Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello talked about the old days when he was in an HS band with Tool guitarist Adam Jones.
RATM’s guitarist once played together with Tool‘s guitarist Adam Jones in a high school band, called Electric Sheep. Talking about the earlier days of their musical careers, Jones says Morello was a “shitty” guitarist.
While he appeared on The Howard Stern Show, RATM’s guitarist Tom Morello reflected on those days, admitting that Tool guitarist Jones is actually right about calling him shitty.
“When I look back on your career from the outside, you were one of those guys – even the guy from Tool, who you were in a band with years ago, Adam Jones, he always jokes that you were a shitty guitar player”, the interviewer asked. Tom Morello said he actually was a shitty guitar player, and it was not a joke.
Tom Morello Reacts to Tool Guitarist
He then talked about how he got into that high school band, also mentioning the environment in which everything was happening.
“I was – it’s not a joke. The Drama Club at Libertyville High School was kind of my world, so I went into the Drama Club, and I didn’t know how to play a chord on the guitar, I didn’t know how to play a note on the guitar. And I announced that a punk band is forming, and I’m the guitar player. ‘If you want to be in it, raise your hand. No experience required.’ So a couple of hands go up, and we’re a band. And now in my high school, there are three bands, and we’re the worst.
There’s a band called Destiny, and they’re the most beautiful men in the school with the most beautiful hair, and they cover REO Speedwagon and Styx, and the girls go mad. Then there’s Epitaph, and they don’t play any stupid soft ops, they play Sabbath covers, and they smoke weed, and we fear them, but we respect them. And then there’s my band, the Drama Club band, the Electric Sheep…
That’s me and Adam Jones, and there was like a school show where the bands get to play, and for the rehearsals for this show, the Destiny guys, they sit there, they’re like a human jukebox. They’re ringed by every attractive girl in the high school, they’re shouting out songs, they could play them all and everyone swoons the whole time.
He also added:
“Me and Adam can’t tune our fucking guitars, like, we can’t do it, we can’t tune the damn guitars. So the night of the thing comes, we’re supposed to play Steppenwolf’sBorn to Be Wild,’ we practiced it for months, and we’re barely there. So Destiny comes on, they play, like, Crosby Stills & Nash, everyone swoons. We come out on a riser, and we come out, and the keyboard player comes in with the wrong chord, and the bass player plays the wrong note, and I’m, of course, out of tune – because I never really learned how to tune the guitar. It’s an inauspicious start to my music career, but I do have a bit of a track and field background. We’re on a riser, so I’m like, ‘This is going very poorly.’
So when the chorus of the song comes in, I leap off the riser and the roof comes off the fucking auditorium. People go crazy, like, we don’t sound good, but all of a sudden, rock ‘n’ roll is happening. And I sensed this, I smelled blood in the water, and I start rocking out, and people are going nuts. We finish the song, and we destroyed Destiny’s ass that night, and I realized at the end of that show, like, ‘This is what I want to do.'”
You can also order Tom Morello‘s “The Atlas Underground” here.