Publication: Aardschok (dutch metal magazine)
Date: June, 2001
Thijs Jeurissen (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Thijs Jeurissen (email@example.com)
page: title: Terug aan het front author: Tool - Back at the front Aardschok Magazine (NL) June 2001-07-01 5 long years after the release of 'Ænima' finally a new release of Tool is about to come out. The comeback of the American rockband goes with the secretness and the perfection of a military operation. Nothing is left to coincidence. The title of the record was changed constantly the last few months, until "Lateralus" was the final choice. "What it means"? Bassplayer Justin laughs. "Everybody may find out for himself. We made up the word ourselves. For me it sounds cool and it words the way that the music on this album was made: in an explosion of inspiration. " Fake songtitles Not only did Tool change the records name. They spread a lot of songtitles over the world. Names of songs never to be written. In January a big American Postorder company CD-Now announced proudly that the on the CD "Systema Encephale" would be songs like "Malfeasance", "UVR", "Numbereft", "Encephalatis", "Coeliacus", "Pain Canal" and "Smyrna". All old or fake information says the England bon Justin, as he looks over the list. "All fake songtitles. I even believe we made up some of them" laughs "Maybe we should save them for a next CD". Why did Tool have the urge to put so many people on the wrong track? The face of the Bassplayer turns to bad weather. "The last years people looked forward to our new album. Which is great ofcourse. Unfortunately it turned out that there are people who take (mis)advantage of that situation". We noticed that at first when we leaked a title of a song in an early stadium. To our surprise that title was claimed on the Internet by for us completely unknown people. That person immediately started to print T-shirts with the songtitle. We where pretty sick of that. Later another title was known, and yeas, same story again. Somebody was trying to earn money out of our creativity. It's unbelievable but very true. So then we made a game out of it and "broadcasted" a lot of fake titles. Everything was claimed immediately and T-shirts were printed in a rush. All with fake titles ofcourse. It was our way of striking back. We couldn't do much else then be very discrete. If that makes you cynical? If you don't watch out, yes! We are busy creating something beautiful and we have our fans in mind, Instead of that everything is ripped out of our hands to make a few fast dollars. I find it hard to swallow that thought. For those people we wrote "Ticks and Leeches" on our new record. It gives a good few of how we think about those people. The first stories in foreign magazines suggested that Tool turned into slightly paranoid people. Journalists were flown into the USA but the band didn't wanna see them at the last moment others were threaten very cold and suspicious. A career as a Tool member could make you somewhat afraid of people. The band introduced themselves in 1992 with the promising debut "Opiate", on which the band with drummer Danny Carey, singer Maynard James Keenan, guitarplayer Adam Jones and Bassist Paul D'amour (replaced by Justin Chancellor in 1995) did what seemed impossible: making passionate Rock, with complex but accessible songs, and playing that with a surplus of technique. Undertow in 1993 was even better and the progression went further on Ænima in 1996. The success got bigger on every album and the world seemed to be ready for a new worldact: TOOL. The band made some big tours sold a lot of albums and was overloaded with positive reviews. Business The last, final hit didn't come. The reason? Business trouble. As is said Tool got into a conflict with record company Zoo, that spent too much money on one-day-flies which harmed the biggest act Tool. Change of personnel at the company made the contacts even worse. According to the few messages that reached the world above that came a conflict with a (yet ex-) manager. Result was that in the years that Tool should have taken the profit of what they had sown, they had to handle with accountant, lawyers and new managers. In the contrary of pervious messages Justin is not at all a sour or paranoid musician. Sitting on the sofa in a extremely expensive hotel in London he talks straight out., about the new record and the future plans of his band. Also Drummer Danny Carey who also walks by shortly still is mister loyalty himself. Just, says Justin, "let's not talk about the business". The only thing he wants to share is that the problems are a good as solved. "It was a fast lesson in doing business in the American music industry. Sometimes painful, but always educative. A look behind the scenes to never forget. Now a new album is about to come out, we will go on tour and everything brought us closer to eachother. That may well be the biggest victory." The Bassplayer also says that the unexpected success of A perfect Circle, the project with Maynard, didn't give extra trouble. "no, no, we