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The Tool Page: An Article

Publication: hit parader

Date: October, 1997

Transcribed by
Joe the Article Transcriber (undertow@mailcity.com)


  page: 56
 title: TOOL Headline Grabbers
author: Rob Andrews

	Headlining a major national rock festival was perhaps the last
thing on the minds of TOOLís four members when they first set out on the
road last year to support their latest album, NIMA. Sure, Maynard James
Keenan, Danny Carey, Adam Jones and Justin Chancellor didnít necessarily
mind the concept of emerging as one of the most notable, influential and
highly visible groups in the hard rock stratosphere. But at the same time
such a notion seemed to go entirely against the grain of a band philosophy
that since the release of their debut disc in 1992 has server to cloak
their identities and protect their anonymity to an almost alarming extent. 
	Remember, this is a band that refuses to appear on their own album
covers and has so-far resisted the temptation to make more than cameo
appearances in their own award-winning videos. Yes last spring, when the
offer came for TOOL to headline the prestigious 1997 Lollapalooza
Festival. such notions as ìmaintaining our mysterious imageî quickly were
cast out the window by this L.A.-based quartet. TOOL realized that they
were quiet possibly being handed the opportunity of a lifetime, and that
while the top-billed spot at the summerís most notorious music festival
may indeed serve to cast them into the media spot light to a greater
extent than ever before, it was a chance they were not about to passup.
With such notable superstar acts as Metallic and Pearl Jam ranking as
previous Lollapalooza headliners, it didnít take a rocket scientist to
convince TOOL that they should grab hold of this truly special opportunity
for career advancement...and hold on for dear life. 
	ìWe realized that for a band like ours this was going to be a very
strange experience,î Carey said. ìThe idea of getting on stage in front of
30,000 or 40,000 people every night was a little intimidating, but we
really welcomed that chance. It was quite exciting. It was our opportunity
to see if we could communicate with a crowd that size on the level we
wanted - to reach them on a deeper level than mere superficial
entertainment.  After a full day of activities that was certainly a
challenge, but I think we accomplished our goal, at least for the most
part.î
	Accomplishing their task-at-hand of touching the minds and souls
of all in attendance - quickly proved to be an unexpectedly arduous job
for TOOL. Not only did the band have to battle against the unsavory
outdoor elements that confronted them at certain Lollapalooza dates, but
they also found themselves fighting against the ever-present phenomenon of
audience fatigue. Many of the fans in attendance had already been at the
fest for the better of ten hours by the time TOOL took the stage, having
imbibed themselves not only with food and drink, but also with a
brainnumbing variety of other entertainment and musical options. By the
time TOOL appeared on stage, the group knew they certainly had their jobs
cut out for them. But like the road-proven rock and roll veterans that
they have become, the band delivered the goods night-in and night-out,
continually captivating the somewhat intoxicated, thoroughly exhausted
gathering and lifting then to new heights of musical ecstasy. 
	ìWeíre at our best live,î Carey explained. ìThe songs seem to take
on a life of their own. Thereís nothing that can match the feeling of when
four people who share a similar cause and similar beliefs put their
talents together. We have yet to make a studio recording that comes close
to capturing what this band can accomplish on stage.î
	The success of their Lollapalooza tour outing served as something
of a salvation for TOOL who, in all honesty, had suffered through the some
what lackluster response afforded NIMA both from a critical and
commercial level. Following the platinum sales success of the bands
previous disc, 1994ís Undertow, many believed that the time was right for
TOOL to emerge as one of the true superstar acts of the late ë90s. Prior
to their latest discís release last October, some pundits within the
musical industry were predicting double or even triple platinum sales on
the bands sometimes fragile artistic chemistry.  Though NIMA sold well,
finally attaining platinum status some eight months after its realease,
its sales preformance was viewed as a disappointment be the ever-demanding
rock biz. But with their successful helming of this yearís Lollapalooza
event- which, in turn, resparked sakes of the bandís current disc - TOOLís
status as one of hard rocks ìhotî bands has once again been reffirmed. 
	ìThe best thing about the band is that no matter how many albums
we sell, or how many tours we headline, our focus remains on the music,î
Jones said.  ìItís always been that was with us and I hope it will always
stay that way. We never started doing any of this for the money or the
glory - we did it for the music itself. Our fans sense our commitment, and
they share it with us. Our music is designed to inspire - to create
thought - and no matter where we are, and how many people maybe in the
audience, thatís where our efforts go.î
	The question now becomes, whatís next on TOOLís always intriguing
agenda.  Rumors persist that alive album - perhaps drawn from highlights
of their Lollapalooza performances - will be released this fall. Other
stories indicate that the group hopes to get back in to the recording
studio later this year, with a new disc to emerge by next summer. 
Certainly the group has no desire to duplicate the more-than-three year
gap that separated the release of Undertow from the appearance of NIMA.
Whatever momentum the band may have generated with their critically hailed
headlining appearances at Lollapalooza, TOOL certainly wants to see it
continue far into the future.
	ìWeíre lucky in that weíve never been one of those ëfashioní
bands,î Carey said.  ìWith us ëartí has always come first. It would really
hurt if we ever believed that we were becoming trendy, or a ëflavor of the
monthí band. I think we ran that risk at times after Undertow came out.
Thankfully, I think weíre past that now



Posted to t.d.n: 08/28/97 11:40:09