“One of my favorite memories”: Praise rolls in for Tom Morello’s 12-year-old son, Roman, as footage emerges of him nailing Killing in the Name during Rage Against The Machine soundcheck

Roman Morello playing onstage during Rage Against The Machine soundcheck
(Image credit: Tom Morello/Instagram)

Roman Morello – the 12-year-old son of Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello – is becoming something of a household name for guitar fans, owing to the youngster’s impressive six-string chops.

Of course, it helps when your father is one of the greatest guitarists of all time, but even that is no guarantee for success, and as Roman has proved on numerous occasions, he can hold his own when armed with a Fender Soul Power Stratocaster – case in point, his recent cover of Ozzy Osbourne’s Mr Crowley.

But for any member of the Morello clan, we imagine Rage Against the Machine’s Killing in the Name is a rite of passage – and it’s a track that Roman can be seen tackling in new footage posted by his father on Instagram.

Specifically, the clip captures Roman (at that point a newfound RATM fan) on tour with the band last year, where he got the opportunity to shred Killing in the Name during soundcheck.

Swapping the Soul Power Strat for papa Morello’s 1982 Fender ‘Sendero Luminoso’ Telecaster – the same dedicated drop D guitar that Tom used on the original track – Roman took up position behind his father’s pedalboard inside an empty arena, navigating the Whammy pedal maneuvers and alternate-picking lines with ease while receiving the rhythm section support of Tim Commerford and Brad Wilk.

Clearly, we aren’t the only ones who are once again impressed with Roman’s guitar skills: “This fn awesome,” Slash commented on the post.

“Upon our Rock n Roll Hall of Fame induction I’d like to say THANK YOU to all the #RATM fans who over the course of 30+ years have been the heart and soul of the music,” Morello wrote in the clip’s accompanying caption. “One of my favorite memories is my son Roman (who became a fan on tour) rocking Killing In The Name with Tim & Brad at a soundcheck in 2022. 

“I have such love and gratitude and appreciation for all our fans who continue to be an inspiration, generation after generation.”

Rage Against the Machine were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame last week, though Morello was the only band member to attend the ceremony. At the time, the guitarist hinted towards some disagreements within the group over the induction, saying during his acceptance speech that they had “differing perspectives on a lot of things, including being inducted into the Rock Hall”.

As mentioned above, that Roman is adept with a guitar in his arms comes as no shock, given the growing body of evidence pointing toward his six-string skills. And, once again, this clip serves to highlight the youngster’s lead skills – skills that Tom Morello says far exceed his own.

Speaking to Rolling Stone earlier this year, the RATM innovator admitted, “I’ve been very inspired by my 11-year-old son. I’ve been relegated to being the rhythm guitar player in my family now because my 11-year-old can shred circles around me. 

“I’ve been inspired by him. He’s been writing some riffs, and I’ve been writing some riffs. It’s been fun.”

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.