Tom Morello recruited a slew of A-list guests for his new solo album The Atlas Underground, from Bruce Springsteen and Eddie Vedder to Mike Posner and Bring Me the Horizon. He also tapped into the country music world, enlisting Chris Stapleton for the track “The War Inside.” Both the song and the LP are out now.
“The War Inside” opens with the Rage Against the Machine guitarist’s signature tone, a flurry of staccato high-pitched notes that subsides to reveal Stapleton’s earthy vocal. “I can’t leave when I want to/I can’t see when the sun’s gonna shine,” he sings, leading up to a chorus that’s full of desolation, despair, and the realization that something’s got to give. “I need to change the things that I believe,” Stapleton howls, “I can’t win the war inside.”
By song’s end, Stapleton’s vocals are once again framed by Morello’s skronky guitar solo. Stapleton adds some guitar work too, backed by his regular band of drummer Derek Mixon, bassist JT Cure, and guitarist Dave Cobb, who co-produced the track in Nashville. Morello cut his guitar parts separately in L.A. — Stapleton posted a photo of himself on Instagram collaborating with Morello via FaceTime.