During a year that was supposed to see him reunite with Rage Against the Machine for a highly anticipated tour, Tom Morello instead saw himself (along with the rest of the world) stuck at home. But instead of letting the darkness consume him, the guitarist continued making music with other artists, and on Friday (June 18), he released The Catastrophists — a politically-charged, 7-track EP — with The Bloody Beetroots and a handful of guest artists. With the project now out in the world, Morello shared a lengthy message about its songs and why the album helped keep him "sane" during the pandemic.
“In the midst of the darkest days of the pandemic I sent some scratchy voice memo recordings of guitar riffs to The Bloody Beetroots. What came back were huge devastating grooves which became the genesis of The Catastrophists EP," he explained in a statement. "Working on these songs with the Italian based The Bloody Beetroots was a literal life raft during a time of fear and anxiety. The Catastrophists is unapologetically riff heavy but laced with a dark tension, reflecting the times. Featuring the lead track 'Radium Girls', the pandemic inspired 'The Devil’s Infantry' (with a defiant cameo from Mary Morello), a brutal remix of the Pussy Riot collab 'Weather Strike', Ana Tijoux’s smoldering bars eulogizing 43 missing Mexican students on 'Lightning Over Mexico', the escaped slave narrative 'Keep Going', a high octane takedown of the commodification of beauty on 'Field Of Tigers', and the soaring finale aboard the ghost ship 'Mary Celeste', The Catastrophists, forged with the immensely talented The Bloody Beetroots, kept me sane and unexpectedly allowed me to make connections and really push myself as a guitarist, songwriter, and artist during a period of isolation.”
“This record is the result of 2 + years of misaligned schedules, then a 14 month lockdown that forced us to work from different continents," The Bloody Beetroots added. "Clearly this was meant to be. It needed to exist.”
Listen to the full Catastrophists EP above.