Delivering a powerful message in between guitar solos and slow-burning synths — Tom Morello, Portugal. The Man and Whetan served up a one-of-a-kind performance of their collaboration “Every Step That I Take” on Thursday’s (Oct. 11) episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live!
The eye-catching collaboration opened with puzzling words on a giant screen that read: “This is a communique from the Atlas Underground. One foot in the shadows, one foot on the breaks… one step towards the gallows where its quite and safe.” The joint track — written by Morello after Chris Cornell’s tragic suicide in 2017 — intends to shed a light on mental health issues, raising awareness for suicide prevention.
With a heavy bassline and captivating guitar riffs, Portugal. The Man’ singer John Gourley’s voice soared high as he rolled into the thought-provoking lyrics, “From the time I was born/ Through all of my days/ Try to catch my breath/ Out of the womb and into the flames/ Searching for the neon path/ I’ve been waiting my whole life/ In the crossfire.”
As always, Morello delivered an impressive, fiery guitar solo that made the crowd howl as the trio rocked the provocative single. The high-concept performance also featured three back-up singer in hoodies with static-covered screens for faces, creating a freaky, striking effect. “Every Step That I Take” appears on Morello’s just-released solo album, The Atlas Underground.
Check out the full performance of “Every Step That I Take” below.