Tom Morello says he tries to include 'What the fuck?' factors on his records

Tom Morello shared with us what he thinks is one of the most important factors in making a good song: having the “What The Fuck” factor.

What exactly is the "what the heck" factor you might be asking? Well, according to the Rage Against the Machine guitarist, that means a bit of a shock factor.

Morello released his second solo album, The Atlas Underground Fire, last month and spoke to Guitar World magazine about playing "outrageously and uncompromisingly great rock & # 39; n & # 39; roll".

“That was the common thread through everything, regardless of whether it is an Atlas Underground record or an Audioslave record. I have to feel a ram air, but I also want it to challenge me, ”he explained.

"Vernon Reid called it the 'what the fuck' factor, you know? For example, when you put on a record and hear what a guitar has to be, but it can't possibly be a guitar, you think, 'What the hell?'

“I remember thinking about it again and again as a young person and as a young guitarist. With every record I make, I try to include as many 'what the fuck?' Factors as possible. "

Elsewhere in the interview, Morello revealed that the inspiration for the new album he created during the pandemic came from an unexpected source.

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"Honestly, it was a time of great anxiety and depression," Morello told Guitar World. "Oddly enough," he continues, "the inspiration … came from Kanye West."

“He talked about how he recorded the vocals for some of his big hits on the voice memo on his phone,” recalls Morello. “And I was like, well, I have a voice memo on my phone. Can I record guitar riffs that easily? So I did. "

Those riffs, he continues, “sounded kind of great, so I started sending them out to various engineers and producers around the world. And that was the genesis of The Atlas Underground Fire. "

Throughout the interview, Morello touched on the roles both the West and the pandemic played in creating Atlas Underground.

“This is a record that emerged from the lockdown. From the time I was 17 to the time the world collapsed in March 2020, I had an uninterrupted creative engine of writing, recording, and performing. And everything came to a screeching standstill. I have to tell you the guitar sounded damn good recorded with my voice memo app.

“For the first four months or so I was absolutely helpless. You know I have a nice studio in my house but I don't know how to deal with it. I don't know how to move any of the buttons. So I thought, 'I won't be able to do shows. I won't be able to record music. "

“But then I read an interview in which Kanye West said he recorded the vocals for some of his big hits using the voice memo on his phone. So I did that. "

You can find more information on this topic in the Classic Rock Observer.


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