman not just to allow Peltier to receive adequate medical treatment, but also to pressure Clinton to grant him Executive Clemency and release that innocent man from jail.

Moderator Leo Ross: London, England: From Timmy C to Tim Bob, what's Tim's pseudonym now?

Tom_Morello Well Tim's not here with me in the room today.

Tom_Morello He seems fond of the Simmerin'T moniker.

Moderator Karen in Pittsburgh. Tom--are you guys really playing at the Mumia rally on 4/24? i'm gonna be there regardless, but seeing you guys again (i saw the benefit in Jersey) would just be rad!

Tom_Morello It is unlikely that we will play April 24 in Philadelphia as we are doing our best to complete the album.

Tom_Morello Some of us may be in attendance and we're encouraging everyone who can get there to go and show their support for a new trial for Mumia Abu-Jamal.

Moderator Ryan Clausing-- what kind of guitar teaching have you had previous to joining RATM?

Tom_Morello I'm a self-taught guitar player. I took a couple of lessons when I was 13 and was very turned off by the rigidity of the musical doctrine.

Tom_Morello Four years later when I purchased the Sex Pistols album Never Mind the Bollocks, I picked up the guitar and was in a band that same week. I didn't know how to play a single note or chord.

Tom_Morello It was the do-it-yourself, amateur spirit of the punk bands like the Sex Pistols and the Clash that made me decide that I could do it too.

Tom_Morello Perhaps with an inexpensive guitar, limited amount of musical knowledge, I could still make powerful music.

Moderator Q. Steve from Baltimore...Tom-would you compare the new Rage material to anything you have released before, or is it completely new and original?

Tom_Morello It's difficult when you work so closely with the songs for such a long time to have an objective perspective on how the new material fits into the Rage catalog.

Tom_Morello But from a visceral standpoint of standing in that studio playing those songs, it feels like the most exciting music that we've ever made.

Tom_Morello It's harder and heavier and funkier than anything we've ever done and we can't wait to let all you Rage fans in on it.

Moderator Jason from Phoenix AZ, I found some song that supposedly Rage and Tool did together back in '95 is it real or a fake?

Tom_Morello Yeah that song is real.

Tom_Morello We rehearsed that song with Tool for the Judgment Night soundtrack and due to internal band differences, tragically it never saw the light of day.

Tom_Morello At least, until now.

Moderator Question from Holly. Do you call yourself a feminist and if so, why did you decide to tour with Wu-Tang when so much of their music degrades women?

Tom_Morello We never had an ideological litmus test that we've used as a yardstick to judge the bands that we tour with.

Tom_Morello If we were only going to tour with bands that shared our exact philosophical perspective, we would certainly be touring by ourselves.

Tom_Morello I very much disagree with the misogyny found in a lot of rap and rock and country for that matter. But the Wu Tang Clan are one of the most formidable and groundbreaking hip-hop acts of all time,

Tom_Morello and that is why we chose to tour with them.

Moderator Steve in Boston. Tom- I have been following your playing since the first time I heard you, you have changed my life and you are the man.

Tom_Morello Thanks very much, Steve.

Tom_Morello It's heartening to know that all that practice and all of my poor mother's sleepness nights, kept awake by the racket I was making in the basement paid off.

Tom_Morello So, thanks.

Moderator Mike: Riverside, CA...Tom, why do you wear a hat at all your RATM's concerts?

Tom_Morello Mike, I also wear pants, shoes, and socks at all ratm concerts.

Tom_Morello Are you not curious about that as well?

Tom_Morello I've always been a baseball cap wearer.

Moderator Q. A lot of people have asked how you feel about the fighting in Kosovo.

Tom_Morello What business does NATO have bombing a soverign nation?

Tom_Morello I think that the United States policy in this case is unbelievably hypocritical.

Tom_Morello Where were the stealth bombers when hundreds of thousands of Rwandans were being massacred?

Tom_Morello Where were the missiles when death squads in El Salvador and Guatemala were committing atrocities against people in those nations?

Tom_Morello This is clearly a matter for the United Nations to sort out and shouldn't be a Gulf-like weapons display by US arms manufacturers.

Moderator James Curtis from Michigan. What was it like being the musical director for The Wall with the class of '99

Tom_Morello That was a curious experience.

