Tom Morello says a famous metal guitarist was once disappointed to learn he was Black

Tom Morello has recalled the time a famous metal guitarist who wanted to meet him was disappointed upon learning that the Rage Against The Machine guitarist was Black.

Speaking to The Independent, Morello, who released his latest album ‘The Atlas Underground Fire’ today (October 15), said he often encounters people who don’t realise he’s not white, including fans of his music.

Recalling a particular incident, Morello said he was once backstage at the show of “a famous metal band” and their guitarist wanted to meet him. However, it became apparent that this individual didn’t actually know what the Rage guitarist looked like.

The metal musician walked straight past Morello and introduced himself to “this big white guy with long hair”, thinking it was him. When he realised his mistake, Morello said the man looked at him “in total disappointment”.

“They couldn’t imagine a brown-skinned rock and roll guitar player,” he said. “[Fans who] assume I’m white and find out differently can get uncomfortable. They get mad: ‘You are not!’ It’s very upsetting to them.”

Tom Morello
Tom Morello. CREDIT: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Audible.

Back in March, Morello was berated by a Twitter user who accused the guitarist of using “white man privilege” for defending his friendship with Ted Nugent – despite his controversial right-wing views.

Snapping back with the simplest of ripostes, Morello simply wrote: “I’m not white”.

Earlier this month, Morello gave praise to British duo Nova Twins, calling them “one of my favourite bands” and adding that they are “an incredible band who deserve to be huge.”

Morello shared his admiration for the former NME cover stars in his own NME interview, saying: “I love that band. From the first time I saw them in soundcheck, I thought, ‘This is an incredible band who deserve to be huge’.”

Meanwhile, Morello’s son Roman, and Nandi Bushell have released ‘The Children Will Rise Up!’, a song dedicated to enacting change amid the climate emergency.