Today, Rock & Roll icon and two-time Grammy winner Tom Morello releases his highly anticipated new album, The Atlas Underground Fire, via Mom + Pop Music. The 12-track album is a follow-up to his critically acclaimed and groundbreaking 2018 album, The Atlas Underground. Featuring a jaw dropping cast of collaborators including Bruce Springsteen, Eddie Vedder, Chris Stapleton, Mike Posner, Damian Marley and more, The Atlas Undergound Fire puts Morello’s insane guitar playing on full display, taking the instrument into the future and forging an alternative/rock/EDM masterpiece with all-time legends and cutting edge firebrands.
“‘The Atlas Underground Fire’ sounds like the definitive mixtape of future rock & roll…
A record on the cutting-edge of a genre often afraid to evolve” – NME
“Once the paint-peeling guitar riffs, spleen-shaking drums and rip-roaring parade of guests subside, Tom Morello’s “The Atlas Underground Fire” really gets hearts racing.” – Associated Press
The genre-spanning tracklist includes Morello’s latest single, “The War Inside” featuring Chris Stapleton, which was released yesterday alongside a music video animated by Tom Crew. Morello premiered the track in an exclusive interview with Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1’s The Zane Lowe Show.
Morello – co-founder of Rage Against The Machine, Audioslave and Prophets of Rage – is widely known as a barrier breaking guitarist who continues to push the limits and prove the transformative power of music. Throughout his remarkable career, Morello has collaborated with everyone from Wu Tang Clan to Johnny Cash. On The Atlas Underground Fire, as he did in 2018’s The Atlas Underground, Morello took a path into new sonic territory with the project’s breadth of talented collaborators, transforming his sound. With his guitar leading the way, Morello continues to create powerful alloys of different genres.
Of the album, Morello said: “Making this album was a life raft during a troubled time. Creating a global conspiracy of rock’n’roll pen pals of incredible and diverse talents really kept me going and helped me push myself as an artist and guitarist. I recorded all my guitar parts in a cloistered isolation and it feels great now to unleash these tunes on the world and inflict the latest chapter of my bizarro guitar playing on an unsuspecting public.”
The album, as testified by Morello, is a clear byproduct of very dark and challenging pandemic days. Recording guitars on his phone, the album was made both creatively and technically from his home studio in Los Angeles, while sharing files with collaborators around the globe. “During lockdown I had no access to an engineer so I had to record all of the guitar parts on the voice memo of my phone,” said Morello. “This seemed like an outrageous idea but it lead to a freedom in creativity in that I could not overthink any of the guitar parts and just had to trust my instincts.”
And while Morello is known as one of the world’s greatest social justice crusaders who has written songs that quickly became manifestos, he said the pandemic allowed him a freedom on this album to follow more of the emotions and anxiety of the times. “This record was a life raft in a difficult time that allowed me to find new ways of creating new global artistic connections that helped transform a time of fear and anxiety into one of musical expression and rocking jams,” said Morello. To be sure, Morello isn’t done with social justice manifestos, and many of those threads can be found within this album, but unusual times created an altogether unique album.
The Atlas Underground Fire Track Listing:
- Harlem Hellfighter
- Highway to Hell (featuring Bruce Springsteen and Eddie Vedder)
- Let’s Get The Party Started (featuring Bring Me The Horizon)
- Driving to Texas (featuring Phantogram)
- The War Inside (featuring Chris Stapleton)
- Hold The Line (featuring grandson)
- Naraka (featuring Mike Posner)
- The Achilles List (featuring Damian Marley)
- Night Witch (featuring phem)
- Charmed I’m Sure (featuring Protohype)
- Save Our Souls (featuring Dennis Lyxzén of Refused)
- On The Shore Of Eternity (featuring Sama’ Abdulhadi)