Tom_Morello It's always great to play with Stephen Perkins and Martyne from Porno for Pyros and I've always been a fan of Layne Stayley's singing.

Tom_Morello The track, though, was difficult to put together because the lineup of the band kept changing as the deadline approached.

Tom_Morello It made me have a great deal more respect and admiration for the "musical director" from my High School band.

Moderator Jeff Mancini, Pottsville PA - I know at times there is tension between the band members, have you guys ever been close to breaking up? Do you think that it may occur in the future?

Tom_Morello Geez. There have been well-documented tensions between different band members for some time. I've always thought that it's the music and our fans and the band's potential political impact that has been a North Star and has steered the way through the personal petty differences.

Tom_Morello I hope that in the future we can make a lot more great Rage Against The Machine music, play many more shows and keep the personal drama to a minimum.

Tom_Morello Though it's hard to say.

Moderator Charlie, Oakland CA- Tom, do you object to people bootlegging your work and circulating it as MP3's

Tom_Morello I have no objection to people listening to Rage Against the Machine music for free.

Tom_Morello I'm not that familiar with MP3, but some friends have run off some great bootleg albums for me which I enjoy.

Tom_Morello When a shadow company takes the reigns though, and is profiting at the expense of the band and their fans, that's when I have a problem with it.

Moderator Q. Hey, I've always followed you since I first heard of you. Then I always helped you in your political issues and have all of your CDs, posters, t-shirts, etc. Every time I wrote you I never got a response, now I was SO EXCITED to meet you online, I was wating for AGES, and now it seems you are still ignoring me. I don't know what it is. Still, I listen to your CDs every day, please can you respond once-

Tom_Morello Here it is at last, my friend, Rage Against The Machine is reaching out to you. You didn't give us your name or the city you are residing in.

Moderator Matt from Jersey... Tom how was the experience of getting arrested for protesting a clothing manufacturer who is dispicable

Tom_Morello Guess Jeans, the despicable clothing manufacturer, is still a company worthy of boycotting.

Tom_Morello They continue to operate sweatshops here in Southern California, grossly underpay workers, and sabotage union activities.

Tom_Morello We attempted to purchase billboards in major cities around the country a couple of years ago asking people to boycott Guess.

Tom_Morello Their attorneys got to the billboard owners and succeeded in blocking our legal attempts to buy billboard space.

Tom_Morello We then attempted to purchase radio commerical time on alternative rock stations around the country exposing Guess' abuses.

Tom_Morello Again, Guess was successful in intimidating radio stations (with the notable exception of KROQ in Los Angeles) into not playing our anti-sweatshop spots.

Tom_Morello At that point, it seemed that our only recourse to get news of the boycott out was to perform some sort of civil disobedience.

Tom_Morello Myself and some 30 activists and organizers and student supporters were arrested for blocking the entrance to a Robinson-May Company store in Santa Monica to protest Guess Jeans.

Tom_Morello We spent about half a day in jail and it was pretty painless and helped to spread word about the boycott.

Tom_Morello U.N.I.T.E., the garment workers union, in the aftermath of the boycott achieved some major gains.

Tom_Morello Workers who were fired for their union organizing activities were forced to be rehired and many Guess workers received back pay for being gipped by the company.

Tom_Morello You all should please continue to boycott Guess products until they treat all their workers with the respect and dignity they deserve.

Moderator Q. Which bands have influenced you the most?

Tom_Morello When the band first formed I used to describe our music as a cross between

Tom_Morello Soundgarden and Public Enemy. There's obviously a healthy dose of punk rock

Tom_Morello in our sound as well. The Clash are my favorite band of all time. And let us

Tom_Morello not forget the mighty Black Sabbath.

Moderator Q. Which current bands do you admire the most?

Moderator Andy Suh, Silver Spring, MD: In your opinion, who makes the best guitars?

Tom_Morello I think that the brand of the guitar or the guitar manufacturer is immaterial to the quality of music that can be made with an instrument.

Tom_Morello One of my favorite guitars is a $60 piece of crap I picked up in a pawn shop in Toronto.

Tom_Morello Another one is a mongrel guitar put together with odd scraps through the years.

