the tool page

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The Tool Page: An Article

Publication: Herald Sun (Melbourne Newspaper)

Date: April, 2002

Transcribed by
Ben Foster (

 title: In the Tool Shed
author: Dino Scatena

Justin Chancellor knows he could be an outlandish rock star if 
he really wanted to.  "Obviously if we fancied it, we could get 
well into that scene, but it's just not what we're all about."

What Chancellor and his mates are into is being "normal 
people, not massive personalities, just musicians in a band 
making good music."

You can be cool as you like when you're with a US heavy rock 
band called Tool and your latest album goes straight to the 
top of the charts.

Tool's members are very serious about this anti-celebrity 
stuff.  Take this year's Grammy Awards, for example.

Singer Maynard James Keenan and guitarist Adam Jones 
didn't even bother showing up, despite being previous 
winners and up for another best metal award for the song 

So when the band won, it was left to Tool's drummer Danny 
Carey and bassist Chancellor to accept.

Carey thanked his "parents and Satan".  Chancellor 
thanked "Alex Gray for doing the artwork and my mum for 
doing my dad."

"It was cool," Chancellor says.  "We pretty much left after we 
had our thing happen.  It's not really my scene."

"We had a drink, had a shot of tequila with Danny and then 
left.  It was all very surreal."

"I'm not too experienced with that world.  I had to go, just to 
check it out for the novelty factor."

"It's a personal choice.  If you want to be a big rock star and 
go to all the parties and stuff, then I guess it's there for you."

"But it's all a little distracting.  The way the four of us are, 
we'd rather just get on with it; have a private life and, when 
it's time, go out on the road and do our thing."

"Somehow, that maintains the whole structure of Tool.  We're 
able to go out and deliver, then come home and be normal 

Chancellor, an Englishman who used to be with a band called 
Peach, was invited to audition for Tool in 1995.  The band 
was already on its way to international success.

Its 1992 debut album, Opiate, drew an immediate response 
from American audiences.  Undertow in 1993 attracted the 
whole world's attention.

Chancellor's first album with Tool, the dense and obtuse 
Aenima in 1996, moved the band into the ranks of the 
supergroups.  The album entered the US at No.2, selling 
nearly two million copies in its first few weeks.

Last year's equally dark and heavy Lateralus followed a 
protracted battle with their record label over creative 
independence, but it had Tool vying for the title of biggest 
rock band in the world.

Tool have been regular visitors to our shores since 1995 and 
next week's Australian tour is their second in less than a 
year.  They were here playing sold-out show last July.

"It's always been a really good experience," Chancellor says 
of the band's loyal Australian following.  'There seems to be 
a large number of people who are really open to being 
challenged a little bit."

But world domination means as little to Tool as a 
Grammy.  "We don't pay any attention to any of the standard 
rules and practices of the music industry," Chancellor 
says.  "We struggled and struggled to get what we wanted."

"First, you've got to make sure you can protect your 
creativity.  It's been a full-on commitment to the way we want 
to do things, keeping our heads down and working at what 
we're best at."

"We're not massive personalities.  We're just musicians in a 
band that makes good music.  We just keep the 
concentration on that rather than anything else."

Away from his Tool duties, Chancellor enjoys spending time 
with his wife and visiting his family in the UK.

He would also like to work on other musical projects such as 
experimental electronic music but hasn't got the time.

"I'm going to leave that for a bit," he says.  "I've been pretty 
well consumed by Tool for the last few years.  Eventually, 
when I've got enough of my own time to do that, I will."

Chancellor expects the next album won't take anywhere near 
as long to make as Lateralus.

"We've already got a ton of material, including stuff left over 
from the last album. We also tend to develop ideas during 
sound checks while touring."

"You're just stuck in the venue all day so you may as well 
make use of having that massive system to jam through."

"The album could happen a lot quicker this time.  We all 
hope it does."

Posted to t.d.n: 04/27/02 01:08:58