Grammy Award winning guitarist Tom Morello sat down with CGG for an exclusive interview to dish on his favorite cause and explain why it's not just up to celebs to give back. Tom has teamed up with the music industry heavyweights like Rage Against the Machine and Audio Slave, and now in a new role with his solo act, The Nightwatchman, he's teaming up with Amnesty International.
Inspired by a television broadcast of an Amnesty International concert he saw over a decade ago, he’s been a long-time supporter of the organization because of its work in championing human rights. Morello described his passion for the cause: “I am interested in the cause of human rights first and foremost because I am a human, and I believe that we as a species should have rights. Any substantive, progressive, radical, or revolutionary change has always come from the bottom up, and I don’t believe that waiting around for kings, queens, popes, or elected officials to change the world will get it done.”
Morello’s certainly not afraid to be honest about his views on charity: “I don’t believe it’s the least bit important for celebrities to be involved in charitable causes. I think it’s important for people with commitment to social justice issues to speak their minds no matter what line of employment they’re in.”
When asked who he works with, Morello shared: “Serj Tankian from System Of A Down and myself have run a non-profit organization called Axis of Justice for almost 10 years – it’s an organization that brings together progressive-minded musicians, fans of music, and grassroots political organizations to fight for social justice.”
His advice for young musicians who want to give back to the community? "Want to give something back – I’d say that’s a very easy thing to do, whether you’re a solo artist strumming an acoustic guitar, or whether you have a punk rock band playing in your mom’s concert, you can organize. Any concert can be a benefit concert where you donate the proceeds, however modest ,to national or international causes that you support, as well as bring attention to those causes in your community. If you do visit axisofjustice.net, we answer the question that musicians have been asked me throughout my career – how do I get involved?"
The guitarist definitely sticks to his guns on volunteering. And since music runs through everything Morello does, head over to LimeWire Store to check out “Live at Lime with Tom Morello: The Nightwatchman,” a 2-track exclusive (featuring a cover of The Killers’ “Human”) whose proceeds will benefit Amnesty International!