Tom_Morello Ibanez has been kind enough to make me some excellent specialty guitars, but what makes great music comes from within the player.

Tom_Morello An aspiring guitar player should not be tricked into thinking that the name on the headstock is going to translate into the emotion and ability of the player holding the guitar.

Moderator Ryan Cazares (cattlehead)... Did you follow the Clinton impeachment closely? What did you think of it

Tom_Morello It was incredible how much attention was paid to the stains on an intern's dress and how little attention was paid to the blood stains caused by Clinton's mid-scandal bombings of Sudan and Afghanistan.

Tom_Morello These war crimes went unobserved and uncommented upon by a media feverish for every sweaty detail of Clinton's Oval Office romps.

Tom_Morello It just further demonstrates how anesthetized the allegedly objective media is when faced with a choice between covering sexual hi-jinks versus the slaughter of Third World people.

Moderator Chris Herrera:Montreal Canada: Was Jimi Hendrix an influence for you?

Tom_Morello I had a Jimi Hendrix Greatest Hits record growing up and loved it.

Tom_Morello But I've never really cited him as an influence in part because as a black rock guitar player, at practically every gig in my entire life pre-RATM, some dope in the audience would scream out "Red House" or play "Foxy Lady" or "play with your teeth!"

Tom_Morello Until Vernon Reed came on the scene and the popularity of Living Colour, every black rock guitar player was pigeonholed as a Hendrix clone.

Moderator Tom, what ever came of the incident on SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE?

Moderator Q. If asked, would you play Saturday Night Live ever again?

Tom_Morello Only as a regular cast member with an exorbitant salary and expense account.

Tom_Morello And if they ask real, real nice.

Moderator Marco from Los Angeles: How would you describe your lifestyle? My impression is that you probably don't drink heavily or mess with drugs (aside from weed) or hook up with groupies after your concerts.

Tom_Morello I've been lucky to have the same circle of friends since when I was in High School back in Illinois.

Tom_Morello Many of them live in Los Angeles now too and so they very much help to keep any 'rock excess' to a minimum by reminding me that I'm just a recovering D&D player from Lake County, Illinois.

Moderator Tom, do you really think that Music and Politics should mix? don't you think it should just be about playing the music and having fun?

Tom_Morello It is naive to think that culture and politics are two separate things.

Tom_Morello The Romans effectively used "bread and circuses" to lull their population into accepting poverty and injustice.

Tom_Morello Escapist music and escapist culture functions in much the same way in that it diverts people's attention from more important issues.

Tom_Morello All music is therefore political.

Tom_Morello From bands who have a misogynist, escapist bent to those who have a more radical agenda, all of them are contributing to a cultural fabric that has an impact on the people who are exposed to it.

Moderator Q. Will you be releasing any more live albums in the future?

Tom_Morello Well, we haven't released any live albums yet. Any live recordings out there

Tom_Morello are strictly bootlegs. We have recorded hundreds of shows over the last 6

Tom_Morello years, and one day some of those live recordings will probably see the light

Tom_Morello of day.

Moderator Kody, Dallas Tx. Where there any events in your life that dramaitcally influenced it into the life that you now lead as a protestor and such?

Tom_Morello There were many incidents.

Tom_Morello One formative one was when I was 13 years old, going to school in the morning and saw a noose hanging from the beam in my family's garage.

Tom_Morello It made me realize how even then in the late 70's in peaceful suburban Illinois, there was still a violent and vicious racism present.

Tom_Morello Another incident was when I went to an anti-KKK demonstration in Boston in the mid-80s.

Tom_Morello I noticed the behavior of the cops on that particular day. When the crowd began chanting anti-Klan slogans, the clown-like Klan members were whisked away to safety and the cops turned on the crowd.

Tom_Morello Dozens were beaten, the PA equipment was destroyed, and basically they ran amuck getting their yaya's out, beating and punishing the reds, long hairs, and minorities who turned out to protest the KKK.

Tom_Morello I got to witness first-hand some of the things I had been reading about.

Moderator Jon in Amherst: Tom: How do you feel about being recognized as the most innovative guitar player of the nineties?

Tom_Morello Part of the reason people mistake me for being an influential guitar player is that there really aren't too many guitar players left in the post-Nirvana era that are willing to even play no-holds-barred guitar solos.

