-----Thomas Baptiste Morello was born May 30, 1964 in Harlem, New York and raised in Libertyville, Illinois, Morello became interested in music and politics while in high school. He attended Harvard University and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Studies.
At age 13, Morello joined his first band; a Led Zeppelin cover band as the lead singer. At this same age, Morello bought his first guitar. Around 1984, Morello first started studying the guitar seriously, and formed a band called the Electric Sheep which featured future Tool guitarist Adam Jones on bass.
The band wrote original material that included politically charged lyrics. Tom has said that he was profoundly influenced by Run-D.M.C, and Jam Master Jay in particular. This influence can be heard in the song "Bulls on Parade." Additionally, the Bomb Squad and Public Enemy has had a large impact on his musical style.
At the time, Morello's musical tastes lay in the direction of hard rock and heavy metal, particularly Kiss and Iron Maiden. As he stated in Flight 666, he is a huge fan of Piece of Mind, Alice Cooper, Led Zeppelin, and Black Sabbath. Morello developed his own unique sound through the electric guitar. Later, his musical style and politics were greatly influenced by punk rock bands like The Clash, The Sex Pistols, and Devo.
After his band Lock Up disbanded, Morello met Zack de la Rocha and the two founded Rage Against the Machine together. The group went on to become one of the most popular and influential rock acts of the 1990s.
On September 13, 2000, Rage Against the Machine performed their last concert at the Grand Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles. Although Rage Against the Machine disbanded in October 2000 after de la Rocha departed amid disputes over the direction of the band, they released their fourth studio album, Renegades, a collection of cover songs. In 2003 they released Live at the Grand Olympic Auditorium, an edited recording of the band's final two concerts on September 12 and 13, 2000 at the Grand Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles.
After disbanding, Morello, Wilk and Commerford went on to form Audioslave with then-former Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell, and released three albums as well as a DVD from the band's concert in Cuba.
On April 29, 2007, Rage Against the Machine reunited at the Coachella Music Festival. The band played in front of an EZLN backdrop to the largest crowds of the festival. The band played 7 more shows in the United States in 2007, and in January 2008, they played their first shows outside the US since re-forming as part of the Big Day Out Festival in Australia and New Zealand. In August 2008 they headlined nights at the Reading and Leeds festivals. The band has since continued to tour around the world, headlining many large festivals in Europe and the United States.
Morello is known for his unique and creative guitar playing style, which incorporates feedback noise, unconventional picking and tapping as well as heavy use of guitar effects. Morello is also noted for his leftist political views and activism; his creation of his side project The Nightwatchman offered an outlet for his views while playing apolitical music with Audioslave. He was ranked number 40 in Rolling Stone magazine's list of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time."
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