“The Atlas Underground Flood finishes what The Atlas Underground Fire started,” he explained of the project. “Fire and Flood are my London Calling. Admiring The Clash at their apex moment, I sought to make a double album where artistic intent supersedes genre. I aimed to forge a central curated vision to tie together a sonically fearless, wild, and wide-ranging musical ambition with a tremendous cast of collaborators. And of course, there are many guitar solos.”
Like its predecessor, Flood features a diverse cast of collaborators including Nathaniel Rateliff, Jim James, IDLES, Ben Harper, Alex Lifeson, Kirk Hammett, X Ambassadors, Barns Courtney, Manchester Orchestra, Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness, among others.
Before the release of Fire, Morello discussed how the project helped him survive 2020. “This record was less a creative endeavor; it was more an antidepressant,” he said at the time. “There are some records where it’s like, ‘Let’s go and make music about Guatemalan labour unions’, but this was more, ‘I don’t know if I can make it through the day.’”
“This rock’n’roll pen pal community was a real lifeline," the guitar virtuoso continued, referring to all the musicians he worked with. "Every day had started to feel exactly the same but getting to work with different artists of different genres from all over the world, it provided an oasis in a time of great fear and anxiety. This record was an excuse to settle the demons in my brain down during a time where there were plenty of them.”