Tom_Morello Let alone experiment with different sounds and textures in a 90's that has been dominated by a stripped down pop rock formula.

Moderator Marco From Los Angeles: do you personally read fan email and letters?

Tom_Morello I do read all of the fan mail and letters that are specifically addressed to me.

Tom_Morello We receive such a huge volume that it's not possible for each of us to read every letter, though we are tremendously appreciative of the mail that we get from our fans.

Tom_Morello Hopefully everyone who writes gets a response.

Moderator Leo Ross: London, UK - Even though you're really creative on guitar, would you ever use digital equipment to further enhance the Rage sound - or is that a forbidden area?

Tom_Morello In my own guitar setup, I'm not particuarlly interested in 'going digital'.

Tom_Morello Not out of any Luddite stubborness, but merely from a "I can barely change a battery" point of view.

Tom_Morello I've been content with the same amp and effects set up for the last 10 or 12 years, and continue to find exciting new sounds and textures and riffs within that limited setup.

Tom_Morello I don't really feel the need to add anything to it at this point.

Moderator Tom, not a cue, but use a remote for a TV on the pickup selector, cool sound

Tom_Morello Uh, okay.

Moderator Tom, I'm here in London, and its 3 AM, please, ive stayed up for you man, just answer me this.....the situation in Iraq is really critical, yet, with impeachment and Yugoslavia...everyone just forgets...could you please do some thing in recognition of the situation? Innocent people live under an evil Saddam shelter...

Tom_Morello The situation in Iraq is critical, the US-lead embargo continues and those who suffer are the innocent children and the elderly of that nation.

Tom_Morello Foods, medicines, and other health supplies are denied to the civilian population of Iraq due to the United States barbaric "starve 'em out" policy.

Tom_Morello Cuban children as well go without basic medical innoculations and many die there as well because of the United State's insane and hypocritical foreign policy towards these countries.

Moderator Steve in Boston...---Tom what kind of marshall head do you have, I am trying to duplicate your exact setup and I can't seem to find out what kind of head you have on your stack

Tom_Morello It's a Marshall 2205 channel switching 50 watt head.

Tom_Morello Though I gotta tell you, Steve, that it's really not the amp head that is what gets those sounds.

Tom_Morello I'm not sure that they still make the 2205.

Tom_Morello Best of luck to you.

Moderator Tom, sorry to mention this again; I wrote a multi-genre research paper on RATM and have been meaning to get it to you guys because it would be an honour. Is there anywhere I can send that so you all can take a look at it?

Tom_Morello Adress it to me.

Tom_Morello I'd love to take a look at it.

Moderator Ric from London: How do you manage to play a whole concert. Where do you get the energy from to do what you do on stage - You and the rest of the band?

Tom_Morello I'm Snapple-fueled.

Tom_Morello It's not the amp head, it's the Snapple.

Moderator What's Mumia Abu-Jamal's current status? Is he going to get a new trial or what?

Tom_Morello The concert was a tremendous success. We raised enough money to fund the

Tom_Morello entire Federal Appeals process. The governor of Pennsylvania has not yet

Tom_Morello signed a death warrant, but when he does, the Federal Appeal will kick in

Tom_Morello and Mumia has a much better chance when his case comes before judges who do

Tom_Morello not have to answer to the Fraternal Order of Police.

Tom_Morello A great deal of awareness was also raised and we are very thankful to the

Tom_Morello Beastie Boys, Bad Religion and Black Star, as well as Chuck D who helped make

Tom_Morello the concert a success.

Moderator (Ryan from Omaha) What is your typical show set up for all of your pedals?

Tom_Morello I've used the same amp and pedal set up for every Rage song on stage and in

Tom_Morello the studio. The effects pedals are a Cry Baby Wah Wah, and the original

Tom_Morello Digiteck Whammy pedal, an EQ pedal, a Flanger, and a delay.

Moderator Moderator: This question is from my dying brother, please..he's Toms biggest fan. I have my laptop with me by his hospital bed... His question is: Tom, why do you seem so hesitant on giving out information about your effects?

Tom_Morello See my previous answer.

Tom_Morello That's pretty straightforward.

