Tom Morello has played in the bands Audioslave and Rage Against the Machine. He performs as a solo acoustic artist under the pseudonym The Nightwatchman. He is known for his unique guitar style and his outspoken politics. Tom has a great set of guitar gear and equipment that he uses to get his unique sound (as heard in Rage Against The Machine and AudioSlave). Let's take a peak at what guitar gear and equipment has been seen in Tom Morello's guitar rig!
Click the gear images for more info and specs at Guitar Center
- Arm the Homeless: Morello's signature guitar. Blue and white with the hammer and sickle symbol (representing communism) with the words "Arm the Homeless" written on it. The body is a Custom Performance body that was routed so that the Floyd can go up and down. It contains an EMG 81 in the bridge and an EMG 85 in the neck position, Ibanez Edge Floyd Rose Tremolo, toggle switch, and a locking nut on a 22-fret Kramer Carrera neck. It was his main guitar in Rage Against the Machine, and was used in Audioslave for Rage Against the Machine covers. Tuned to Standard E.
- Soul Power: A modified Fender Aerodyne Stratocaster, in an August 2005 Guitar World interview it was revealed that it was a Factory Special Run (FSR) released at Guitar Center and is tuned Standard E. Black with white binding, a color-matched headstock, mirror pickguard, and the words "Soul Power" scrawled across the top of the body in white paint. It has an Ibanez Edge Floyd Rose Tremolo (again, Tom routed the body so that the Floyd can go up and down), locking nut, a toggle switch wired as a kill switch (He uses the 5-way pickup selector to switch through pickups), a Seymour Duncan Hotrails pickup in the bridge and Fender Noiseless pickups in the middle and neck positions. Morello mainly uses the neck pickup on this guitar unless he needs a hotter tone, then he switches to the Hotrails pickup. It was his main guitar in Audioslave for songs that are in Standard E tuning.
- Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path): A black stock 1982 Standard Fender Telecaster. It uses the drop-D tuning and is decorated with stickers. Morello has used this guitar in both RATM and Audioslave. Used for drop-D songs, mainly uses the neck pickup.
- James Trussart Steelcaster: Used live sparingly as a backup to his Fender Telecaster.
- Creamy: A Goya Rangemaster-style guitar (build by St.George). Seymour Duncan pickup in the bridge position. A toggle switch was also added that is dead in the middle position, resulting in a "hummingbird chirp" when toggled. Purchased for $60 at a Canadian pawnshop, and has an unusual drop-B tuning. In Rage it was used in such songs as "Calm Like a Bomb" and "Tire Me". More recently, it was used in the studio versions of Audioslave's "Shadow on the Sun", and "The Worm".
- Ibanez Roadstar: Fitted with EMG pickups and a toggle switch (Used as a backup guitar to Arm the Homeless.)
- Ibanez Talman: Contains a defunct pickup that produces weird noises when toggled (heard in the intro of "Revolver".) Flag of Kenya style paint, with green, orange, and black stripes and a shield and spear decal. 3 single-coil pickups, the same Ibanez Edge Floyd Rose Tremolo as Soul Power and Arm the Homeless, and a toggle switch. He used a series of different effects and a Leslie Rotary speaker to get the sound heard in the intro to "Revolver", so Ibanez made him a guitar pickup that could emulate the Rotary effect using a combination of a built-in wah unit and special winding. Also used on "How I Could Just Kill a Man".
- Ibanez Custom Artstar: Modeled after a Vox Ultrasonic/Gibson ES-335, it contains several on board effects. Used in "Guerrilla Radio".
- Ovation Breadwinner: A rare Ovation Solidbody from the 1970s. Used in "Ashes in the Fall".
- Gibson Les Paul Standard - 2002 model (Sunburst): Tom's drop-B tuned guitar. It is used for drop-B songs that do not require the hummingbird toggle switch as seen on his Creamy guitar. Used in "Gasoline" and the live rendition of "Shadow on the Sun". Also uses on video for “100 Little Curses.” and used heavily on Street Sweeper Social Club project.
- Gibson Les Paul (Cherry Red): Used for covers of Soundgarden songs that are tuned to Drop D. It was also used at the Nomads '92 concert to play "Wake Up".
- Gibson EDS-1275 double neck SG: Tuned to Drop D. Used in live performances of "The Ghost of Tom Joad".
- The Budweiser Les Paul: A Gibson Les Paul Budweiser promo guitar. Acquired from Brendan O'Brien during the recording of Audioslave's third album "Revelations". Budweiser decal burnt off. Dimarzio Super-Distortion in the bridge and a Dimarzio P.A.F. in the neck position. Morello's main guitar on Revelations.
- Gibson ES-335: Most likely stock, used to record the title track off of Revelations.
- Fender American Standard Telecaster
- Whatever It Takes: An nylon string acoustic guitar he uses during concerts as The Nightwatchman. Plain body with 'Whatever It Takes ((star))' left of the bridge.
- Fender Precision bass (used on Street Sweeper Social Club recording)
- Ibanez ATK bass (used on Street Sweeper Social Club recording)
- Ibanez Galvador nylon string acoustic guitar (used for demos)
- Gibson steel string acoustic guitar (may be new 2011)
- Gibson Explorer (may have been one of his earlier guitars)
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Click the gear images for more info and specs at Guitar Center
Amplifers and Cabinets
- 50-watt Marshall JCM 800 2205 from early 80's (He only uses the overdrive channel, and turns down the volume on his guitar to get cleaner sounds.)
- Marshall checkerboard style cabinet (seen using with Street Sweeper)
- Fender combo amp (seen using with Street Sweeper)
- Peavey 4x12 cabinet
- Voodoo Lab Pedal Power supply
- Dunlop Cry Baby Wah
- DigiTech Whammy
- Ibanez DFL Flanger: (A rare digital flanger from the 80's, which has been replaced with an MXR Phase 90 since Audioslave.)
- DOD FX40b Equalizer: Set flat, only used as a boost for solos, such as in "Bulls on Parade."
- Boss DD-2 Digital Delay - A discontinued Digital Delay pedal that can still be found in the form of the DD-3. Used in Cochise to create the helicopter and siren effects.
- Boss TR-2 Tremolo: Used in Gasoline, and Like a Stone.
- Talkbox: Used in Wake Up and Guerrilla Radio.
- MXR Block Phase 90 Phaser: Replaced his Ibanez DFL after Audioslave's started. Heard on "The Worm" and "Somedays".
- Ring Modulator: The duck-like noise heard in Sound of a Gun solo from "Revelations."
- Ibanez AD-9 (as seen in a 1993 video)
- Locobox Analog Delay pedal (black pedal, green knobs - made in 80's)
Strings and picks
- GHS Boomers Custom Lites Guages .009-0.46
- Purple Dunlop Tortex Jazz picks 1.14 gauge
Go to the next page for excellent pictures of Tom Morello's Guitar Rig
A very cool guy named Justin Erdman gave us permission to put up some excellent pictures of Tom Morello's gear. The pics are from 2005. Thanks Justin!