A few weeks ago, Tom Morello and Pussy Riot joined forces for a powerful new song called “Weather Strike.” Though it seemed like a one-off at the time, the tune is part of a new EP, The Catastrophists, put together by Morello and Bloody Beetroots.
Today, another new song has emerged from that seven-song collection. Titled “Radium Girls,” the track also features Pussy Riot, along with vocals from Mish Barber-Way (White Lung), Aimee Interrupter (the Interrupters) and The Last Internationale. It was co-written with Jehnny Beth (Savages), Carl Restivo, Nadya Tolokonnikova and Simone Cogo.
Here’s what Morello had to say about it:
“Four extraordinary women (Pussy Riot’s Nadya Tolokonnikova, The Interrupters’ Aimee Interrupter, White Lung’s Mish Way, The Last Internationle’s Delila Paz) and the ferocious production of The Bloody Beetroots breathe life into the true story of the Radium Girls, young Illinois factory workers who were the victims of one of the most heinous crimes in US industrial history. I spent every summer as a kid near Ottawa, Illinois where these doomed girls used deadly radium laced paint to make glow in the dark watches. They were encouraged to lick the paintbrushes to a point to increase productivity and profit and in the end their bones literally fell apart from cancer and they were so toxic they had to be buried in lead lined coffins. The resulting court cases and publicity led to historic nationwide labor protection legislation. Every year I place flowers at the small monument to these quiet heroes and this song is dedicated to their memory.”
“Radium Girls is what happens when two punks go off to battle; each with his weapon of choice,” Bloody Beatroots added.
Check out the “Radium Girls” video, directed by Morello, below.
The Catastrophists EP is out on June 18.