Tom Morello Admits He Doesn't 'Know How To Work' His Home Studio

By Katrina Nattress

January 5, 2022

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Tom Morello may be one of the best guitarists alive, but that doesn't mean he knows how to use recording equipment. During a recent interview with Guitar World, the Rage Against The Machine guitarist admitted that he doesn't "know how to work" his home studio, which was a problem when it came to making his latest solo albums — The Atlas Underground Fire and The Atlas Underground Flood — during the pandemic.

“For the first four months or so [of the pandemic] I was absolutely adrift. You know, I have a nice studio in my house, but I don’t know how to work it. Like, I don’t know how to move any of the buttons around. So I was like, ‘I’m not going to be able to play shows. I’m not going to be able to record music,’” Morello recalled. So how did he end up recording new music? Surprisingly enough, he took some notes from Kanye West.

“I was reading an interview where Kanye West said he recorded the vocals to a couple of his big hit records using the voice memo on his phone,” he explained. “So I did that. [I set my phone up] on a little folding chair. My laptop’s open so I can have, like, the BPMs in my ears or whatever, and the phone is balanced on the edge of the laptop on a chair facing the amp.”

“But you know, there’s no manual that says, like, ‘The voice memo of your iPhone needs to be 8.4 inches away from the top left speaker,’" Morello added. "I just set it up on a chair, and I’ve gotta tell you, the guitar sounded pretty freaking great.”

Tom Morello
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