Publication: M.E.A.T. Magazine:
Canada's #1 Hard Music Magazine
Date: May 1994
Transcribed by Shane M Brouse (email@example.com)
page: 19 title: TOOL w/ Flaming Lips and Failure (5/18/94) Varsity Arena, Toronto author: George Tsao "We are the next Beatles," plainly stated bassist Paul D'Amour of Tool. "I even have a rock stage name--'Of Love.'" (I eventually learned it was his actual family name.) Thus began the meeting with D'Amour of Tool--a band so smooth that you'd never know they were bullshitting you 'til you were already shit upon. The bio reads that guitarist Adam Jones found himself through an epic novel based on the study of Lachrymology (crying). Later Jones shared his new found intellectual supplement with friend and vocalist Maynard James Keenan. Keenan at the time had just moved from Michigan to Hollywood and quite enjoyed his job at Satan's Pizza, and was not exactly jumping at the idea of joining a band, let alone studying crying. In time, Keenan gave in, and in 1990 they were joined by D'Amour and drummer Danny Carey, a precussionist previously credited to the likes of Green Jello and Pygmy Love Circus. Thus Toolshed was founded, or simplified to what we know now as just Tool. Much of what has been written about the band still remains to be determined as fact or fiction. I had mentioned earlier that the boys had crafted the art of bullshit (info tipped off by T.M. from RATM), which was explained by D'Amour as a simple intolerance to ignorance. "It's the dumb questions,"' he stated matter of factly. "The stoned college kid from some fanzine asking, 'Like, are you an alternative band?' At that point it's like we're gonna have some fun with this guy. The answer, by the way, is unlikely when you've sold 700,000 records. Alternative rock--a nice, loose, dumb term." Tool surfaced en masse when Lollapalooza '93 brought them firstly on sidestage, and then to the mainstage as the band became the talk of the village. Keenan's gargoyle-like persuasion and commanding vocals, joined by the fury of the band, soon became the drawing point of the annual convention. However, D'Amour seemed rather indifferent to the whole Lolla trip. He acknowledged it as a great experience and more or less a one time deal. "I don't like venues like Lollapalooza because it's just too big," he contested. "The vibe was good, but there were too many fans and creative people. In a smaller venue it becomes a personal experience where I can see the kid in the back row, and touch the people and sweat on each other." Undertow, their brilliant 1993 full-length release, harvests a hidden track, as well does Tool's 1992 EP debut Opiate--a song of sorts that follows the last track featuring Keenan's "potty mouth." The hidden track "69" from Undertow also follows the final song on the album, and has Keenan's evangelical voclas mixed in with the haunting cries of farm animals. The song was set to a satirical religious overtone as Keenan preached about the injustice of the slaughtering of carrots. D'Amour explains it as "getting together three pianos and shotguns smashed with sledgehammers and recorded to a six beat." Funny how an ode to carrots could become so damn disturbing and guilt laden. Being quite a resourceful lot, Tool made use of their very own pets by having one of Adam Jones' potbelly pigs photographed upon a bed of forks for the adornment of the traycard and inner sleeve of their CD. To further their art, their CD booklet contains explicit nude photos and an x-ray indicating anal penetration. "The big fat person is a woman," D'Amour clarified. "The images work with the rest of the album--soft and womb-like...an example of the beauty of atrocity. At first you'd say, 'ooh, she's fat,' but if you keep looking there's something about it." The disturbing nature of what Tool represents is best understood through their lyrics and videos--the latter of which for the song "Sober," and most recently for "Prison Sex," were instrumental in Tool's climb to success. By excluding lyric sheets and putting incredibly graphic visuals to their songs, they've created cryptic imagery that burns deep into the viewer's and listener's mind, an achievement much welcomed by the band. D'Amour remembered building the video set for "Sober" with friends and pulling the concepts together. "Adam directed them--it's something very awesome and we're very proud. Stop motion animation--the pinnacle of what video is today." It's the mysterious allure and untangible force that holds audiences to a Tool show where thousands are drawn to witness their unnerving yet cut-throat vigour and attitude. To see Tool is an experience--one of unpredictable proportions both musically and visually. Because Tool is not just about being in-your-face, but about being under your skin--a seething coercion that both appeases and/or assaults, depending on how you allow it to move you...much like the bullshit they choose to dish.