Moderator David Harris WA: I just finished reading Mumia Abu-Jamal's book "Live from Death Row" I want to know what you think about the book.

Tom_Morello It's an excellent book. It's a shocking, scary and accurate portrait of what life is like on death row.

Tom_Morello We've been involved in the Mumia case since 1995, and as he approaches his twentieth year behind bars, it's all the more necessary to organize for a new and just trial.

Moderator Leo Ross: London, UK: I heard that you and Brad did a Kiss covers project, what was all that about?

Tom_Morello That was years ago for a KISS tribute album.

Tom_Morello We performed the song "Doctor Love" with Maynard from Tool and one of the guys from Faith No More.

Tom_Morello We originally wanted to call our little tribute band "The KISS Owes Me An Apology For 'The Elder' Band"

Tom_Morello 'The Elder' being one of KISS's less remarkable outings.

Moderator I'd like to know if the fans on the Rage mailing list are going to receive anything before the new album please

Tom_Morello We always like to shell out the free crap before a new release.

Tom_Morello I'm not sure what exciting goodies we'll be shoveling your way, but I'm sure it'll be something.

Moderator Mike in Portland, OR. Tom- what guitarists had the most influence on your style of playing?

Tom_Morello I was drawn to the instrument by the guitar heroics of guys like Jimmy Page

Tom_Morello and Randy Rhoades. But more eccentric players like Andy Gill from Gang of

Tom_Morello Four or Alan Holdsworth have also been an influence. These days my guitar

Tom_Morello playing is much more greatly influenced by DJ's, techno wizards, and odd

Tom_Morello noises around the house.

Moderator Matt Schreiber, CT. What do you think about working for a corporate giant record label?

Tom_Morello This is a question which is curiously only asked by rock journalists and music fans who have little acquaintance with real-world activism.

Tom_Morello The Leonard Peltier defense committee, U.N.I.T.E., the garment workers union, the Anti-Nazi League, the Zapatistas, Rock for Choice and of course death row inmate Munia Abu-Jamal have been entirely supportive of our efforts to aid their causes through the medium of our music which receives exposure to a global audience due to us being on Epic Records.

Tom_Morello I don't agree with Ted Nugent about much, but I do agree with him when he says that you'd better be a vegetarian if you're going to criticize his hunting.

Tom_Morello If you have no experience in the field as an activist, you have no idea what it's like to try to get an article about your cause in the newspaper or to try to raise $100 for your important grassroots issue.

Tom_Morello Due exclusively to our affiliation with a major label we're able to provide important, and according to these organizations, invaluable assistance which they would otherwise not have access to.

Moderator Al Dallas Tx. How do you feel about "selling yourself out" by putting music videos on MTV and such, a breeding ground for all the money makers out there today?

Tom_Morello Again, this is a question that is only asked by upper-middle-class white kids.

Tom_Morello When we got the thumbs-up from Leonard Peltier from his jail cell at Leavenworth Penitentiary on our video for the song Freedom, we decided to go ahead with it despite some nagging and whining from elitist indie rock circles.

Tom_Morello When we got the thumbs up from sub-commandante Marcos from the jungles of Chiapas because he approved of our MTV video for the song People of the Sun, we decided to go ahead with it and braced ourselves for whatever whining was to come.

Tom_Morello We sleep well at night knowing that we have forced into 50,000,000+ households the case of Leonard Peltier and the struggle of the Zapatistas.

Moderator RRic from London UK: Tom, I was just interested as to wether the band prefer playing larger arenas or smaller venues. Is either more difficult?

Tom_Morello I enjoy them both.

Tom_Morello Recently we played a show at the Troubadour here in Los Angeles in front of about 500 people and that intimacy was exciting.

Tom_Morello But I also love nothing more than when the floodlights come on at the Arena or the European Festival and 60,000 or 160,000 people are all bouncing in time to Killing in the Name.

Moderator Tom- boxers or briefs?

Tom_Morello At last, I can finally expound on an important topic!

Tom_Morello Hold your breath, fans.....

Tom_Morello BOXERS!

Moderator Reid from Ontario: is it frustrating to know that a large percentage of Rage fans do not pay attention to your lyrics and political ideas?

Tom_Morello No, that's not frustrating at all.

Tom_Morello There are so many who do.

