Date: December 1993
Transcribed by Shane M Brouse (email@example.com)
page: 15 title: "Tool: Tears For Killing Fears" author: Jim MacNie Tool, the L.A. band that spent last summer garnering raves for their vicious Lollapalooza performances, comes off as some kind of vanquishing force. "It's a release," explains guitarist Adam Jones, "and kind of selfish in a way. In L.A. everyone wants to be Axl Rose. Our music's strictly for us. And, it's true, the lyrics are passionate." Which is maybe why Tool comes off so incisive. The observations in "Bottom" could regard storms under the skin or strategies against social inequity. "In order to survive you/I must first survive myself/There's no choice but to confront you, engage you, erase you." It's similar to the conundrum in "Sober," which is "about a guy whose best comes out when he's loaded," continues Jones. "People give him shit for it, but we're saying, 'Why chastise him? Leave him the fuck alone.' It's a poetic interpretation of that conflict." Whether or not the demons are deep-sixed is hard to gauge. But on Undertow, an album of radiant barbs, Tool does manage to sidestep cliches that rank-and-file ranters sometimes immerse themselves in. The creativity was initially spurrerd when Jones fell under the spell of Ronald Vincent, whose 1949 book A Joyful Guide To Lachrymology suggested that tears were cleansing agents, the residue of rising above whatever pain came your way. When Tool cry themselves a river, it's made of lava--thick, fluid, engulfing. Look out for the undertow.