Publication: San Francisco Chronicle

Date: Thursday, November 10, 1994

Transcribed by Cameron Keith (

 title: A Tool for the Truly Cool
        Big hit of Lollapalooza tour gears up for second album

	With each passing day, singer Maynard James Keenan and his 
bandmates in Tool - guitarist Adam Jones, bassist Paul D'Amour and 
drummer Danny Carey - take on more status in the alternative music scene.
	The band's introductory EP "Opiate" and its debut album 
"Undertow" combine the thrashing force of Metallica with the vocal 
finesse of Queen.
	With "Undertow" certified platinum, Tool now faces the dreaded 
sophomore jinx. The band is confronting the demon head on, embarking on a 
brief California tour before entering the studio to record its second 
album (the tour stops at the Warfield Theatre tomorrow)*
	At a Hollywood restaurant Keenan talked about the tour, the 
creative process and the peculiarities of fame.

Q: Why are you doing this tour?
A: People involved in corporate bands tend to think in terms of touring 
while the buzz is out on the band. But that's not really how we're 
thinking. We just want to blow the dust off, and it kind of helps in the 
middle of writing to go in and do some shows. Once the new tunes are 
locked in, then it makes it easier to write even more new songs.

Q: What's the difference between the new songs and your previous material?
A: I think (the new album will) be completely different from the first. 
I've just got a feeling that a lot of the fans who got into us and heard 
a lot of Pantera in the sound are definitely not going to like the new 
	The first thing we put out was "Opiate". That was a pretty 
aggressive record, but it needed to be angry because that's where our 
heads were at - it was our primal scream, so to speak. But I think that's 
mellowed out, and there's a lot of different stuff on our minds right now 
that doesn't have much to do with anger and frustration. Personally, my 
thoughts are more introspective.

Q: To what do you attribute that introspection?
A: Well, we've traveled overseas, and you see so much more when you open 
yourself up to different countries, different people and music being 
played by different musicians. When you see how other people live and 
their struggles and aspirations, you go through a change. You tend to 
come to terms with a lot of the shit going on in your own small world. 
It's like, "Wow, I was moaning about all the junk in my life, and it was 
such a waste of energy."

Q: The "Prison Sex" video seemed to strike a chord with just about 
everyone who saw it. What are your impressions of the clip?
A: In a lot of the music you'll find open spaces for your own 
interpretation. In the "Prison Sex" video you question whether the song 
is actually being sung from an infant's point of view, or from the 
antagonist's point of view. But there's definitely a cycle involved, a 

Q: Though critics hailed the "Prison Sex" clip as a breakthrough video, 
MTV stopped airing it after only a few viewings. Were you disappointed 
that the network didn't put it's muscle behind a video that dealt with 
such a sensitive topic?
A: What got to me about the whole situation was, here you have these 
other videos where Steven Tyler's daughter is stripping in front of old 
men, or where Janet Jackson is practically having oral sex. I kind of 
find that disturbing, yet it's something that's just thrown in people's 
laps and they don't think twice about it. So I guess anything that deals 
with that sort of ('Prison Sex') subject matter is going to end up 
hitting road blocks.

Q: The first album seemed to deal quite extensively with power and 
A: I used to work in video. And when you're working 20 hours a day on 
video sets for people who really don't give a damn about you then you 
start really to get a feel for how little you mean to the people around you.

Q: Billboard pronounced you a big winner at Lollapalooza. How did you 
feel about that?
A: It's such a popularity contest. I appreciate their attention, but I'm 
really skeptical about what portion of the attention is sincere, and what 
portion is just them saying something to cover their ass if something 
happens with us.

Q: Who would you say are influences?
A: I think I'm influenced more by moments or events rather than bands. 
Take somebody like Tom Waits, for instance. If you want to focus on him 
then that's great. But look at the stuff that influenced him - the piano 
and the bar, the drunks, the bosses who won't hire losers. Combine all 
those things with where he was born, and it culminates in a moment. When 
you're writing it helps to look at the whole picture.

End of article.

* Tool played again at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium three days after 
the Warfield.