Tom_Morello It has always been our intention to cast the nets wide and try to reach as many people as possible with a radical message.

Tom_Morello Some people are drawn to the music first and are then turned on to the issues and causes contained in Zack's lyrics.

Tom_Morello Others are maybe initially drawn to the band's politics and then have their asses rocked in the process.

Moderator Mike in Portland, OR. Tom- does it sound to you like the Moderator is making a pass at you?

Tom_Morello The Moderator claims he's married and is just trying to do his best.

Moderator The tablature book says that you use an eraser tipped pencil in the solo to revolver, is this true?

Tom_Morello It's actually a ball point pen, though I suppose an eraser-tipped pencil would work as well.

Moderator Brent, Glasglow Scottland. I'm wonder what you're motives were for choosing brendan obrian as the producer again. i know Garth and he wishes the band the best.

Tom_Morello We loved working with Garth.

Tom_Morello But Brendan has a free and easy way about recording that we like and since it's sometimes difficult to get all four of us in the same room at the same time, Brendan can maximize the production that we get out of that time.

Moderator Jim from Nova Scotia: Tom, how do you feel knowing that a lot of people have a picture of you naked with your mouth taped over? And how do you feel knowing that someone, somewhere might be masturbating to this picture? I think I would be a bit embarassed.

Tom_Morello You people in Nova Scotia obviously have a lot of time on your hands!

Tom_Morello Let's just leave it at that.

Moderator Steve in Boston... This is definetly a highlite in my life, it is so cool to be talking to you and finaly to have you know that there is a little punk in boston that is morbidly obsessed with you guys

Moderator Tom- I met you at Roseland in NYC back in '96 and i dropped your bottle of Kahlua, I never got a chance to apologize, just had to get that off my chest

Tom_Morello You son of a bitch.

Moderator Tom from Long Island: At the Mumia benefit and at other shows where Zack mentions the case of Mumia, how do you feel when half of the fans boo, or when Pam Africa made a speech and she got booed? Does it piss you off at all to see how some fans tell you to "shut the fuck up" and start cheering 2 min later when you guys start to play?

Tom_Morello With regards to Mumia's case, I believe that anyone who spends any time with the facts will join Amnesty International in demanding a new trial for this important political dissident.

Tom_Morello Often, people who are ignorant about that case and have been force fed the Fraternal Order of Police's biased and untruthful version of events simply don't know any better.

Tom_Morello You can only hope that our bringing it to their attention might encourage them to find out more.

Tom_Morello It will be an incredible tragedy and setback for human rights if Mumia Abu-Jamal is executed.

Tom_Morello In light of recent events in the New York area, i.e. white cops raping a suspect with a plunger, white cops riddling an unarmed innocent African immigrant in Brooklyn with bullets, and the dismissal of the highest-ranking New Jersey police officer for racist remarks,

Tom_Morello Also in light of the many Pennsylvanian prisoners recently released from jail due to racial bias at their trails,

Tom_Morello it's a shock that the specifics of Mumia Abu-Jamal's case can't be seen in this light by anyone with half a brain.

Moderator Phoebs from Boston. Do you think that the media is controlled by the government

Tom_Morello No. The media is owned by big corporations.

Tom_Morello They do not necessarily have an objective viewpoint.

Tom_Morello For example, rarely will you find a major city daily who will run an article or an expose on the misdeeds of one of its major advertisers.

Tom_Morello That of course is just the tip of the iceberg.

Tom_Morello When corporate interests are so interwoven with US domestic and foreign policy, it's not surprising to find that the media often trumpets the "party line" with regard to world events.

Moderator Chaz from NY: Do you plan on doing more collaborations with hip hop crews or hooking up with fresh revolutionary independent groups like Ozomatli and Ricanstruction?

Tom_Morello My primary focus and principle interest is Rage Against the Machine. I'd prefer to do nothing but write Rage songs and make Rage albums and go on Rage tours.

Tom_Morello Within the band, each of us has a different creative metabolism which leads to a lot of down time.;

Tom_Morello When we have that down time, I start looking for other projects to occupy myself.

Moderator Jesse, Limestone, ME - Tom, do you plan on working with Liam Howlett from Prodigy in the future? You guys did an excellent job on the Spawn Soundtrack together.

