Rage Against The Machine’s Tom Morello loves Mötley Crüe and AC/DC, but not their ‘misogyny and devil-worshipping’

Can you separate a band's work from their beliefs?

Tom Morello has said that is possible to love an artist’s music and separate it from their attitudes and politics – arguing that he loves Mötley Crüe and AC/DC, but not the ‘misogyny and devil-worshipping’ they represented.

The Rage Against The Machine, Audioslave and Prophets Of Rage guitarist has said that he can appreciate an artists’ work without necessarily agreeing with their actions or all that they stand for. He used his ‘friends’ Kid Rock (who carries Republican beliefs) and Ted Nugent (known for his controversial views on homosexuality and race) as examples.

“I’m a fan of Ted Nugent’s music and Kid Rock’s music and I like both of them as people; I consider them both friends,” Morello told HardDrive Radio. “They’re people I may not agree with, if we had a checklist of stuff, but they’re both good, decent people and I’m proud to be friends with both of them.


“There’s certainly no litmus test — and neither was there with Rage Against The Machine and certainly there isn’t with Prophets Of Rage — you don’t have to be down with the message to enjoy… there’s a place for you in the pit.”

Morello continued: “Every day somebody comes up to me and says, ‘I was drawn to your band’ — normally Rage — ‘I was drawn to your band because of the aggression and because it was powerful rock and roll, angry music, and I was exposed to ideas that I’d never heard in any of the other music that I’d listened to, and it changed my life.’ I hear that every single day. People who… they became university professors or they became lawyers that defended homeless people or they became brick-throwing anti-fascists, in part because a set of ideas that did not exist in mainstream culture was introduced to them because the band rocked so fucking good.

“This is not a college culture. I love Noam Chomsky, but I don’t wanna mosh to him. So the first we have to do is make records that kick your ass, play shows that kick your ass, and then some of those in that audience may respond to the lyrical content or what the band’s ideology is.

He added: “I was a huge fan of bands like Mötley Crüe and AC/DC, and the lyrical content was super misogynist on the one hand and sort of quasi-devil-worshipping on the other, and I was neither down with women-hating or the devil, and yet I loved those bands; they were super rocking.”

System Of A Down’s Daron Malakian recently said that while he disapproved of Charles Manson’s murders, he still considered him a ‘genius’ for his art and music.


Rage Against The Machine meanwhile, were this named as nominees for the Rock N’ Roll Hall Of Fame.

Radiohead, Kate Bush,  and Depeche Mode are among the music legends leading the nominations for the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame 2018.

To be eligible for entry into the hallowed hall, each potential nominee’s first single or album had to be released in 1992 or earlier.

Joining them in the longlist are Bon Jovi, Judas Priest, the Cars, Dire Straits, Eurythmics, J. Geils Band, LL Cool J, MC5, the Meters, the Moody Blues, Rufus featuring Chaka Khan, Nina Simone, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Link Wray and the Zombies.