Date: December, 1994
page: 37 title: Tool author: David Jenison Watching Tool vocalist Maynard James Keenan thrash about the stage with his evil scowl and spine tattoo running up his back, I could much more easily see him gnawing someone’s arm off than see him working with film and art. Still, the truth is the members of Tool are all very artistically inclined in one form or the other. For that reason, Tool signed a contract with Zoo Records for less money than another interested label offered merely because the band wanted the artistic freedom to do whatever they wanted with their music, album cover, shirts, videos – everything. Outside of their music, the first artistic example most people have seen from the members of Tool comes from the “Hush” video off their Opiate EP. The idea for the video, which was completely thought up by Maynard, shows the band members standing naked before a white backdrop with their mouths taped shut and signs which cover their sexual regions saying “Warning: Explicit Parts.” The video primarily consists of a camera moving around their still bodies as the song sings about censorship. In the “Sober” video off their Undertow album, the idea, artwork, and stop-motion photography were done significantly by guitarist Adam Jones and his friend Fred Stuhr. On the newest video, “Prison Sex,” Adam Jones was again the main creative force with some assistance from Fred Stuhr. Concerning “Prison Sex,” Adam comments, “The video is about someone who is sexually molested as a child, yet puts it out his mind because of the trauma. When he’s older, he releases this hidden trauma by sexually molesting a child himself. The video is a surrealistic interpretation of the involuntary circle of retribution cause by molestation.” The incredible special effects of this dark and powerful video mesmerize the viewer with its abstract story line and magnificent visuals – “Prison Sex” is in fact a film masterpiece for Tool. Another example of Tool art can be found in the album sleeve of Undertow. Outside of the cow licking its ass (which is hidden in the jewel box), all images come from the members of Tool, from the pig resting on forks to the rather husky female floating underwater. In fact, the rib cage on the cover was actually sculptured by Adam and now sits in the house of the president of BMG. Musically, no comment really needs to be made because this artistry of their music is evident to all. Maynard’s vocals are this writer’s personal favorite in all of alternative music, and drummer Danny Carey, who actually does the drums on the new Carole King project, is clearly one of the best drummer in all of music – period. In the past, both Maynard and bassist Paul D’Amour have worked with film while Adam’s artistic side has and still does encompass activities such as painting and drawing, but none of them are obsessive with their art interests. Adam comments, “ I do painting, sculpturing, drawing… I’m into film, but I’m not some total artsy person – I’m also into shit like “Caddyshack.” Though we could not show the film work of Maynard and Paul and do it justice in magazine form, Adam Jones has allowed HYPNO to exclusively print some of his sketches he did while on tour. Though the type and style of hi art often changes between drawings, the one consistent aspect to Adam’s art is that it always has some kind of twisted element to it. What do you expect from a twisted man in a twisted band reflecting on a twisted world?
Posted to t.d.n: 12/06/01 17:33:44