Tom_Morello It was great working with Liam and I would gladly do it again any time.

Tom_Morello I love Prodigy and I think Liam is a genius as a producer, arranger, and songwriter.

Moderator How come you don't do backup vocals, like you have done in other bands you were in???

Tom_Morello From our earliest rehearals, the other guys in Rage have kept the microphone well away from me.

Tom_Morello They felt my tuneless baritone honking apparently didn't add much to our sound.

Moderator Dan:Tucson,Az-Why is the Moderator passing these meaningless questions?

Tom_Morello Because you people are asking them.

Moderator John from BC: what are your views towards the incredible problems of homophobia?

Tom_Morello I grew up in a small Illinois town where homophobia was rampant.

Tom_Morello At the time, I shared some of those ignorant views.

Tom_Morello I think it's critical to accept and show respect for all people, regardless of their color, sexual orientation, etcetera.

Tom_Morello Idiotic homophobes and gay bashers are no better than overt racists.

Moderator Leo Ross: London, UK: I met you at Finsbury Park in '97 - I nagged you for an autograph relentlessly! <g> Thanks for signing my ticket! =)

Tom_Morello You're welcome.

Moderator Scott from Boston. Have you always been able to play guitar like now or were you interested in blues back then.

Tom_Morello No, I believe that I have no natural ability whatsoever to play the guitar.

Tom_Morello Honestly.

Tom_Morello I had to practice, practice, practice and fight for every inch of ability that I have.

Tom_Morello I worked on my guitar playing relentlessly, and my college roomates would say obsessively.

Tom_Morello I understand that a lot of people are insulting the Moderator. He's doing the best that he can sorting through your questions, many of which are even more "fart-oriented" than the occasional glib ones that are posted.

Moderator Have you seen the ABC documentary on Mumia, and why do you think they provided such an unfair slant on the story?

Tom_Morello ABC put that show together with the Pennsylvania Fraternal Order of Police in an attempt to address what they viewed as a media bias towards Mumia.

Tom_Morello It was an attempt to counter the growing international outcry for a new trial.

Tom_Morello If only they had allowed Mumia's attorney, Leonard Weinglass to speak unedited or had spoken to representatives from Amnesty International -- or Rage Against the Machine for that matter -- they would have gotten a much more accurate picture of the case.

Moderator Leo Ross: London, UK: What do you think about kids getting expelled from school for wearing band shirts with explicit words on them?

Tom_Morello I'd recommend that the principal and the school board from those communities take a basic Civics class and learn about the First Amendment and the rights of US citizens regardless of their age to be able to express themselves freely.

Tom_Morello Those stupid T-shirt bans might present an oppurtunity for young rebels in the making to organize against them.

Moderator Jimmyjazz asks. Are you realy there?

Tom_Morello Are any of us really here.

Tom_Morello Damn, Zen boy, yes I'm really here. There's no small, little Sony wizard behind the curtain.

Moderator Have drugs influenced your career in any way?

Tom_Morello Absolutely not.

Tom_Morello Once I had a few too many Kahlua's before a show, my playing was crappy. Later upon reflection I figured out why, and have shied away from any sort of drinking anywhere around rehearsals or shows.

Moderator Ragegarden asks: Tom, is the new album titled yet?

Tom_Morello No, it is not.

Moderator Huck from St. Louis. Did you come up with any new guitar techniques for the new album, or use the same ones you have used before?

Tom_Morello One advantage of taking so much time between albums is that it gives me plenty of time to mess around on the guitar and come up with new sonic flavors.

Tom_Morello I still keep what I call my "Noise Chart" where I document any new sounds that I come up with and then as we're writing songs or I'm trying to come up with solos, I consult my Noise Chart and see if there's an appropriate hoot or howl that might fit in.

Tom_Morello On this record, I'm pretty sure that I've done my best hooting and howling to date.

Moderator Dan Lockhart, Rehoboth MA: Do you have a favorite political leader in history? Is there any US Presidents that you admire a lot? Thank You for your knowledge and light, it's been an honor to talk to you.

Tom_Morello The engine of history isn't political leaders, it's the people who do the grassroots work and the struggling on a day-to-day basis.

Tom_Morello Movements produce leaders who come to the fore, it's not the other way around.

