Publication: The Charlatan
Carleton University's Independent Student Newspaper
Date: Feb 16 1994
Transcribed by Shane M Brouse (email@example.com)
title: "Dealing with the reality of their surroundings" subtitle: "Tool, with Failure: Porter Hall, Feb. 22" caption: "Those wacky Tool guys." author: Joe Bernard, Charlatan staff After Motley Crue and Guns N' Roses rose to the heights of the pop music industry, many Hollywood-based bands attempted to cash in on the attention by imitating their predecessors. When the focus shifted to Seattle in the early nineties, so to [sic] did many of the bands. With the emergence of gut-wrenchers Tool, the pendulum may swing back to Hollywood. Other than geography, however, this band shares little in common with the aforementioned glam rockers. Tool's drummer, Danny Carey, while not singling out any bands in particular, has no patience for groups of this sort, describing them as "shit of the earth. Not the type of bands that even inspire people or make them think." Tool was formed in 1990, when Carey and bassist Paul D'Amour joined guitarist Adam Jones and vocalist Maynard James Keenan. Carey explains, "I met Adam through Tom Morello of Rage (Against The Machine). And I was living beside Maynard. I never auditioned for them (Keenan and Jones). I felt kinda sorry for them, because they would invite people over to play, and they wouldn't show up, so I'd fill in." One of the unifying forces in the band is the philosophy/religion known as Lachrymology, founded in the 1940s by Ronald P. Vincent. Lachrymology translates literally to "the study of crying." The basic tenet, evident in the band's music, is that the greatest road to advancement is through pain--emotional and physical. Hence the band's name. "We wanted the band," says Carey, "to be a 'tool' to learn and gain from." Although the members of Tool are all influenced by Lachrymology to varying degrees, Carey stresses, in his own laid-back manner, that the band is not a cult. "I don't want followers," he says. "I just want people to relate to us. We want to be catalyst for a different reaction; we don't want to be the focus. The only reason why we're all still doing this is because it's therapeutic." Regardless, Tool is becoming the focus of a growing audience. Various reasons account for their success, not the least of which are the band's two releases, 1992's Opiate EP, and their debut full-length disk [sic], 1993's Undertow, which is emotional, unrelenting and raw. What separates Tool's sound from the rest of the pack is that a naked vulnerability surfaces through the violence and aggressiveness. Their songs are the sort which reveal how precious and frightening human emotions are when stripped of any facade. The band has also benefitted from an innovative and somewhat disturbing video for the song "Sober." The biggest break the band may have received, however, was being signed to last year's Lollapalooza tour. Initially, Tool was performing on the second stage, but with the growing buzz surrounding the band, they were moved to the main stage midway through the tour. Carey says he enjoyed the interaction with the other bands Lollapalooza provided. While he says both stages had their merits, he appreciated the fans who checked them out on the second stage, "because you know they made an effort to get there. They had to miss another act to see us--you knew you were always competing with another act." As for Tool's seemingly growing exposure, Carey is nonchalant and not so sure of its continuance. "I expect the next album will pare down our following even more. The songs are heavier and deeper. For this one (Undertow), some people who were into Opiate didn't necessarily follow us to Undertow: guys with mustaches, driving Cameros, yelling, 'Rock and roll!'" If the attention thrust on the band does grow to, say, Nirvana proportions, Carey expects the band to carry on. "We do our thing. Nothing's really changed for us other than the fact that we can do our music all the time now, as opposed to wasting our time giving somebody 40 hours." The themes covered in Tool's songs may give the impression that the band members are a suicidal group of psychopaths. Not so, says Carey. "We all have a sense of humor. We just see the world as a strange and violent place, especially living in L.A., and we try and deal with it."