05\02\16 Ten Years of Silence, Twenty-Two Years of Fun

Today is the ten-year anniversary of the release of 10,000 Days in North America. Or put differently, “Tool has not put out any new music for a full decade.” In fact, going back to Ænima, Tool has released only two albums in the last 19.5 years. In light of this, I’ll take this opportunity to make an announcement (a long overdue one, and perhaps a foregone conclusion or a moot point by now):

-- Today is the official end for this site.

Obviously this site has been pretty quiet for some time; there’s only been one news post since 2012, and that was an April Fools joke. The Tour section hasn’t been updated for recent shows, either; there wasn’t even a post announcing the 20-year anniversary of this site. I should have made some kind of site shutdown post years ago; maybe after Tool Madness, which was the last full-scale project here at toolshed — in 2011! For a long time, I may have been holding out hope that a new record was just around the corner. But with today’s inauspicious anniversary, plus with today’s web landscape, I think it’s clear that it’s time to close up shop.

At this point, it’s worth taking a step back and looking at the situation objectively. Ten years, no record. Only the live recordings of “A/Descending” signal any progress. (Sidebar: does anyone else think that’s shorthand for “Ascending/Descending”?) Consider: Led Zeppelin released the first seven of their nine albums in a ten-year span. Or this: if you are a college sophomore now, you weren’t alive for the release of Ænima; and the heyday of Undertow and the “Sober” video predate your conception. (A collective “wow” from us older stalwarts). I was a college sophomore when I started up this site, so there may be some nice symmetry here as things wrap up here at The Tool Page.

Also consider: back when toolshed started up, it was a central depository for information about a band who had kept information very close to the vest. No info was available online about their biographies, their gear, even their tour dates. The site evolved into a meeting place for fans, but for years it was a one-way information source; people would send in info, and I’d post it if verifiable. Today there’s obviously Wikipedia and Reddit and Twitter for everyone’s information needs, and they’re all faster and more interactive and more adept than an old-school website for breaking news. (Though to be sure, all the old setlists on setlist.fm and much of the research on Wikipedia were built from the work done on this site over the years.) And while Tool lyrics were originally available only here — as emailed to me from Maynard two decades ago — now your search results are saturated with lyrics sites.

So there’s not really a need for a site like this; proof of that point is that even I don’t get my Tool info via toolshed anymore. There used to be a steady stream of insider info and back-alley meetings that kept toolshed (and you) updated on band happenings. But as the internet evolved to be more open, those channels were no longer necessary or updated. And while in 1996 it was fun that the online community got copies of a leaked Ænima demo and worked together to decipher lyrics and meaning, as I found myself closer to the sources of info, it stopped being fun to spill their secrets.

Plus, there’s the issue of time. Crowdsourced info is of course collated faster and requires less editorial work than a one-man show. When I first wrote the FAQ and got in touch with Maynard, I was 19 and had tons of time to devote to a fun labor of love. Nowadays, between living life and working on shows like Arrested Development and New Girl, I’ve obviously got different priorities. Time, and the times, have changed.

So t.d.n will stay here, hibernating. Acting as a library, an archive of Tool info for future research. Maybe if there’s some enormous news in the future, I’ll post it here. It’s certainly possible that a new record will someday see the light of day, though it seems less and less likely as time goes on. We know Maynard has obviously been extremely productive over this time with Puscifer, A Perfect Circle, winemaking, etc. As he famously quipped last year when asked about the holdup, “Do I seem like a lazy person?” So we’ll just have to continue waiting and seeing.

Absent any further posting here, remember that for the past few years, all of the relevant posts have been on Twitter, @thetoolpage. You’re invited to come follow the conversation there. I hope you’ll all keep in touch.

Finally, a big thank you to every single person who came by over the years. (At its peak, this site was getting over 64,000 unique visitors a day!) The Tool Page was an incredible project, started by one person but kept alive by those thousands who sent in new info, breaking news, photos, tips, feedback, and encouragement. I made many friends and have many stories as a result of running this site; when I saw “Almost Famous”, I thought “hey that looks familiar.” I am super thankful for all of this. Special thanks to Shane Brouse and Tyrone Thompson for being the backbone of this site’s evolution in its early years, and to Chris Brightwell and Dan Green for their outsize roles in making this a fuller place as it matured.

And one last big thanks – to one M. James Keenan. In 1995, when he was posting online publicly, I wrote him and he very graciously started writing me back. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting him many times, and he is always incredibly generous with me, not just now but even when I was a teenage fanboy who pestered him more than I should have. He sent in lyrics to albums before they were published anywhere else, corrected misinformation in the FAQ, collaborated with me on some April Fools pranks over the years, and invited me to a few fun get togethers. (And there’s still much of the story that is not yet public knowledge.) He even suggested the name “toolshed”, and there never would have been a successful toolshed without him. Let’s face it: it was a teenager’s dream come true to befriend his favorite band’s singer, and it led to more adventures than I could have ever expected as an adult.

This has been an exceptional experience, and I’m excited for what’s next.


(Now watch, Tool will announce a new album tomorrow.) §

[ Posted in Tool News, Toolshed News by Kabir | Post comment ]

04\01\15 FINALLY!

