Tom Morello, Serj Tankian of System of a Down and Tim McIlrath of Rise Against are known for being three of the most politically outspoken and active people in the rock world. Now the three musicians have teamed up to release “We Are the 99 Percent,” which Morello calls a “huge riff anthem” that would embody “the excitement of the global Occupy Wall Street movement.”

The song, which commemorates the one-year anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement, is available for free download in exchange for an email address. The riff-heavy rocker is reminiscent of classic Rage Against the Machine, and includes a blistering guitar solo from Morello. The track also features chants from the Occupy Wall Street protest in New York’s Zuccotti Park.

“I wanted to create a song that felt like it’s powerful and as exciting as the global Occupation movement feels to me, Morello said in an interview with KROQ’s Stryker. “It’s supposed to be a song that sounds like the dam is breaking. Like there’s a jail break and the dam is breaking at the same time.”

Speaking about the collaboration with Tankian and McIlrath, Morello couldn’t be happier; “They’re both great musicians, great friends and always down for the cause. Whenever I make my many asks for charity and activist work, those guys always say yeah. It’s an honor to be on the song with the two of my favorite singers.”

“It’s the perfect trifecta of alt-metal protest rock.”

When Stryker inquires about whether the government has ever pushed back or asked him to “quiet down,” Morello laughs, “If you’re doing something that’s so middle of the road and milquetoast that everyone’s gonna agree with what you’re doing then you’re not doing the right thing in my book.“

Click here to download the free track.

Morello, who recently performed at the Occupy Wall Street one-year anniversary concert in Zuccotti Park, will join Crosby, Stills & Nash on October 3 in Los Angeles for a special show in support of the “No on Proposition 32” campaign. For additional information, visit

–Scott T. Sterling. CBS Local


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