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Tom Morello's "The Atlas Underground" "had to be more" than just him and a guitar

ABC/Randy HolmesTom Morello's upcoming solo album The Atlas Underground represents a lot of firsts for the Rage Against the Machine guitarist: It's his first album under his own name, his first to feature so many guest artists, and his first to explore electronic and EDM music. Speaking with Kerrang!, Morello says he knew The Atlas Underground had to be a different kind of album.

"I've been making records since 1992, a guitarist, I wanted to challenge myself, and to really make this new alloy of [music]," he explains.

"I'm a huge fan of rock n' roll and of heavy rock n' roll, and I wanted to be uncompromising on that front," Morello says. "But I also wanted it to be not just another record of me playing guitar. It had to be more than that."

As for those guests, The Atlas Underground features contributions from Rise Against's Tim McIlrath, Portugal. the Man, K. Flay and Mumford & Sons' Marcus Mumford, among many more. If none of those artists strike your fancy, Morello says he's already started working on a follow-up to The Atlas Underground.

"I'm already half-through making the next record," he says. "There's about six or seven songs in the can."

The Atlas Underground arrives this Friday.

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