Pop & Hiss

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Tom Morello: Rocker with a conscience

March 21, 2009 |  1:50 pm

The musical reach of Morello, guitarist for Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave and now fronting a band called Street Sweeper, is matched only by his political activism.

Tom_morello_kggdncnc_250 Tom Morello is perhaps best known as the guitarist for rock bands Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave, but the politically minded L.A. transplant has recorded as the Nightwatchman and has just created another band, Street Sweeper. His West Coast "Justice Tour," which benefits regional nonprofit PATH (People Assisting the Homeless), stops at the Music Box @ the Fonda on Saturday.

You went to Libertyville High School in the northern  Chicago suburbs. How did you like it?

On the one hand, it was a lovely, bucolic suburb with plenty of grassy fields to run around and play football in. On the other hand, one morning there was a noose in my family's garage. A mixed bag.

That leaves an impression.

It certainly does. And you wonder why the music's loud.

'm impressed with your recession-level ticket prices -- $15! -- of your West Coast tour.

We try to keep the tickets for the "Justice Tour" to the people's price. This tour grew out of shows I hosted at the Hotel Café over the last few years. They're shows that are completely outside of the mainstream of how business is usually done in the music industry. I text the artists on my BlackBerry and ask them to play. One hundred percent of the proceeds go to homeless advocacy. The artists not only perform at the shows but are invited to participate at the homeless shelters as well.

-- Read the full story here.

-- Choire Sicha

(Photo: Tom Morello Credit: Ken Hively / Los Angeles Times)