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.

Onwards!

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

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

  • http://www.cozbaldwin.com/ Coz

    So long, old web.

    Relax, slip awayyy…

  • http://dumbjaw.tumblr.com/ Matt J. H.

    so is that a yes to finally joining my web ring?

  • http://about.me/jeffrobson Jeff Robson

    Thanks for the memories!

  • Carl Wangsten Griffith

    Thank You!!! ….and good luck…we are all counting on you… :-/

  • John O’Brien

    I remember the day I rec’d lyrics from GaylordC… and and the days emailing back and forth with Kabir for info… and I remember listening to like 30 second snippets of Stinkfist live using these newfangled super cool mp3 files over dial up… Uggh…. I am old. Peace Kabir…

  • Eric Calvin

    We know one is around the bend. So, giving up seem silly at this point. True Tooligans. Never fade away.
    DON’T YOU STEP OUT OF LINE.

  • zeeman

    Thanks for all your hard work Kabir…learned a lot about Tool from this site.

  • MkuMdo

    Good job….thanks for all the hard work. Onwards and Outwards

  • Royc

    You are the OGT

  • Travis Kennedy

    Thanks Kabir for everything. I remember when I lived and breathed this website. I’d spend hours on it and discuss things with friends. I’ve met some pretty cool people over the years thanks to toolshed. Keep on doing awesome things and thank you again.

  • MkuMdo

    A tedious path chosen indeed..time to walk away.

  • Jumanji Variable

    Thank you for everything, Toolshed.

  • Jason J Turner

    This was the site I used to go to to get all the info on Tool in the late 90′s/early 2000′s. Today is a sad day. Nevertheless, I wish you well, guy who made the ToolShed page.

    Cheers!

  • macfreak

    Thank you very much for all your work through the years Kabir. It is truly a shame that Tool became so inactive.

    Sometimes I wish they would call it quits, that way I wouldn’t have hope that they will release new material.

    Anyway, so long!

  • Alfredo Wilson

    lol Jeez I haven’t been here in a while. When did disqus get added? I probably would have spent more time here if I didn’t lose access to my forum user nameor knew about that. Oh well. Good luck and thanks for the good times.

  • Walter Rosenberg

    thank you, kabir! i still remember logging in around ’96-’97 and timidly looking around. this was a wonderful playground for the exploration. thank god it was here at a time when you had to dig around a bit for information. that process is so much more important than the actual facts that came as a result. so a great big thanks to you and a good bye to that way of life.

  • Eoin McDonnell

    Thanks for everything, this site was always a great resource, always enhanced the community.

  • Berj

    Thanks Kabir, see you around again someday =)

  • Ant

    Since 1998 I have been checking this website on an almost daily basis. I sit as as a 35 y/o with 2 signed Alex Grey’s and the original claymation monster from the Prison Sex video (yes I am not kidding, Adam Jones work) on the wall, almost in tears.

    It has been great growing Up and being inspired day after day by the best music.

  • Aaron

    Kabir. thank you thank you. you remain the king of all tool fan sites. best wishes dude!

  • Miggy

    Thank you for this site and good luck on your new adventures._Mig

  • Marc

    Thanks Kabir – it makes a lot of sense but it’s always sad to see something go away nonetheless. Thanks for the hard work over the years. I fondly remember 20 years ago that I saw tool for the first time live in Poughkeepsie, NY and yelled out “Chickenweasel” thanks to this site. :-)

  • Steve

    Thanks Kabir. We must be a bout the same age. I was a college sophomore when TDN came to be. Tool remains one of my favorite bands. I long gave up hoping for more releases, but still would peak here occasionally just in case there were news. Thanks again and good luck.

  • Kevin Woodruff

    Thank you, Kabir. This has remained my favorite website through the years, almost more so now because of the nostalgia. I remember spending many nights continuously refreshing this page on dial-up Internet trying to see what songs were being played that night. I spent hours in the articles section reading interviews where Maynard would be so brutal to the interviewer. It was so compelling in an awkward/hilarious/fantastic kind of way. I wish you all the best.

  • Russ Michelson

    This page was my life in high school! Appreciate everyone that worked on it in the days before facebook and twitter and everything, trying to share information that was impossible to come by…Thanks!

  • Barbara Lorand Hanczaryk

    Best wishes to you Kabir…and thank you for this website. I remember how exciting it was to get tics for an upcoming show and discussing it with other fans RIGHT HERE. It was like we were waiting for xmas morning.

  • greentreee

    Wow… I never really came here all that much, but when I did it was the place to find Tool tabs when Aenima was out, so big thanks for that. Nothing wrong with hibernating, btw. Also, by the sounds of things Tool will put out a video before a new album.

  • raza ahmad
  • TeemuN

    This is the first website I ever visited back in 1996 to get my hands on Tool lyrics! Thank you Kabir!

  • TeemuN

    This is the first website I ever visited back in 1996 to get my hands on Tool lyrics! Thank you Kabir!

  • Mario Torija

    My friend, you were my only source when I created the first Spanish Tool site back in 1998… now that site is buried down but I remember visiting your page every day. Thanks a lot for all the efforts during this time.

