Tom Morello recorded guitar parts from his new solo album on his iPhone, all thanks to Kanye West
When the lockdown ended Rage Against The Machine’s reunion tour in early 2020, guitarist Tom Morello hit some sort of creative wall.
Talk to Rolling stone, he said, “I didn’t buy a guitar for the first six months. For the first time as a creative person, I felt totally uninspired. This was made worse by the fact that even though I have a studio in my house, I don’t know how to run it. There is an engineer who normally does this.
Fortunately, Morello managed to clear his musical blockage, drawing inspiration from an unlikely source.
“I read a quote from Kanye West where he said he recorded the vocals for some of his hit records on the Voice Memos [app] on his iPhone, ”says Morello. “I was like, ‘Can you do that? And I started playing guitar right on my iPhone. I sent the guitar riffs to various producers, engineers and artists all over the world. This rekindled the pilot.
The result of these virtual sessions is the new solo album The Atlas Underground Fire, which features collaborations with Bruce Springsteen, Eddie Vedder, Bring Me the Horizon, Chris Stapleton, Damian Marley and Mike Posner. And, it turns out, despite their rough and ready sound, most of those guitar voice memos ended up on the record.
“I think my sound quality has deteriorated since day one. I aimed that ”, laughs Morello. “I prefer degraded sound quality. If you’ve heard the record, 95% of the guitars on this record were recorded on my phone. I have engineer credit on the record since I pressed the red button on my phone to record the guitar.
In addition, Morello says that having used this method, he no longer worries that he never learned to use this recording studio.
“Now I never need it again,” he said. “Now this is no longer necessary. I’ve designed things a few times over the past few months and can easily go back to this way of recording, but I’m not afraid to just hit the red button on voice memos, put the phone on a folding chair, and let it tear.
The Atlas Underground Fire is released on October 15 via Mom + Pop Music.