Tom_Morello Having said that, as a teenager, I was inspired by Huey P. Newton of the Black Panther Party.

Tom_Morello But he was just one of many.

Moderator Matthew from Australia: Tom, I love RATM and TOOL, I wish I saw a concert when the two of you were touring, are there any more plans to tour with TOOL in the future? How often do you get to get together with them, seeing how Adams is a good friend from high school right? How come your collaboration song never got released?

Tom_Morello There are no immediate plans to tour with Tool, though they are one of my favorite bans too.

Tom_Morello I see Maynard occasionally and sadly that collaboration never saw the light of day because of internal band problems.

Moderator Ben from London: Tom, what is your viewpoint on the fine line you tread between entertainment and propaganda? Hasn't that formula failed too often?

Tom_Morello Failed? I'm not sure exactly what you mean.

Tom_Morello That combination of politics and entertainment in groups like the Clash and Public Enemy was very successful in firing up teenagers like myself to explore activism, rebellion, and rock and roll.

Tom_Morello On a concrete front, a significant amount of money and more significant amount of awareness continue to be brought to organizations like the Anti-NAZI League in your own country to help in the real day-to-day struggles against neo-nazis. Helped in part by some rock and roll bands who are not afraid to mix a little politics in with their entertainment.

Moderator Ric from London, Uk: Tom, have you ever been suprised by anything Zack or any of the rest of the band has done or said at a concert? Have you ever done anything out of the ordinary in a gig that surprised the others?

Tom_Morello Years ago, we were playing a show at the Hollywood Palladium and my guitar rig shorted out. I was left standing there with a dead guitar in my hands.

Tom_Morello This was during a phase of our career when Brad was playing with his drum set facing away from the audience.

Tom_Morello So I threw down my guitar and jumped up on the drum riser to help Brad finish the tumultuous end of Bullet in the Head by whacking on a cymbal.

Tom_Morello When I jumped up on the riser, Brad wheeled around and thought that I was attacking him and tried to fight me in the middle of the song!

Tom_Morello I was shocked and declined to fight him, but by that time both the guitar player and the drummer had stopped playing and the song came to a horrible, pathetic whimpering conclusion as Zack and Tim turned in bewilderment and dismay to look at us squaring off while the crowd stood, mouths agape.

Moderator Do you think such teenagers can change anything without a global revolution ?

Tom_Morello Teenagers change their world every day.

Tom_Morello It's teenagers who are the Zapatistas in the jungles of Chiapas.

Tom_Morello It's teenagers who helped bring an end to the Vietnam War, both on the streets of Chicago and in the jungles of the Me Kong Delta.

Tom_Morello Whenever someone of any age stands up for their rights, that act of courage in a small way changes the world.

Moderator Matt Schreiber, CT: What's your opinion on curfews for minors which are present in towns across America?

Tom_Morello Curfews are another stupid infringement on the rights of young Americans.

Tom_Morello Like adults aren't up to no good after 9PM?

Tom_Morello Curfews are nothing but a bullying tactic to keep young people from enjoying their lives. Maybe it's trying to ready them for the mundane existence of the workforce so that when they turn 18 or 21, they're already prepared for their cubicle and getting up at 8AM every day.

Tom_Morello Two more questions, then Tom's going home.

Moderator Keith Moore/Birmingham,Al- Tom, who was the elderly woman on the Rage home video that called you the best fucking band in the whole universe?

Tom_Morello That's my mom. Mary Morello.

Tom_Morello She is more of a rebel than I could ever hope to be.

Moderator B.J. from Toronto,Canada- How do you guys react to people saying you sold out?

Tom_Morello What specifically do you mean?

Tom_Morello I've always felt that a band sells out if their actions contradict previous statements or positions.

Tom_Morello If by "selling out" you mean "what are we doing on a major label," we've been on a major label since 1992 and that's never been an issue.

Tom_Morello If you have something specific that you want to talk about, B.J., I'd be happy to answer your question.

Tom_Morello Thank you all very much for participating in this online chat.

Tom_Morello I look forward to doing this again very soon. It seems like it's a great, though imperfect, way to get direct feedback from Rage fans and communicate directly with you.

Tom_Morello We'll let you know when to come back.

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