    Now I have a tumblr (sularetal.tumblr.com) as a Tool tribute, again in Spanish, my mother tongue.

  • Gwarden

    RIP in peace, been visiting since 96.

  • Tool_HAG

    Thank you.
    I’ve visited this site for years and at the time very thankful it was an existence. I would go crazy trying to decipher
    lyrics and learning more about one of the greatest bands, ever. So again, thank you.

  • WingsDJY

    I remember printing off hard copies of Tool lyrics and keeping them in a binder because I didn’t have a computer in my room and wanted access to them while listening to Aenima.

  • jmario666

    Ahh, if only you would have posted this on April 1st, Kabir! That would have been a great open ending. But anyway, thanks for the closure. It is like closing the door on a close friendship. We had many great memories together, but just drifted apart. t.d.n. was an invaluable source of info on Tool, when it was extremely scarce (and I’m glad the info will still be preserved for posterity). Thanks again Kabir and continued success in your other endeavors.

  • mrpete987

    Wow. At risk of getting overly emotional, I have to say that when I saw this post, I literally teared up.

    I often spent hours — literally entire overnights — discussing lyrics and meanings to things leading up to and following the release of Lateralus and later 10,000 Days. I think I even missed a couple of 8 am classes the next morning on a handful of days, just because I was up all night dissecting and discussing.

    And then when the band was on tour, following the setlists and reading people’s impressions, looking for that occasional performance rarity to pop up like Ticks and Leeches, and just getting lost in what all the imagery and metaphors meant.

    Although I mostly moved to other venues of discussion like social media when it came to talking about Tool in the years following 10,000 Days’ release, I would always drop back in to this homepage to see what people were saying whenever a little piece of Tool news popped up in the media.

    This site meant a lot to me, Kabir. A LOT. I’m sad to see it go, but we’ve all got to move on.

    Thanks for the memories and the venue for a lot of great fan activity and discourse.

  • mrpete987

    YES

  • Alex Wolff

    oh, the feels… <3 thx for everything. and SO LONG!!!

  • Adrian

    this post almost made me cry… :’(

  • Dan Robertson

    Just wanted to say thanks. I discovered this site in ’96, which was also my sophomore year in college. I was obsessed with Tool back then, and your site gave me so much great info on the band I loved (and still do…). Thanks for all the hard work and dedication you’ve poured into this amazing site. Take care.

  • Drew

    :(

  • Passionpunk

    I used to go to a Gateway store on a daily basis and ‘sneak’ in this site for much needed info. FOCKKK that was 1998. Time flies. Thank you kabir for shedding light onto this band, Kids today do not realize how cloaked behind the veil Tool had become. hopefully you’ll post AGAIN for old times sake, Cheers.

  • EchoLab

    LAST!

  • C. Benson Manica

    This site has and continues to be invaluable to me, on a very personal level. Thank you. Seriously, thank you. Don’t go away forever -_-

  • michal

    Your site was a huge source of information for a teenager like me … ten years ago. Thank you for this, but you’re right, time goes by and everything has an end.

  • R616

    I just want to say in the seccion of lyrics, in 10000 days, In Lost Keys… I think the Doctor’s name is Wasson not Watson. In some places they use “Lasson”. But would have much more sense Wasson (Robert Gordon Wasson)

  • Michael Stashuk

    Well, I’ve never posted on toolshed, but I think the time is now to say thanks to you for your work. As life has gone by my visits to the site have become a once every year or year and a half, exercises in nostalgia, really, but also examinations of how change and growth happens over decades-length intervals of time.

    I discovered Tool in 91-92, listening over and over to a taped copy of opiate just as undertow broke. I had the good luck to see the boys play second stage at Lollapalooza III in Barrie, Ontario, and the life-altering, religious-experience level luck to see them play Undertow and Opiate pretty much in full, with Flaming Lips opening, in Toronto, on about a half-dozen hits of the kind of LSD which I never once encountered (probably a good thing) again and, I think, has left the world of chemicals for good (again, probably a good thing, though a little sad).

    I will never know whether that 1992 concert really was as….physically….loud as it felt, or whether I was experiencing some sort of synaesthesia, but for two hours, I simply watched, rather than heard, the music. It was truly a convergence of all the right things coming together to create a flat out transcendent, life altering musical experience which drive my own efforts as a musician and artist for twenty years, offered a type of long distance mentorship via the band’s official channels and thanks to your work on toolshed.

    All great things and personal growth experiences must end, but I am ready and able to let go.

    Tool aren’t heroes to me, nor idols, mentors (in most ways), or much other than a successful, talented group if guys who were creative, hit it big, and kept it together and worked hard and creatively to somehow maintain a degree of privacy, humility, and dignity in a situation not generally compatible with any if thise things.

    I actually believe that the most important andleast esoteric lesson which my favorite tried to teach by living example is humility, and I think that what they found out is that people – their fans and customers – really didn’t want, or know enough to want, their super-duper rock idols to show that trait.

