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Morello’s New Band Embraces Reznor’s Sudden Tour Call June 2, 2009

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Gabriel J. Hernandez

The fact that Tom Morello’s new band with the Coup’s Boots Riley – Street Sweeper Social Club – wasn’t quite finished recording their debut album didn’t stop Trent Reznor from picking up the phone and asking if they were available to tour … right now.

“We were finishing mixing our record when Trent called up and said, ‘Hey, want to do the [Nine Inch Nails/Jane’s Addiction] tour?’,” Morello told Billboard.com in a recent interview. “So all of a sudden the leisurely mixing process became, ‘We gotta get this out right now! We’ve got to start rehearsing for the tour tomorrow!’”

Morello (Rage Against the Machine, Audioslave, the Nightwatchman) and Riley formed Street Sweeper Social Club two years ago. They formed a good working bond and friendship while touring together, including numerous shows featuring Riley as the opening act. In SSSC, the bond continued, and is now so good that when Reznor called it was basically a no-brainer.

“Both bands are friends from back in the day,” Morello said, “so there’s a very good, family kind of vibe. [Reznor] has been a great host on the tour.”

According to Billboard.com, Reznor has also joined SSSC onstage for a recent rendition of the MC5’s “Kick Out the Jams.” (see video below)

Despite being on the road with NIN and Jane’s Addiction, Morello and company have found the time to finish the Street Sweeper Social Scene album, which now has a tentative release date of June 16. According to Billboard.com, the new disc features 11 songs “with a predictable socio-political bent, a rap and rock mix that’s closer to Rage Against the Machine than Audioslave.”

“Boots’ storytelling relies a lot on humor and satire,” Morello said. “One of my main jobs as a producer was to really present his lyrical vision in a way that people really see how great this guy is. I think they’ll be blown away.”

In addition to Riley, SSSC consists of Galactic’s Stanton Moore on drums, with David Gibbs on guitar and Carl Restivo on bass. Drummer Eric Gardner is also being used for some of the live shows.

Morello also told Billboard.com that the new group is planning its own headlining tour of North America, with some possible European dates, for late summer and fall. Morello said his work with Rage Against the Machine and as the Nightwatchman will continue as well.

To find out where you can catch Street Sweeper Social Club on the road, click here.

Watch Trent Reznor tear it with Street Sweeper Social Club on MC5’s “Kick Out the Jams” in the video below.

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