Tom Morello on The Atlas Underground and Working the Renaissance Faire

Renaissance Against The Machine: Tom Morello in Wandering Minstral Shocker!

October 5, 2018

Photo: Tanner Grant

By Scott T. Sterling

Behind the political bombast and righteous anger of Rage Against the Machine was a guy from the northern suburbs of Chicago who just loves the Renaissance Faire.

That guy—guitar hero Tom Morello—says that should be patently obvious.

Photo: Tanner Grant

“My first job for five summers was at the Bristol Renaissance Faire in Bristol, Wisconsin. I worked my way through Harvard at the Ren Faire,” Morello freely admitted on KROQ. “It was a way for we nerds who loved Lord of the Rings so much we didn’t want it to end when Mount Doom exploded. Sorry for the rest of you.”

Not content with just standing up for Ren Faire lovers and nerds everywhere, Morello laid down the gauntlet.

“I will say this on the record that working at the Renaissance Faire is the best job I had in my entire life,” the guitarist declared to a stunned Kevin and Bean morning show crew. “You’re in the woods and there’s campfires and horseback. I was a wandering minstrel, which was my job most of the time. I was there to nap under a tree and be charming to girls from Kenosha.”

Morello shares his love for the throwback festivals with his family and swears that his kids are into it. “They love it,” he shrugged. “They don’t love it as much as I do, but they love it.”

Related: Tom Morello Wants to "Forge a New Genre of Music" with The Atlas Underground

The guitar wizard wasn’t just there to talk about giant turkey legs and heaving bosoms. Morello also revealed the latest track from his forthcoming collaborative solo project, The Atlas Underground: “Every Step That I Take,” featuring Portugal. The Man and Whethan.

“The song was actually written by myself and Matt Shultz of Cage the Elephant. Just a couple acoustic guitars over at my studio,” he revealed about the new track. “Matt’s busy touring and recording schedule meant that he wasn’t going to be able to sing the jam, and I’m a huge fan of Johnny (Gourley) from Portugal. The Man. He’s got a great voice, and it actually turns out that he learned how to play guitar to the first Rage Against the Machine record. So when I called him up, he was like, ‘I know ‘Know Your Enemy,’ man. Let’s jam, bro!’” It was a real honor to have him on the track. He’s a really great singer.”

The Atlas Underground is due to debut October 12th through Mom + Pop Music. Pre-order it here.