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The Tool Page: An Article

Publication: The Official Ozzfest '98 Magazine

Date: July, 1998

Transcribed by
wrench (nineinchwrench@hotmail.com)


  page: 48
 title: TOOL: OZZfest's Men of Mystery
author: Paul Gargano

	There isn't a band in metal more enigmatic than Tool, the Los
Angeles quartet who took Lollapalooza by storm last year, and are sure to
do the same as the second headliner at OZZfest.  In October, the band's
second full length album, Aenima, will be two years old.  A year ago, they
won a hard-fought battle to be released from their recording contract, and
in the year since, they've become one of the only guarantees in
metal--guaranteed to intrigue, possess, mystify and abandon.  And that's
only through- out the course of a single song.
	"Our main goal when we're together is to write music in a forum
where we can involve our conscious as well as our subconscious," says
drummer Danny Carey of Tool's songwriting.  "To make that happen we use
every tool available to us, be it mind altering chemicals, fragrances, or
whatever modern technology can supply."  The results make Tool a heavy
metal amalgamation of Pink Floyd and Black Sabbath, catapulting their
vision into a brave new world of textured sounds, complex imagery, and
intricately laid dynamics.  "Music and art should raise the consciousness
of people, that's the way they affected me.  I feel a need to repay the
debt for that inspiration," the drummer adds.
	Without a label, the band has remained atop rock radio playlists,
a testimony to the respect they've earned within the industry without
compromising their standards. Even when they had a label, interviews were
an uncommon exception to a tight-lipped approach to the press, so it
should come as little surprise that they won't be unraveling the red
carpet for media on OZZfest.  So builds their mystique.
	At last year's Lollapalooza, they took the stage in body paint,
frontman Maynard Keenan in a full-chested body suit, flanked by founding
guitarist Adam Jones, bassist Justin Chancellor and Carey.  Because Tool's
performance art is targeted to a generation numbed by shock rock, it's
debatable how much of Tool's message is falling on deaf ears.  Especially
when they appear to revel in making their intentions as cryptic as
possible.  "We just want to be catalyst for a different reaction, we don't
want to be the focus,"says Jones.  Aenima stresses that, with results,
according to Chancellor, "like an amusement park, where you can jump on
any ride or alternatively you can swallow the whole tab and be taken
hostage.  The treatment will be brutal and rigorous and the demands so
great, but you'll walk away from it saying you were treated quite well."
Adds Keenan, "It's all about change and evolotion individually as well as
universally.  It's also about unity..."
	Chancellor sums it up:  "We're saying that this place could do
with a good enema; it could do with being totally flushed out.  It's
suffering from the weight so many fucked up things, people have lost touch
with their own existence, they're unaware of the big picture because of
the industries that thrive there.  We're saying, prepare yourself for
change.  Flush it all away and learn how to swim."
	In other words, whether your hope is to dive headfirst into layers
of lyrical misgivings, or simply prefer the methodical brilliance of one
of metal's most gifted bands, Tool is one of the few bands that can truly
satisfy listeners--satisfy their craving for a progressive blend of
articulate songwriting and lyrics that distort reality and inspire the
critical process.  The results are precise enough to hammer a point, and
vague enough to keep the point a seed for further evaluation.
	All this, from a band who got their name, according to Carey,
because "we used to joke with Maynard that we were going to take him out
to the tool shed.  We just dropped the shed."


Posted to t.d.n: 07/12/98 13:35:15