Publication: TIME OFF
Date: April, 1995
Scott Rowan (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Scott Rowan (email@example.com)
page: 15 title: PURE NAKED AGGRESSION FROM TOOL author: Craig Ross On Thursday, April 13, the Alternative Nation juggernaut rolls into town. On the bill that day will be L.A. hard rockers TOOL, making their first appearance on Australian shores. Speaking from L.A., TOOL drummer Danny Carey said the band could hardly wait to hit Australia, although the only havoc Danny might cause will be restricted to the golfing greens. "I'm really looking forward to it - to actually go to some place for the first time. I know Herb from Primus and he said they've gone down there. We usually keep in pretty good touch with them. He told me there's some nice golf courses so I think I'll try to play a little golf." TOOL's live show is noted for it emphasis on pure, naked aggression. Danny is adamant that this aggression serves a positive function on their records and on tour. "A lot of our songs are just fuelled by the frustrations of daily existence - especially in a city like Los Angeles which can get kind of tedious at times. We are, I suppose, a product of our environment. We just try to be as honest with ourselves as possible at all times. I mean, we don't try to put on an act like some of the metal bands do. It's all very real to us and we try to keep it that way. I think it eliminates barriers between us and the people. Our music, and the moods of our music translate a little better." "It's aimed to be more of a realising thing. Sometimes we've gotten press like, you know, they build it up to be kind of negative. It's never a negative thing at all, although some of the topics that we deal with in the band may be heavy. But it's all about change and bringing these things out into the open for us and moving through them. It's definitely more about change than dwelling on these things. It's a very positive movement we're trying to keep with." Perhaps it is inevitable that a band based in L.A. is going to see aggression as the catalyst for positive change. To what extent has L.A. life made an impression on TOOL's songwriting and live performances? "Some of that's definitely in there. But I think, for the most part... well the L.A. riots and all that, kind of occurred after we had already written the UNDERTOW record. But the L.A. vibe - we couldn't escape that anyway. It's where we all met and we are a product of that. That comes into play definitely. But it didn't have that big of an impact on my plane specifically. I try to keep my mind on art and things like that, more than on political issues. Politics is not a very good thing for art. I think it kind of drags it down to a lower level. All the best art was made by people who were completely transcendent on topic like that. But I do think some of the art has a valid purpose. Some of the bands that take on issues, they have their place, but it's not what inspires me at all." While steering clear of political sloganeering, the band still wants to reach out to kids through their music and establish a relationship with them before the garbage on television does. "It's sad but I think people will watch whatever's thrown up in front of them. There's plenty of room to uplift through that medium, it's such a powerful thing, you could put lots of things on there to try to push people forward instead of dragging them down to that lowest common denominator. It's all about money. At least in America that's the only concern - how they can pull the advertising dollar between programs. They underestimate the people in general and I think that's really sad. They should try to push the other threshold rather than just go for the dollar. We'd have a lot healthier society I think." TOOL's distrust of mass media conglomerates is exemplified in their insistence upon total artistic control on everything from the artwork on their upcoming album to their amazing animated videos for recent singles. "We do the videos ourselves. Adam, our guitar player, has a background doing effects in films and things. That was his job before we started doing the band full-time, so he took that ball and ran with it. We kind of worked with him. We ended up shooting the videos in our friend's garage, calling on all our friends for favours and it worked out really well. I feel really lucky that we were able to do it ourselves rather than just palm it off to a production company and losing touch with it." But it's through the avenue of aggressive live performance that TOOL can best get their messages across. Danny admits that it is on stage where it really all comes together for the band. "We still are definitely a live band. I think it translates a little better live than it does on record at this point. Hopefully we can equal these mediums out in future as we record a few more times and get better at it." Somehow I think they'll manage.
Posted to t.d.n: 05/27/97 01:10:10