‘Nightwatchman’ Tom Morello rocks Stronghold, ‘Loves Venice’

Tom Morello, who has served with Rage Against The Machine, Street Sweeper Social Club, and Audioslave, appears occasionally as a solo act called “The Nightwatchman”. This identity has all the rock and political activism of Rage, but boiled down to one man with an acoustic guitar, and sometimes a stomp-box. He came to Venice on Monday and rocked the Stronghold.

He dropped some of his political opinions as brief interludes between songs, but didn’t get heavy handed. He played a Rage song, taking lead vocals.

He invited Serj Tankian, of “System of a Down” to come play a song with him, invited a few other friends to join along for another few more songs, then invited the whole crowd on stage for the world premier of a song called “Rebel Song”, to sing the chorus.

Tom describes “The Nightwatchman” as “the black Robin Hood of 21st century music” and “a reaction against illicit wars, a reaction against first strikes, torture, secret prisons, spying illegally on American citizens. It’s a reaction against war crimes, and it’s a reaction against a few corporations that grow rich [off] this illicit war while people beg for food in the city streets.”

He says “The Nightwatchman is my political folk alter ego.” Ryan Philander of Welovenice caught up with him after the show and Tom told him he had scored some songs for Ironman 2 (Morello attended the premier earlier that night). When asked about Venice, for Welovenice, he replied “When I’m in Venice I tend to love it. It’s culturally diverse it has a bit of a hippie vibe, which I’m willing to deal with… I enjoy visiting the beach, sometimes it’s a little tourist heavy, (it’s) still a little gangster, but you know what, it’s LA! That’s totally cool. It keeps us rough. So I guess at the end of the day…I love Venice.”

(Photo of Nightwatchman member Tom Morello at Coachella in 2007 by thetripwirenyc)

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