Tom Morello being interviewed by the Rock Hall

Tom Morello Says 100% of Music is Political

Written by: Tom Morello

I'd say that 100 percent of music is political, that music either supports the status quo or challenges the status quo, so every artist is political.

Now, Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez probably don't self-identify as political artists, but their music, while often very entertaining and loved by their fan bases, is the bread and circuses of our times.

If you're not questioning authority, you're tacitly submitting to authority. That's not to say that I don't have a long list of booty-shaking jams on my iPod, and there's certainly a place for that, but I'm also conscious of the fact that in my own work, that what you say and what you do matters, that you are a historical agent, and that if you don't have your hands on the steering wheel, somebody else does.

See what happens when rock and politics collide in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame's Louder Than Words exhibit, open May 20, 2016!