    I finally got their point, I think, when (age wise, all of them are a decade ahead) I developed my own musical skills as a drummer, went to University and explored in depth some of the various metaphysical concepts they touched on at times (and, disappointingly as I discovered, rather amateurishly for what I held out to be my personal and intellectual musical heroes) and found out that outside of marketing luck and success, my long term idols were simply peers, little different from the hundreds of talented musicians and actors and artists I know and have known.

    THAT was the message in track two of Aenima, and when ready, I learned it.

    I am grateful for the experiences I had, your work on the site, the examples in terms of keeping it real, or at least remembering that Tool is a business and I am, first and foremost, a customer, and in regards to the mythical next album, it may well be that as much as we as long time fans think we want one, I suspect that Maynard is a few steps ahead here no different than in the 1990′s, in terms of realizing that with respect to those long time fans who have been customers since the beginning, there may not really be another album to squeeze out of the unique musical project known as Tool.

    Does anyone really want another Jane’s Addiction Strays followed by members doing reality TV and dancing with the stars? It wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t original with respect to themselves as a group, and it wasnt capable of being something a new generation of young music lovers could truly attach to and follow for ten years until Dave Navarro and Perry Farrel are in adult diapers.

    Progressive metal Tool-style has evolved and been deeply explored by the band from album to album, each time taking a concept to the limits, and while I might be surprised, I think that they have run into natural limits which are forcing them bit to choose how to move forward but which backwards path to take. I don’t doubt they could write another Aenima or Undertow, literally 100 more Opiates (probably in a weekend) or, as long as everyone has their calculators charged up, a whole lot more King Crimson math rock or finally a 50/50 Aenima/Lateralus album, but none of this is new music, it would just be new songs and song names.

    The only possibility I am able to imagine is a turn to the unique dynamics, use of even acoustic instruments, non-guitar (sitar, strings, etc) and more complex tunings rather than just time signatures which were explored in the endlessly under-rated sing four degrees from Undertow as a soundfont and syncopated 4/4 signature, but of course, something else could be up their sleeves which make the recording and release of a new tool record more than simply a business exercise.

    However, I have no doubt that Tool has enough wisdom to not get lost in any notions of their role being anything other than businesspeople, and ,in the end will make this best business decisions.

    I find that refreshing, it is the last unique and honest evolution step from a band that, dispite all the flirtation with the metaphysical and the spiritual, usually ends up reminding me of the need to get real and get grounded and enjoy the beauty and art of the reality right in front of me.

    Appreciate the work you put in on a website which I haven’t not consulted at least once in a while over half my life, and on which I have never read an ad (other than the whole damn site, of course, for tool music) or been charged a subscription or been nagged for a donation.

    Thanks. I’m cool with one more album or no more albums. That’s where I am at with it.

  • Leonardo Pinochi

    Hey Kabir, thanks for creating this great site and source of Tool info. I am from Argentina and I remember finding this page way back in the late nineties. Tool was such a mystery for me and my friends, we were literally haunted by the music, we searched for everything we could find about this band, and this page was obviously in our bookmarks. I visited it almost everyday for any update. Maynard finding Jesus was an hilarious one, in Argentina we don’t have april’s fool day so you can guess how we took that news! jaja. Thanks for everything Kabir and the best thing of all, life continues and new Tool Album is coming…that’s what matters. Cheers man.

  • Leonardo Pinochi

    Hey Kabir, thanks for creating this great site and source of Tool info. I am from Argentina and I remember finding this page way back in the late nineties. Tool was such a mystery for me and my friends, we were literally haunted by the music, we searched for everything we could find about this band, and this page was obviously in our bookmarks. I visited it almost everyday for any update. Maynard finding Jesus was an hilarious one, in Argentina we don’t have april’s fool day so you can guess how we took that news! jaja. Thanks for everything Kabir and the best thing of all, life continues and new Tool Album is coming…that’s what matters. Cheers man.

  • Luis Genaro Peñalosa Ortega

    I started visiting toolshed when I was 15, now I’m 36 & I still keep in touch now and then but I also understand every reason for keeping the page in hibernation ’cause I lived (as yourself) the changes myself.

    Thank you for everything, sir.
    Respect & love from Mexico.

  • Brad Martin

    Very well put and very astute observations of the ways of the internet world. I was a visitor to your site at age 17 from the very beginning, back when it was listed on Yahoo! and there was no such thing as a search engine or Google. Tool being my favorite band from the very first times I listened to them back in 1993. For many years, your site was a first visit and I loved seeing the painstaking hand coded changes you made to the site over the years (I can appreciate as I was an early “webmaster” at the same time, turned software engineer over the years). You had a unique connection to the band from the various sources and I was envious about the times you mentioned meeting MJK. Having just attended Tool’s show in Salt Lake City two nights ago (10.24.16), I have hope that there will be more Tool music coming as Maynard recently mentioned in a podcast done with a friend this month that he is enjoying music and making music again, after a while of not enjoying and not knowing if he wanted to do it anymore (I assume he was referring to Tool and not so much Puscifer). Here’s to the future and thanks for the past.

  • sootchh

    Thank you for everything… for keeping all of us informed and entertained about our most favorite band for the past 20+ years. It was through this website I was able to get info on Tool live dates and see their shows twice (pre-Facebook days).

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