Publication: The Official Ozzfest '98 Magazine
Date: July, 1998
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