“The other bands had a top-notch Yngwie-level player, and that’s what I was trying to be. If some awful gig already has two of those dudes, it doesn’t need a third”: Tom Morello on the throwaway club show that changed his guitar playing forever

Tom Morello playing his Arm The Homeless guitar live
(Image credit: Getty Images/Ollie Millington)

Tom Morello has had a busy few weeks. He’s dropped a surprise single with Def Leppard, announced his first solo rock album, and been gifted a guitar from While She Sleeps’ Sean Long. Now he’s opened up on the moment that changed his guitar playing forever.

In a new conversation with Guitar Interactive Magazine at Download Festival in the UK, the Whammy-loving electric guitar trailblazer discusses what proved to be a pivotal turning point in his career.

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Phil Weller

A freelance writer with a penchant for music that gets weird, Phil is a regular contributor to Prog, Guitar World, and Total Guitar magazines and is especially keen on shining a light on unknown artists. Outside of the journalism realm, you can find him writing angular riffs in progressive metal band, Prognosis, in which he slings an 8-string Strandberg Boden Original, churning that low string through a variety of tunings. He's also a published author and is currently penning his debut novel which chucks fantasy, mythology and humanity into a great big melting pot.