the tool page

rediscover communication

This site is now an archive; it is no longer being updated. See here and here for details.


select a year

The Tool Page: An Article

Publication: hit parader

Date: July, 1997

Transcribed by
j sanderson (

  page: 16
 title: caught in the act
author: michael callahan

  The conservatively-dressed, straight-out-of-the-'burbs, middle aged 
couple was strolling leisurely across New York's legendary Broadway- 
until they stopped dead in their tracks. There, in front of them, 
right in the heart of the Big Apple's famed Theatre District was a 
sight straight out of a Fellini casting call...or a Grade B horror 
flick. Hundreds of kids, decked out in some of the most morbid, 
shocking and downright bizarre attire ever seen by mortal man, lined 
the streetlight-illuminated boulevard like ghouls waiting for a big 
night on the town.
  "What's going on here?" the woman gasped as she grabbed her 
husband's arm in obvious fear. When the equally befuddled companion 
was unable to offer a sensible answer, the pair turned to a young 
passer-by to inquire about the cause of the eye-popping scene. "It's a 
concert," the guy stated matter-of-factly as he continued merrily on 
his way. Just as he was getting out of ear shot, the couple shouted 
out "who's playing?" With that, the guy just smiled and  pointed to 
the giant marquee on the corner- almost lost among the countless other 
bright lights that glittered along the world-renowned "Avenue Of 
Broken Dreams." Only four letters adorned that marquee- four letters 
that explained everything to the initiated, yet left our middle-aged 
visitors as dazed and confused as before. Those letters read T-O-O-L. 
  As the totally confounded couple immediately proceeded to distance 
themselves from the proceedins as rapidly as possible, focus shifted 
to the milling throng that had gathered outside in the evening chill, 
waiting impatiently for their chance to pass through tight security 
barricades and get inside the cavernous hall. Sporting an array of 
shocking haircuts, blood curdling makeup jobs and clothing that would 
have been turned down by any half-sensible good-will drive, the crowd 
looked and acted ready for anything. That (sic) hadn't come 
necessarily to just listen to Tool, they had come to be part of the 
evening's festivities. "This is the hottest show of the year," said 
one guy who had decided to cover his face and hair with a layer or 
white flour. "This is the only place in the world to be tonight" 
  Backstage, far away from the festering commotion outside, Tool 
members Maynard James Keenan, Daney Carey, Adam Jones and Justin 
Chancellor, were quietly going about their business, seemingly 
oblivious to the riotous state of affairs created by their sold-out 
New York appearance. They proceeded with their business-at-hand doing 
the various time-honored rituals that seemingly every rock performer 
does prior to every concert. Little could one have guessed from the 
band's rather mundane pre-show activities that two hours of barely 
controlled musical mayhem was about to begin. 
  "We're trying to reach our audience on a deeper psychological 
and subconcious level," Carey stated. "Kids will mosh to anything 
these days. But we want to accomplish something more than that. No 
recording can capture what happens when four musicianswho have a 
similar cause play together in the same room. Live is what this band's 
  Tool soon set out to prove the validity of Carey's statement, taking 
tp their eerily lit stage and delivering one of the most intense, 
probing and exhausting shows in the long annals of rockdom. Drawing 
equally from their albums, Opiate, Undertow and the recent chart 
topper, Aenima, Tool's set never came up for air, continually probing 
the dark side of the human soul with soul-crunching power and 
brain-ripping lyrical invectives. But it was the band's best known, 
MTV-friendly material, particularly Sober, Prison Sex, and 
Stinkfest(sic) that drew tha already ecstatic crowd to an even higher 
plateau, turning them into a frothing mob ready to answer Tool's every 
beck-and-call. It was the kind of response the band had been seeking, 
and from start to finish they seemed to drawtheir own power directly 
from the audience's seemingly bottomless reserves of energy. 
  "Getting on stage with a crowd like that is a true communion," 
Chancellor said "It's taking our music to a much more personal and 
profound level than we can ever hope to acheive by recording an 

Posted to t.d.n: 06/02/97 14:35:33