the tool page

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The Tool Page: An Article

Publication: The Record

Date: September, 2001

Transcribed by
Marc H. Strother (

  page: 14
 title: Tool time at Madison Square Garden
author: Ed Condran

No tightening needed with this secure lineup

You know it’s all about the music when a band as faceless as 
Tool is popular enough to headline Madison Square Garden 
for two nights.

The Los Angeles-based band is practically an anomaly these 
days.  It doesn’t press MTV flesh, and cloaks itself in 
anonymity.  When the quartet was tapped for a recent cover 
of Spin, a ray of light obscured members’ eyes.

Much as with legendary rock recluse Pink Floyd, it’s all about 
the songs.

“Fame in so many ways is a distraction,” bassist Justin 
Chancellor said in a call from Boston.  “It’s self-destructive 
for a lot of our peers.  We don’t need that.  We just need to 
make music.  We just want our fans to focus on our music.  
That’s what we’re most proud of, not our haircuts.”

After a five-year hiatus, Tool is back with its third and 
perhaps heaviest album to date, “Lateralus”.  The disc is a 
78-minute collection of deep, dark suites, often featuring 
tribal drum patterns and intense guitar lines.  But listeners 
should beware:  The asymmetrical music is akin to a sonic 
puzzle and demands patience to glean its many virtues.

“We make music that has many levels to it,” Chancellor 
said.  “That’s what we’re about.  When we make an album, 
we want it to live and breathe for a long time.”

“It should be something that a listener can grab hold of an 
experience for a long time,” he said, likening it to the 
group’s 1995 “Aenima.”

After “Aenima,” fans needed a disc to sustain their interest, 
as Tool engaged in a two-year court battle with its former 
label Zoo.  Vocalist Maynard James Keenan used that time to 
work with his new group, A Perfect Circle.  Tool, which also 
includes guitarist Adam Jones and drummer Danny Carey, 
started working on “Lateralus” last October.

“Once we got together, the magic was very much still there”, 
Chancellor said.  “The process was smooth.  We couldn’t wait 
to get back out there as Tool.”

Although the pop landscape changed considerably with the 
rise of rap-metal and bubble gum pop, Tool picked up where 
it left off.

“The people who are into us are intensely loyal”, Chancellor 
said.  “They stay with us, and if anything, we get new fans, so 
we’re incredibly fortunate that way.  We’re this word-of-mouth 

While looking forward to its Madison Square Garden debut, 
Chancellor said the group also knows it has its work cut out.

“It’s going to be very heavy playing there in light of the 
World Trade Center tragedy.  We’re still stunned by what 
happened, just like everybody else is.  It was horrible, but we 
have to heal.  We’re just a band, but if we can just take 
someone away from all of that and they can smile for a little 
bit because of us, we’ve done something worthwhile.”

Posted to t.d.n: 10/01/01 10:08:01