Tom Morello says he has been relegated to rhythm guitar at home as his 11-year-old son “can shred circles around me”

Tom Morello onstage in 2023
(Image credit: Mondadori Portfolio / Getty)

Tom Morello has revealed his son Roman can already outplay him when it comes to lead guitar, despite the fact that he’s only 11…

Speaking to Rolling Stone the Rage Against The Machine guitarist said that he was enjoying a “very fruitful period” since the band cancelled their remaining 2022/23 tour dates, following Zack de la Rocha’s onstage injury.

“I’ve been very inspired by my 11-year-old son,” reveals Morello. “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.”

Roman Morello recorded a solo that was very much in his father’s sonic wheelhouse on fellow child prodigy Nandi Bushell’s 2011 single, The Children Will Rise Up.

Later, Morello says he has also been inspired by Jack White (who, in turn, referenced Tom Morello last year, when discussing a heavily modded-Jazzmaster.)

“I saw Jack White play a small show recently in Los Angeles,” comments Morello. “We have something in common in that we’ve both been in a lot of bands. 

“The way that he weaved and synthesized a life’s work into a very cohesive and compelling whole was very inspiring to me. I was like, ‘You can take the whole thing and make it all one.’ 

“I’ve always sort of segregated a bit, whether it’s the acoustic Nightwatchman stuff or EDM-leaning Atlas Underground stuff. But that was very inspiring.”

Elsewhere in the piece, despite a tremendous and persistent effort on the part of Rolling Stone interviewer Andy Greene, an amiable Morello repeatedly bats away attempts to reveal any information about Rage Against The Machine’s future plans.

Greene notes, not unfairly, that some fans will think Morello is being “evasive, and conclude that Zack [de la Rocha] has lost interest again, or something else is going on you’re not saying.”

“I can’t help that,” responds Morello. “It’s hard to even describe it. But when Rage Against the Machine is going to tour or break up or hold a seance on The Joe Rogan Show, you’ll hear it from Rage Against the Machine. Until such a time, there is not news.”

So that’s fairly definitive. At least we know the Morello guitar legacy is safe for another generation...

Read the full Tom Morello interview over at Rolling Stone.

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Matt Parker

Matt is a staff writer for Before that he spent 10 years as a freelance music journalist, interviewing artists for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar,, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched, which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.