Monday, February 25, 2008

A Short Interview With The Nightwatchman (Tom Morello)

(Originally posted by Jill on Nov. 26, 2007)

I know Tom, not from Rage Against The Machine or Audioslave, but as The Nightwatchman-his political folk alter-ego. I have toured with this Nightwatchman, as well as played on his all-star Hotel Café nights. By the way, they are starting up again this Thursday.

I caught up with the man in black on the phone while he was waiting at the airport.

Who exactly is this Nightwatchman?

The Nightwatchman is the shadowy character that lives in the recesses of my mind that dwell on bitterness and revenge. He has many powerful enemies; some of them are war criminals…but he also has powerful friends. Some of them are coyotes. He knows their names, but he will not tell you their names.

Coyotes? Is that anything like in the seminal hippy book The Teachings of Don Juan by Carlos Castaneda?

The Nightwatchman did not have that book.

(Of course he didn't. Dumb question) I have also met the Nightwatchman's mother. She is very cool.

The Nightwatchman's mother is also a very powerful figure. The apple does not fall to far from the tree. She is kind of the Mother Jones of her era. She is still engaged in civil disobedience at 75 years old. She introduces the Nightwatchman to spirited and often profanity laced political invectives when the Nightwatchman is in town.

She seems to be adored by many.

That's hard to argue.

Every time I see the Nightwatchman perform, he is donning the same black, almost dark, superhero outfit.

Yes, it's comforting not to have to worry about wardrobe when performing--it's also a matter of style before comfort. At Coachella, I donned my black long sleeves, black pants, black boots, and heat-inviting black hat while it was 107 degrees. It's an important part of casting fear and doubt in his enemies.

Who are these enemies or bad men?

He has singled out several victims to expose and drag naked on the white house lawn--to beat with a shoe. He returns to the studio in November to begin chronicling their demise.

Thank you, Mr. Nightwatchman. And I hope to join you onstage as one of your faithful sidekicks this fall at the Hotel Café.

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