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The Tool Page: An Article

Publication: OOR

Date: June, 1993

Transcribed by
Leon Spaans (

  page: 54
 title: Frustration is Tools chief motive. Look inside yourself, cry ....
author: Mark van Schaik

This article was translated from Dutch to English and might contain
some errors.

Frustration is Tools chief motive. Look inside yourself, cry, write
some INSANE MUSIC, Simple ?

by Mark van Schaick

People who saw Tool perform live, with singer Maynard James Keenan as
some kind of Satan in a nighty, should at least be somewhat puzzled.
It is an elusive group. After the positive receiving of their Opiate
EP and their debut-CD Undertow, Tool toured England with Rage Against
The Machine (one and a half years ago, in L.A., it was the other way
around) and now with Fishbone through the rest of Europe. From the
18th of june on it'll be the Lollapalooza-caravan in the U.S. and
Canada. Drummer Danny Carey and bassist Paul D'Amour love it, gitarist
Adam Jones smiles a bit, while Keenan is definitely NOT doing that. He
silently stares out of the window pondering his deeper grounds. Four
people in one room, who seemlingly have nothing to do with each other.

	It was Jones who took the initiative at the end of 1989, after
reading the book 'A Joyful Guide To Lachrymology' by amateur-
philosopher Ronald P. Vincent. This obscure book out of 1949, also
described as 'a study of crying', is written in the point of view that
there is no necessity to think or create without pain. Until 1960,
there was a sect in L.A., who embraced this point of view. And in 1988
Adam Jones met, the lonely man, Vincent, prior to his death. Two years
later Jones had thoroughly read and embraced 'A Joyful Guide To
Lachrymology'. At least, that is the story. If I was to be told that
this whole lachrymology was made up by the band, I wouldn't be in the
least surprised. (If it is that important, why isn't Vincent thanked
in the credits of Tools CD's? Well?). It doesn't bother me either. At
least it is something different than: "We started as a punkband in my

	With his new way of life, Jones began writing songs, after which he
started bothering a crew-member of Satan's Pizza, his favorite pizza
place in L.A., with the question wether he'd like to be a singer. At
first Maynard James Keenan wasn't interested, after a couple of tough
years at the prestigious military academy of Westpoint he had thrown
himself on his study at the art-academy, while making music was not in
his planning. To his amazement the cooperation went o.k. and slowly he
too was caught by the ideas of Ronald P. Vincent. 'It has nothing to
do with religion, there is no group of people who practice these
teachings nor talks about them. By constantly confronting myself and
digging deeper within myself, I manage to canalize my frustrations
better. It provides me with a better grip in my life and my art.
That's all' says Keenan.


Paul D'Amour and Danny Carey are healthy and happy bandmembers who
enjoy their first worldtour the fullest. Before Tool existed, was the
former a scenery-builder in Hollywood, while the latter was getting
rather famous as a session-drummer. As a neighbor of Jones he found it
a pity that they couldn't find a drummer who could keep up with the
spicy mix of metal and progressive sounds. So he left the jazz-,rock-
and classical jobs for what they were and helped Tool out.

	Songs grew, live performances were received well and Zoo
Entertainment signed the band. Opiate consists of six songs that are
particularly heavy and loud, but very well contructed. The
song-material on Undertow has the same characteristics; a lot of odd
rhythms, a lot of rhythm and speed-changes and lots of power. Keenans
voice sounds clear and most of the time restrained, after which he
shouts it out the more. Needless to say is the fact that his
disturbing lyrics complete the picture. Insane and incomprehensible,
perhaps, but perfectly in line with the nervous character of Tools
music. D'Amour: 'Half of the time I don't know what he's talking about
or what he is referring to, but that doesn't matter, his lyrics have
radiation (?). That's inspiring enough. Whether he can still surprise
us with his lyrics ? Hmmmmm, no, not anymore. We have gotten used to
that sick mind.'


Although Keenan claims that Undertow is a concept, in which, music,
lyrics, artwork and video's - ofcourse completely realized by the band
themselves - form a coherent unity, in his opinion no one has ever
understood what this binding theme was.  And who am I to ask this ?
Give me half an hour and I'll find out. Keenan: 'You can't see
Lachrymology as a starting-point, because it describes us and not the
music. It is a tool, a filter, that helps us with our ideas. It is too
easy to say that we want people to have their own interpretation of
what we do, but I think it should be possible to get the essence from
our music, even when your not raised in the English-language. Ofcourse
it would be fun if one or two people exactly understood us, but I
cannot force anyone ofcourse.'
	Tool feels connected with bands who have their roots in the
punkmovement. D'Amour: 'But I do think that we go beyond that, perhaps
due to our very diverse musical backgrounds. When you think that Danny
played in a symphonic orchestra and did jazzsessions, that we, like
many, listened to Judas Priest and Rush and were impressed by King
Crimson, or that we've been hanging around with the Rollins Band a lot
the last few years, you'll understand what I mean.'
Tool takes the prosperity as it comes. D'Amour says that all his
dreams about playing in a band have already been realized. Whatever
happens, Tool will not sell out. 'We recently did an acoustic
performance,' says Keenan, with a grin, 'We were invited as
alternative heroes for a benefit against animal-testing. Whether you
are concerned with a couple of rabbits or not, in L.A. you'll get a
benefit down your throat every day and usually in a very hysteric way.
While you have no clue were the raised funds went. People want you to
think for yourself, but that you also get as motivated as they are for
the good cause. Well, Alice in Chains and the fat bitch in Heart
showed the audience that they were very good in playing Folktunes! I
couldn't believe my ears. We especially drove to Tijuana to buy some
cheap acoustic guitars. Which we slammed to pieces on a drumbeat,
while Henry Rollins slammed some iron bars on a trashcan while I cited
the lyrics to disgustipated and meanwhile firing blanks with my gun.
Now that was impressive!'.

Posted to t.d.n: 03/31/01 19:09:45