As we just reported on Twitter (which is where all of our posts seem to have migrated over the past year or so, so visit toolshed there too) – FINALLY! Tool have released their first new single in nine years, called “Richard” — have a listen here!

[ Posted in Tool News by Kabir | Post comment ]

12\31\12 The New Year

Happy New Year, everyone! It’s been quiet here and on the Tool front as well, apart from word that the guys have been “writing”, which we do always hear in the years between albums.

The other noteworthy Tool news is that the band may be playing Ozzfest in Japan in May, though that has yet to be confirmed.

I’d like to take a moment to wish you all a happy 2013. I know posting here has been slow lately, and it probably will stay on the slow side because the show I’ve been working on has been keeping me extremely busy. I can’t say too much about what show it is, other than “it premieres in 2013 on Netflix” … §

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08\17\12 Seventeen Years

Yikes. The site turns 17 today, which is probably older than many of you. Even though Tool is generally quiet these days, we’ll take this opportunity to thank you all for coming by over the years! §

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06\25\12 Show Reviews from Rivers Edge

Tool played this past weekend in Minnesota, showcasing a setlist that did not deviate much from their usual shows over recent years, though they did open with an old crowd favorite. Check out the reviews being posted to the Tour section, or add your own if you were there! §

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04\10\12 Just One Show

I posted this to our Twitter feed a few days ago when it was announced, but neglected to do so here! Oops.

Tool will be playing at the River’s Edge Festival in Minnesota this summer, in what is being billed as their “only US show this year.” Presumably, if they are advertising that, it’s a good bet that it’s a fact (and that a premium was paid to the band). [EDIT — perhaps they mean "only remaining show this year".] At least it’s in the middle-ish of country, so it’s not too far for any of you non-foreign fans! §

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12\17\11 More Dates

Several more shows have been announced, and are now posted to the Tour page. There are some rumblings that a Coachella appearance may be in the works, but so far, that’s just a rumor… §

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12\13\11 On The Road Again

And with this fine December week comes word of several new shows that Tool is suddenly reported to play. It’s been eighteen months since they’ve played shows in North America, and all of a sudden, it looks like there will be at least seven shows in early 2012. Check the Tour page for the list, but read on for more info.

We’ve seen sometimes in the past that shows will appear out of the blue, only to later be debunked as fakes, but in this case, Ticketmaster is listing it, LiveNation is emailing about it, Songkick is reporting it, and a few other sources seem to confirm that these shows look legit. Toolshed reader Vincent T. writes to remind us that Puscifer is on tour in December and again in February, so these dates may fit nicely into their hiatus. Thanks also to Daniel M. for writing in with mention of two possible Canadian dates as well.

The Tour page has been updated with the new list of shows, which are scheduled to go on sale later this week. Maybe we’ll hear the debut of some new material? As always, send any new info via the Feedback page or to @thetoolpage on Twitter. §

[ Posted in Tool News by Kabir | Post comment ]

10\29\11 Danny and Paul • Maynard Speaks

This is an interesting reunion – for the first time in fifteen years, Danny will perform on a track with former bassist Paul D’Amour, on the first album by Paul’s band Feersum Ennjin. Loudwire has the full story. §

Also, a quote from Maynard about the next Tool album appears in a recent interview, and has been making the rounds lately: “When it’s done everyone will know.” Obviously people are a little excited about this, but read it again — it doesn’t tell us anything new. Even though it has now been five and a half years since the release of “10,000 Days”, it sounds like it will still be a bit of a wait. §

[ Posted in Tool News by Kabir | Post comment ]

08\28\11 Old News is Still Valid

Turns out that sixteen years ago today, I posted the following to the News page:

On touring: nothing has been said about there being a tour anytime soon. Just keep your fingers crossed.”

Funny how some things apparently never change. Although, I just looked at the Old News from 1995, and it doesn’t seem that much else is still that topical today. §

[ Posted in Toolshed News by Kabir | Post comment ]

08\17\11 Sixteenth Birthday • The Jones Spangled Banner

Sixteen years ago today, the very first news post was made to this site, in an era before blogging or websites with time-stamped updates. Happy birthday, toolshed, and congratulations on being old enough to drive. Can’t believe it’s been online longer than some of you have been alive. §

And to celebrate, here’s video of Adam Jones’ rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner”, as played at WWE’s Summerslam event a few days ago. Warning – the camerawork is pretty shoddy. (Thanks to Dan Maor for finding the video for us.)

[ Posted in Tool News, Toolshed News by Kabir | Post comment ]

07\28\11 Tonight – APC in LA + Tickets…

This is a quick note for LA readers – I’ve wound up with two extra tickets to tonight’s A Perfect Circle show in Los Angeles. Anyone want them? Shoot me an email at kabir@toolshed.down.net. Maybe I’ll see some of y’all at the show.

