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The Tool Page: An Article

Publication: HYPNO

Date: December, 1994

Transcribed by
K[elly] (spiral.out@deadohiosky.net)


  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