Rage Against The Machine: ‘Christmas Number One conspiracy theories are ridiculous’

Tom Morello tells NME.COM he hasn't even heard from Sony as 'Killing In The Name' tops UK charts

Rage Against The Machine guitarist Tom Morello has denied his track was part of a conspiracy to get two Sony songs into the charts, declaring the label do not even talk to him any more.

Both ‘Killing In The Name’ and The X Factor winner Joe McElderry‘s ‘The Climb were released by the major label and battled it out for the 2009 Christmas Number One spot, selling around 900,000 records between them.

This has lead some to suggest that the online campaign organised by Jon and Tracy Morter, was actually a marketing scheme cooked up by Sony Records to dominate the chart.


However, speaking to NME.COM, Morello insisted that this was not the case, and that he and the label are no longer in contact.

“That’s the most ridiculous thing! I couldn’t even get a return email from Sony UK,” he laughed when the conspiracy was put to him. “I was like, ‘Are we still on your label? Something’s happening over there’ and nobody hit me back.”

Instead the guitarist praised the fans for taking the initiative in the showdown with Simon Cowell‘s programme.

“It was tremendous, it was an incredible campaign to make a hard-hitting political song Number One with a budget of zero, and it outmatched this enormous machinery. Normally the panel stands in judgement of the contestants, but this week the whole UK stood in judgement of a reality TV game show controlling a nation’s musical identity and The X Factor didn’t make the cut,” he declared.

“Ordinary people, when they band together in solidarity, can do extraordinary things. Last night I was reading the wall comments on the Facebook page and one young man’s comment really struck me. He said, ‘It’s almost like we can actually change the world if we stick together’. Now imagine that kind of revelation coming from something that has to do with the UK Christmas charts. You just never know where the spark is going to come from, but we were really honoured to be part of the greatest chart upset in the history of the UK.”

Morello previously told NME.COM that Rage Against The Machine want Simon Cowell to host the free UK gig they promised to stage after bagging the Christmas Number One.


Meanwhile get the current issue of NME – on UK newsstands now – for an exclusive interview with Simon Cowell.

Guest blog – a Christmas message to the UK from Tom Morello

In pictures – how Rage Against The Machine topped the charts