Tom Morello staked his reputation as an innovative guitar wizard with hard rock groups such as Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave. But it’s as the Nightwatchman, his acoustic guitar-slinging, protestsinging alter ego, that Morello feels he’s made “the heaviest record I’ve ever been involved in.”
“Since I was young I’ve been encouraging people to find their voice and speak the truth as they see it in an uncompromising way, regardless of consequence,” explains Morello, 43, who released “One Man Revolution” in April. “I decided to finally take that advice myself in making (the album).
“What I’m shooting for is to be the black Woody Guthrie.”
Morello’s Nightwatchman emerged in 2002 as the Harvard graduate’s reaction to the political climate following the 9/11 terrorist attacks of the previous year. He’s played at a variety of protest rallies and on assorted tours, but with Audioslave breaking up this year and Rage quietly reuniting, “One Man Revolution” has given Morello a chance to make the Nightwatchman more of a fulltime concern.
“It’s a step away from the comforts of arena rock bands and forging out on my own and not waiting for a movement and not depending on a rising tide of unrest to catch up with my feelings,” he explains. “It’s a real expression of stepping out and doing something on my own.”
The Nightwatchman and Ike Reilly perform at 8 p.m. Tuesday (July 10th) at the Shelter, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit. Tickets are $16. Call (313) 961-6358 or visit www.livenation.com.