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The Tool Page: An Article

Publication: Mindview

Date: November, 1996

Transcribed by
Mr Scary (jansier@sun.iwu.edu)


  page: 
 title: Tool! Band with a Penis??
author: Steven Lauwerijns

Only the real music-lover was impressed after the release of the
'Opiate'-EP (March '92). The rest of the world wasn't interested. The 
first full-length album 'Undertow' ('93) struck like a well aimed 
bomb. "Sober" and "Prison Sex" were nice hits and 'Undertow' got 
platinum in The States. Now, three years later we may welcome the 
long-expected successor: 'Aenima'. 'Aenima' proofs of what the band is 
capable of. It has the same impact as an atomic bomb. The new album 
entered the American hitlists on the second place. Only Nirvana's 
live-CD was better. We talked with vocalist Maynard James Keenan, who 
doesn't hide his dislike of interviews.

You took off immediately after the release of 'Aenima'. That was 
really fast.

Yep.

There is a period of three years between both albums. Why did it take 
so long?

We've been touring for eightteen months after the release of 
'Undertow'. We didn't write one single song during that period. We 
didn't want to hurry things, so we waited till we could work without 
any kind of pressure.

Did the departure of bass-player Paul D'amour (September '95), due to
musical differences of opinion, had anything to do with it?

Look, we wrote in another direction as he did. Paul has his own band
(Lusk) and that's something completely different as Tool. It took us 
three months to find a suitable bass-player. We ended up with Justin 
Chanceller. He played in the British band Peach. They once were our 
support-act. Justin and Paul have a simular style but Paul was a 
guitarist who played bass and Justin is a real bass-player.

Paul's name doesn't appear in the thankslist although he is 
responsible for songs like "Pushit", "Stinkfist", "Eulogy" and 
"Aenima".

Yep.

What's for you the most important difference between both albums?

We understand eachother better now and we've got the chance to head 
for new directions. We were able to experiment with new sounds. It's 
our intention that the person who listens to our album will hear each 
time something different.

'Aenima' is not produced by Sylvia Massey, in contradiction with 
'Opiate' and 'Undertow'.

That also could be seen as an experiment. We wanted to do it ourselves 
but finally we choose Dave (David Bottrill). He already worked with 
King Crimson and Peter Gabriel.

None of the booklets contain the lyrics. Aren't they important enough?

Some are, some are not, but the music and the emotions are much more
important. Everyone has to interpret the lyrics for himself. We rather 
let them think (you can find the lyrics on internet - red.).

A remarkable thing is the diversity in artwork between the different 
sizes (lp, CD, tape) and even within these sizes you can find several
differences. The CD-box changes according to the angle of indicence of 
the light. On the other hand you find a list in the booklet of the 
normal CD, with so-called previous releases with titles like 'Iced 
Pee', 'Bethlehem Abortion Clinic' and 'Tetanus For Breakfast'.

We released this version because our recordcompany, who distributes 
our albums had not enough faith in us. They didn't believe we were 
capable  of selling enough albums to pay that expensive procedure. 
That's the reason to release the alternative, cheaper version.

There were already a few videoclips ("Sober" and "Prison Sex"). Your 
fans are probably waiting for new clips...

They can be certain. We recently finished the videoclip of "Stinkfist" 
and it's made by Adam Jones (guitar). I would like to describe it but 
then we're using words again. My description can be totally different 
with what you'll see, and that's exactly what we wanted to achieve.

When you open the CD-box, you will see a design of Bill Hicks with 
this subscription: "Another dead hero". Bill Hicks already got 
mentioned in the thanks-list of 'Undertow'.

Bill Hicks was a stand-up comedian, a very funny man, a very socialy
responsable commedian. He died a few years ago. You can hear his voice 
in the intro of "Third Eye".

Humour doesn't seem to be unimportant?

Everybody thinks we're a lot more serious than we really are. We are 
just four fellows who play music and want to have a great time. Our 
sense of humour is the main reason for our good cooperation. We don't 
think about the humour in our lyrics, it happens spontaneously. In 
"Hooker With A Penis" you can hear something about OGT (...claiming he 
was OGT/back from 92/from the first ep). OG stands for Original 
Gangster and T for Tool; so Original Gangster Tool, just a joke. Those 
fake-booklets are also nothing more than a joke. Six of the fifteen 
songs are intermezzi. "Useful Idiot" is the sound of a record at its 
end. This is the last track on the first side of the lp-version. 
"Message to Harry Manback" is a message on an answermachine supported 
by a strange, almost romantic piano tune, played by David Bottrill. 
Besides it's a real threathening message. "Die Eier Von Satan" is a 
recipe to bake biscuits, without eggs. We consider those six tracks as 
adequate songs, they are important for the atmosphere on the album.

You can't complain about the record company's support now.

They finally decided to give us a decent support so we will not have 
to worry about the music-like side. We can concentrate us more on our 
music.

Tool is one of those bands surrounded with ridiculous rumours. Rumours 
like sacrificing children, drinking blood,...

The attention is terrible but fortunately It stops after a while. 
Those who are interested in our music don't pay attention to these 
nonsense.

At this very moment, a month after the release, you're touring in 
America. We have to wait till the summer of '97. What may we expect of 
the show?

For those who have seen us before: something simular but bigger and 
longer and with new songs.

Posted to t.d.n: 05/15/97 22:31:01