Tom Morello recently discussed the details of his new album, The Atlas Underground, with Rolling Stone. And by the sounds of things, the former Rage Against The Machine guitarist has fully embraced 2018's most disruptive sound—EDM.
"I wanted to make a record that was unapologetically a guitar album, but that had the sonic imprints of 2018,” Morello said.
That means pulling together collabs with brash-banger poster child Steve Aoki, dubstep duo Knife Party, American bass DJ and producer Bassnectar, and American trip hop star Pretty Lights.
What pulled Morello towards those types of bass-heavy EDM stars was "the tension and release, it was the huge drops, it was the communal frenzy that they created," he said. Then the challenge became replacing synthesizers with guitars while retaining EDM production techniques.
Aoki, who worked on “How Long,” said once Morello sent him some “some plutonium-grade riffs” for their collab featuring Rise Against singer Tim McIlrath, he devised the drop in 10 minutes.
“I wanted to go hard,” Aoki said. “I wanted to get reinvigorated by that blog-house-era electro sound that was my flag back in the day that I was waving, bringing back the punk and hardcore sound and ideology into electronic music.”
The album also harks back to RATM's rock-rap roots, with “Rabbit’s Revenge” featuring Big Boi and Killer Mike, and “Lead Poisoning” with RZA and GZA. Those tunes and others on the album revolve around police brutality and other social justice issues, much like the band's '90s material.
For the full scoop, head over to Rolling Stone. The Atlas Underground will be out October 12th, 2018.
See Steve Aoki and Tom Morello perform "How Long" live below.