Update: Ruben wound up taking both tickets off my hands; thanks to all who responded both here and on Twitter! §

[ Posted in A Perfect Circle by Kabir | Post comment ]

06\23\11 No Release Date

As expected, the Official Site has admitted that the “release date” for the next album that was posted recently was actually not a real one. Meanwhile, we must be patient. §

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06\08\11 Antiquiet’s Tool Madness Interview

Rock music website Antiquiet has written an article on Tool Madness, which was our recently-completed contest/tournament/search for the Greatest song the band has written. The article features an interview with yours truly, and some tricky questions by author Kevin “Skwerl” Cogill. So head on over and read the article on Antiquiet! §

[ Posted in Tool Madness by Kabir | Post comment ]

05\31\11 Tool Madness Results!

Here it is: the winning song in Tool Madness 2011, the song that has been voted “the Greatest Tool song” by you, is … “Lateralus”!

“Lateralus” beat out runner-up “Third Eye” convincingly, collecting nearly twice as many votes as the older song. Looking at the picks that you filled out back when this all started, it turns out that 509 of the 1621 ballots had picked “Lateralus” to win it all, while only 141 thought “Third Eye” would. And there was a last-minute upset: “10,000 Days” beat “Sober” for the third-place trophy, showing that the band did not peak back in the early 1990s.

And speaking of your picks, of the 1621 people who submitted valid picks for the Final 4, the official overall winner is … Josh Abbott. Josh wins some fleeting notoriety and a mention of his Twitter feed; send him a congratulatory note at @LiverFluke. Complete results are on the Tool Madness page; more data will be posted later this week for you data-lovers.

A grand total of 93,557 votes were cast in the tournament. I heard from many of you that you had fun playing along. It seemed like a fun way to pass some time while waiting for there to be any actual Tool news. Glad you all enjoyed the Madness! §

[ Posted in Tool Madness by Kabir | Post comment ]

05\26\11 Release Date?? • Last Chance Voting

Our old pal Blair over at the Official Site posts today that Tool’s next album will be released on May 15 or 22 of 2012. It’s a long long way from now for such a precise bit of prognostication, but it’s a starting point for Tool-starved fans. §

And we’re down to the last hours of Tool Madness; don’t miss your chance to vote for the Greatest song by the band! §

[ Posted in Tool Madness, Tool News by Kabir | Post comment ]

05\25\11 The Final Finalist

“Lateralus” has sent “10,000 Days” packing, and now moves on to face “Third Eye” in the final Tool Madness showdown, pitting your pick for the band’s Greatest song from the 1990s against your pick for the Greatest song of the 2000s.

Meanwhile, “10,000 Days” goes up against “Sober” in a matchup for third place. You can vote on both of these now on the main Tool Madness page.

Also, the updated Leaderboard shows that of the 23 people who were in first place, all 23 picked “Lateralus” to make it to the finals. Looks like it’s going to come down to a tiebreaker. §

And here’s a friendly reminder that you can now subscribe to t.d.n’s RSS feed; just click on this orange guy:

[ Posted in Tool Madness, Toolshed News by Kabir | Post comment ]

05\24\11 Tool Madness: First Finalist • Beta Test

Well well. “Sober” was finally eliminated, so those of you who were worried the venerable single would win it all can rest easy. It lost in a blowout to “Third Eye”, which now advances to the finals to face the winner of “Lateralus” vs “10,000 Days.”

There are still 23 perfect picks on the Leaderboard. Check out the Madness to vote for the last semifinal matchup! §

Also, it would be helpful if you would try posting a comment on this here post. Trying to get the new system working smoothly, and would appreciate your help with this.

[ Posted in Tool Madness, Toolshed News by Kabir | Post comment ]

05\22\11 Reaching Up and Reaching Out

Hi folks. After many (many) years of coding the site entirely by hand, the site is finally switching over to WordPress!

The main differences that you’ll notice will be (a) you can finally comment on news posts, and (b) you can finally subscribe to this site’s RSS feed using Google Reader (or whichever reader you use). Many (many) of you have asked for this over the years; at least this got finished before Tool’s next album.

It’s a little silly that it’s taken so long to make this change; then again, when the site first started, it was essentially formatted like a blog, and pre-dated the word “blog” by many years.

And back then, there was a clear winner for which Tool song was the favorite: check out the survey we ran back in 1997 to see how much Tool fans’ opinions have changed since fourteen years before Tool Madness. §

[ Posted in Toolshed News by Kabir | Post comment ]

05\21\11 Tool Madness Wrapup: Elite Eight Round

With the fourth round of Tool Madness now over, there are only the Final 4 songs remaining. Sure looks like popularity has not been the key to being great; the four songs were ranked #1, #3, #9, and #10 in their brackets.

Only a few matchups remain; we should have a winner this week. And not just a winning song; back when this all started, 1621 of you filled out your picks for the Final 4 and the championship rounds. We’re posting results of those ballots to the leaderboard page, which will be updated daily throughout this final week. Of all the submissions, 35 people picked the Final 4 correctly.

Of the four winning songs last week, three received fifty-something percent of the vote. “Lateralus”, on the other hand, defeated “The Grudge” with over 78% of your votes. Will be interesting to see how this all ends.

A total of 82,965 votes have been cast in Tool Madness so far. Onwards! §

[ Posted in Tool Madness by Kabir | Post comment ]