are most of all happy with his success. Why wouldn't we be. The success only was a lot bigger that anyone expected, which put some pressure on our schedule. In the light of what happened to us that was nothing". Listening session One day before the interview a delegation of the international press is confronted with the music of "Lateralus". The listening session takes place in an old church in the north of London that is built into a studio by Dave Stewart, guitarist of The Eurythmics. It is the only preview the press gets, because out of fear for Napster Tool will not send any Promodisks. "We are indeed scared that everything is going to be spread through the Internet before the release. Tool is more than just the music. It's also about the CD with the package that is very important to us. We want to present the whole package with a big bang. That's the reason for the safety measurements". The first impression is that Tool went into the studio immediately after Ænima. It's absolutely doesn't show that the band has had business trouble since than, and that it is 5 turbulent years and the successful sidestep of Maynard James Keenan with A Perfect Circle later. Just like on the previous records Tool overwhelms with a combination of emotion, technique an composing talent. The fear of compromises seems ungrounded. "Lateralus" will be 7 long, complex and hard songs, of which the most have a running time of more than 8 or 9 minutes. Also the old influences are back again: the drumpatterns that show a love for ethnical rhythms, the guitarsound that reminds of the playing of David Gilmore of Pink Floyd and the artistic approach that can be led back to King Crimson. The production of David Bottrell is great as usual and all instruments, Drums, Bass, Guitar, electronics and vocals, again have a equal place in the characteristic group sound of Tool. While Mick Jagger and Bob Dylan watch from pictures on the wall, the one after the other mouth of journalists fall open. Wow, we didn't dare to hope for this. The final part of the album is an impressing triangle that, seems later, wear the names "disposition", "reflection" and "Triad". It is a pretty piece, that starts acoustic, gets on real loud in the second part to end in a wide jamsession. An instrumental mystery track closes the masterpiece. The album has no instant singles, but for the most assessable track "Schism" guitarist Adam Jones is shooting a video. Dynamics "It's great that it's all about music again. A very long time it was just about our business trouble. The old situation is finally repaired. In a while we are going to rehearse for the coming tour. First we wanna do a lot of European festivals Later this year we will come back for a headline tour. I can't wait! We are extremely happy with the record, but Tool's real power has always been on stage. Maybe we first play the complete new record and then some older songs, or we switch a little. I will be a mixture of old and new, I think that will please our fans the most." What is always remarkable about the Tool sound is that all instruments are equal. The balance on "Lateralus" is again perfect. The bassplayer agrees "In a lot of other bands it's about the singer or the guitarist. The rest plays for him or her. With Tool that is not the case. We have enormous respect for each other as musician and as a person. You hear that in the music. But it is so that we, also on this record, put the focus on some instruments to bring some changes and dynamics and also extra variation into it. We all take our own influences with us, that come back in the music. Danny for example loves industrial and ethnical music, and I listen to a lot of dance music like drum 'n bass. But we also have factors that unite us. For example we all love Pink Floyd." The first impression teaches us that the lyrics are as cryptically as usual. "the lyrics for us are just as important as the music" the Bassplayer reacts "Maynard works very hard for it to make something special out of it. He loves to form them so that everyone can give it his own explanation. With out music we wanna serve something that stimulates your fantasy. Intelligent An absence of 5 years would be deadly for most bands in the music world that just gets faster. It looks like Tool only got more famous in the time that they were away. The Internet is full of rumors and the first magazines are filled with previews. "I think in that way Tool is a unique band. I sometimes that they are willing to wait forever. We are a band that is different, that dares to take risks. There is a big group of young people who are in that with their hearts. I think a lot of bands underestimate their fans and take it easy cause of that. I believe that our public is not only loyal, but also intelligent. We always go -also on this record- for the highest. I myself saw Tool from the outside for awhile. I love surprising, unpredictable music. Now i am fan as well as a band member, now i know pretty much - for an outsider- that special is Tool."
Posted to t.d.n: 08/17/01 19:57:58