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The Tool Page: An Article

Publication: NYROCK

Date: July, 2002

Transcribed by
Tim Hansen (

author: Gabriella

Introduction to the Article, If you want to, skip over it.

When Tool formed in 1990 in L.A., who knew they'd become 
something of a landmark in music's heavy alternative scene? 
Founding members Maynard James Keenan (vocals), Adam 
Jones (guitar), Paul D'Amour (bass  later replaced by Justin 
Chancellor) and Danny Carey (drums) have influenced 
countless bands, such as the Deftones and Godsmack, with 
their densely rhythmic style. They've also managed to be one 
of the few bands that are intelligent, arty and yet popular with 
the masses (think a heavy version of Radiohead). 

In 2000, Keenan took a brief reprieve from Tool to form A 
Perfect Circle. To no one's surprise, the band released a 
highly successful album, Mer de Noms, and performed a sold-
out tour that summer in support of it. Keenan then quickly 
jumped back to Tool to record Lateralus, which was released 
in 2001.  

INTERVIEW STARTS HERE WITH TOOL (or rather Maynard...)--

Many bands release a video to go along with a single 
because it's part of the music business process, so to speak. 
Tool, however, seem to place a lot of significance on their 
videos  as much as on the songs and the lyrics. What 
inspires you?  

Everything we release with Tool is inspired by our music. It 
doesn't matter if it is a video or if it's lyrics. The lyrics 
for "Schism" are nothing more than my interpretation of the 
music. Adam does most of the work when it comes to videos 
and he basically does the same as I do with the lyrics. The 
videos are his visual interpretations of our music.  

Your lyrics are paradoxical and often have an unexpected 

Everything revolves around the music when it comes to Tool. 
Music is about listening, the more you play, the more the 
magic spreads. For me, life is writing and I can do it 
anywhere. It doesn't matter where I am. I listen. I write. I 
live. And if you don't live, you have nothing to write about.  

Your shows come across as a complete experience. You 
manage to create a compelling atmosphere for the audience. 
What is it like for you?  

Shows are really strange. Sometimes you really don't know 
what to expect. Sometimes you're playing in the sunshine. 
Something that just doesn't seem to go with our sound. It 
isn't worse; it's just different, absolutely different. Then there 
are some days when we really don't want to go on stage at 
all, when we feel terrible and think we really shouldn't play. 
And pretty often those shows turn out to be absolute 

What makes a good show?  

So much plays into it. There are so many factors and so 
many things that all play a part in shows, that you really 
never know what makes a good show. Sometimes we wonder 
if we  the musicians  do really play a big part in it or if we 
can hardly influence it.  

During your U.S. tour, King Crimson supported Tool. You 
never made a secret of your admiration for King Crimson. 
One might think it would be strange to have your idols as 
support. How did you feel about it?  

I think it was an honor for us. For our fans, it was something 
like an education. A lot of our fans weren't really aware where 
we were coming from, what inspired us. I find it a bit sad. I 
think to share one stage with King Crimson was important. It 
showed where our roots are, where we are coming from. After 
all, in today's music scene every band seems to steal from 
other bands. They're all stealing from each other and they all 
claim to be the originals. I think it's limiting  limiting for the 
bands and for the listener.  

How about the Grammy? You received one, but didn't attend 
the ceremony....  

I think the Grammys are nothing more than some gigantic 
promotional machine for the music industry. They cater to a 
low intellect and they feed the masses. They don't honor the 
arts or the artist for what he created. It's the music business 
celebrating itself. That's basically what it's all about.  

Would it have been consequent then to refuse the Grammy?  

Why should we refuse it? First of all, that would just gain a lot 
of attention and we are certainly not attention seekers. And if 
our record company and the music business want to have a 
party, why should we spoil it for them? Just because we're not 
interested? Just because we don't like it, why ruin it for 

So you simply don't care for it?  

I don't care at all. We're just four guys and we are enjoying 
what we're doing with Tool. We are eager to learn  to learn 
about ourselves and to learn about music, about life, about 
everything. And, of course, we always hope that we can 
change something for the better through our music, give 
someone else some inspiration. I believe that music is a 
force in itself. It is there and it needs an outlet, a medium. 
In a way, we are just the medium.  

How do you keep in touch with your fans? You seem a bit 
elusive and tend to avoid mingling with them.  

We really don't like it. It's not arrogance at all. We just 
consider it slightly unnatural. It's not that we're looking down 
on our fans and that's why we don't want any contact. It's just 
if we would mix with our fans, they'd most likely feel that they 
have to tell us how much they like our music and that can 
easily get to your head. Look at a couple of bands out there, 
with a lot of them, I always get the feeling their success has 
gone to their heads. If you start taking yourself too seriously 
it's not good for the creative process. I always believed that 
music should speak for itself, that people shouldn't see us as 
heroes, that our fans shouldn't concentrate on us, that they 
shouldn't try to feed our egos. Once your ego gets in the 
way, it is much more difficult to feel music.  

In retrospect, would you say Lateralus was an album that was 
easy to make for you? That it went smoothly?  

Nothing ever happens smoothly or perfectly fine, but it all 
makes sense. I believe everything happens for a reason, no 
matter if it's good or bad. There is no point in trying to 
change the past because if something would have happened 
differently, we wouldn't be here now; we wouldn't be talking. 
You never know what would be or what would change, if you 
could go back in time and just change one single thing.  

You're known for disliking interviews. Why?  

Sometimes interviewees are almost insulting, especially when 
it comes down to video or TV interviews. Pretty often they've 
got such an ego that we sometimes wonder how we fit on the 
same screen. They're clowns, goofballs and they think they're 
so funny  full of energy and personality. Do you know what I 
mean? They're just full of themselves and they don't have a 
clue and they're not interested in anything else but 
themselves. They don't even listen. They got a bunch of 
questions and you don't even get the chance to have 
something that remotely resembles a conversation. I really 
can't respect them and if they'd take a minute and realize 
what they're doing and how ridiculous they are, they wouldn't 
be able to respect themselves. 

July 2002

END (I got this at

Posted to t.d.n: 03/15/04 20:11:04