Tom Morello has revealed that he and the pop-rap superstar Post Malone wrote a track together that has yet to be finished, and has implored Malone to tie a bow on it and release it to the general public.
Morello has been the man of many electric guitar collaborations in recent years, his well-thumbed Rolodex fishing out the names of Eddie Vedder, Ben Harper, Alex Lifeson and more for his Atlas Underground series, rocking out with Måneskin on Gossip, and Morello x Post Malone could have quite possibly been the biggest of them all.
Morello certainly thinks so, and discussing this unlikely union on the Allison Hagendorf Show podcast, he says it could have done for Post Malone what Eddie Van Halen did for Michael Jackson in 1982.
“We worked out a pretty sick jam,” said Morello. “To me [it] felt like it could be, for him, like his Beat It, y’know, with Michael Jackson, a big pop star, paired with Eddie Van Halen and made something that no-one had expected. ‘This could be your Beat It, dude!’ He just won’t finish the song.”
When it comes to guest appearances, Morello admitted he is an easy mark. Give him an open studio door and he’ll walk on through and see what happens. This was a little like how the Post Malone thing happened some four years ago.
“We went into the studio together one night,” Morello recalled. “I had heard that he was a fan of rock and so I went by, and he is a lovely dude. First of all, he’s just a lovely, lovely person. He is trippy. You know how some people have guitar techs, or drum techs, he had a Coors Light tech! [Laughs] There was a guy whose sole job apparently was just make sure there is a stack of cold Coors Light… It took about four hours of sitting around with Coors Light before we did any recording.”
This, perhaps, explains why the track got forgotten about. Morello says he reminds him about it whenever he sees him.
“He’s still a lovely dude,” he said. “I see him from time to time and I’m like, ‘You’re still dropping the ball on that one.’ He’s like, ‘Yeah, man, I’m gonna do that.’ I’m like, ‘Okay.’ [Laughs]. It’s sick!”
Of course, we shouldn’t be surprised by Mr Malone’s predilections for guitar music. After all, this is a man who played Eric Johnson's Cliffs of Dover in a guitar battle with Andrew Watt and tackled a raging 15-song Nirvana set with Travis Barker. And as Morello reveals, Post’s rock roots go way back.
“I learned that his first show that he ever went to was his dad took him to Korn,” the RATM guitarist revealed. “And that explains, on the one hand, why he could rock a song with me that was potent, but it does not explain why he has not finished the damn song so the world can enjoy it.”
Morello didn’t describe the track in much detail, but you can be pretty sure his guitar is all over it. He likened his collaboration ethic to being like that of a missionary, trying to inject the electric guitar into all different kinds of contexts.
He described Every Step That I Take, the track he recorded with Portugal. The Man as a quasi subversive act that put an eight-bar rock guitar solo on the radio. More recently, Morello could be found trading licks with Måneskin’s Thomas Raggi on The Tonight Show as he performed Gossip with the Italian Eurovision rock group.
“I believe that the electric guitar’s greatest days are not behind it,” he told Hagendorf. “There is a potential future for that awesomeness of distorted electric guitar to infuse itself in the years and decades to come.”
You can check out the whole interview above, and subscribe to the Allison Hagendorf podcast here.