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The Tool Page: An Article

Publication: Aardschok (dutch metal magazine)

Date: June, 2001

Transcribed by
Thijs Jeurissen (

 title: Terug aan het front
Tool - Back at the front 
Aardschok Magazine (NL) June 2001-07-01

5 long years after the release of  'Ænima' finally a new 
release of Tool is about to come out. The comeback of the 
American rockband goes with the secretness and the 
perfection of a military operation. Nothing is left to 
coincidence.   The title of the record was changed constantly 
the last few months, until "Lateralus" was the final 
choice.  "What it means"? Bassplayer Justin 
laughs. "Everybody may find out for himself. We made up 
the word 
ourselves. For me it sounds cool and it words the way that the 
music on this album was made: in an explosion of 
inspiration. "

Fake songtitles

Not only did Tool change the records name. They spread a lot 
of songtitles over the world. Names of songs 
never to be written. In January a big American Postorder 
company CD-Now announced proudly that the on the 
CD "Systema Encephale" would be songs 
like "Malfeasance",  "UVR", "Numbereft", "Encephalatis", 
"Coeliacus", "Pain Canal" and "Smyrna".
All old or fake information says the England bon Justin, as he 
looks over the list. "All fake songtitles. I even 
believe we made up some of them" laughs "Maybe we should 
save them for a next CD".

Why did Tool have the urge to put so many people on the 
wrong track? The face of the Bassplayer turns to bad 
weather.  "The last years people looked forward to our new 
album. Which is great ofcourse.  Unfortunately it 
turned out that there are people who take (mis)advantage of 
that situation". We noticed that at first when we 
leaked a title of a song in an early stadium. To our surprise 
that title was claimed on the Internet by for us 
completely unknown people. That person immediately started 
to print T-shirts with the songtitle. We where pretty 
sick of that. Later another title was known, and yeas, same 
story again. Somebody was trying to earn money out 
of our creativity. It's unbelievable but very true. So then we 
made a game out of it and "broadcasted" a lot of 
fake titles. Everything was claimed immediately and T-shirts 
were printed in a rush. All with fake titles ofcourse. 
It was our way of striking back. We couldn't do much else 
then be very discrete. If that makes you cynical? If you 
don't watch out, yes! We are busy creating something 
beautiful and we have our fans in mind, Instead of that 
everything is ripped out of our hands to make a few fast 
dollars. I find it hard to swallow  that thought. For those 
people we wrote "Ticks and Leeches" on our new record. It  
gives a good few of how we think about those 

The first stories in foreign magazines suggested that Tool 
turned into slightly paranoid people. Journalists were 
flown into the USA but the band didn't wanna see them at the 
last moment others were threaten very cold and 
suspicious.  A career as a Tool member could make you 
somewhat afraid of people. The band introduced 
themselves in 1992 with the promising debut "Opiate", on 
which the band with drummer Danny Carey, singer 
Maynard James Keenan, guitarplayer Adam Jones and 
Bassist  Paul D'amour (replaced by Justin Chancellor in 
1995) did what seemed impossible: making passionate 
Rock, with complex but accessible songs, and playing 
that with a surplus of technique.
Undertow in 1993 was even better and the progression  went 
further on Ænima in 1996. The success got bigger 
on every album and the world seemed to be ready for a new 
worldact: TOOL. The band made some big tours 
sold a lot of albums and was overloaded with positive reviews.


The last, final hit didn't come. The reason? Business trouble. 
As is said Tool got into a conflict with record 
company  Zoo, that spent too much money on one-day-flies 
which harmed the biggest act Tool. Change of 
personnel at the company made the contacts even worse. 
According to the few messages that reached the world 
above that came a conflict with a (yet ex-) manager. Result 
was that in the years that Tool should have taken the 
profit of what they had sown, they had to handle with 
accountant, lawyers and new managers.
In the contrary of pervious messages Justin is not at all a 
sour or paranoid musician. Sitting on the sofa in a 
extremely expensive hotel in London he talks straight out., 
about the new record and the future plans of his band. 
Also Drummer Danny Carey who also walks by shortly still is 
mister loyalty himself.
Just, says Justin, "let's not talk about the business". The only 
thing he wants to share is that the problems are a 
good as solved. "It was a fast lesson in doing business in 
the  American music industry. Sometimes painful, but 
always educative. A look behind the scenes to never forget. 
Now a new album is about to come out, we will go on 
tour and everything brought us closer to eachother. That may 
well be the biggest victory."

The Bassplayer also says that the unexpected success of A 
perfect Circle, the project with Maynard, didn't give 
extra trouble. "no, no, we are most of all happy with his 
success. Why wouldn't we be. The success only was a lot 
bigger that anyone expected, which put some pressure on 
our schedule. In the light of what happened to us that 
was nothing".

Listening session

One day before the interview a delegation of the international 
press is confronted with the music of "Lateralus". 
The listening session takes place in an old church in the 
north of London that is built into a studio by Dave 
Stewart, guitarist of The Eurythmics. It is the only preview the 
press gets, because out of fear for Napster Tool 
will not send any Promodisks.
"We are indeed scared that everything is going to be spread 
through the Internet before the release. Tool is more 
than just the music. It's also about the CD with the package 
that is very important to us. We want to  present the 
whole package with a big bang. That's the reason for the 
safety measurements".

The first impression is that Tool went into the studio 
immediately after Ænima. It's absolutely doesn't show that 
the band has had business trouble since than, and that it is 5 
turbulent years and the successful sidestep of 
Maynard James Keenan with A Perfect Circle later.
Just like on the previous records Tool overwhelms with a 
combination of emotion, technique an composing 
talent. The fear of compromises seems 
ungrounded. "Lateralus" will be 7 long, complex and hard 
songs, of 
which the most have a running  time  of more than 8 or 9 
Also the old influences are back again: the drumpatterns that 
show a love for ethnical rhythms, the guitarsound 
that reminds of the playing of David Gilmore of Pink Floyd 
and the artistic approach that can be led back to 
King Crimson. The production of David Bottrell is great as 
usual and all instruments,  Drums, Bass, Guitar, 
electronics and vocals,  again have a equal place in the 
characteristic group sound  of Tool.
While Mick Jagger and Bob Dylan watch from pictures on the 
wall, the one after the other mouth of journalists 
fall open. Wow, we didn't dare to hope for this.
The final part of the album is an impressing triangle that, 
seems later, wear the names "disposition", "reflection" 
and "Triad". It is a pretty piece, that starts acoustic, gets on 
real loud in the second part to end in a wide 
jamsession. An instrumental mystery track closes the 
masterpiece.  The album has no instant singles, but for the 
most assessable track "Schism" guitarist Adam Jones is 
shooting a video.


"It's great that it's all about  music again. A very long time it 
was just about our business trouble. The old 
situation is finally repaired.  In a while we are going to 
rehearse for the coming tour. First we wanna do a lot of 
European festivals Later this year we will come back for a 
headline tour. I can't wait! We are extremely happy 
with the record, but Tool's real power has always been on 
stage. Maybe we first play the complete new record 
and then some older songs, or we switch a little. I will be a 
mixture of old and new, I think that will please our 
fans the most."
What is always remarkable about the Tool sound is that all 
instruments are equal. The balance on "Lateralus" is 
again perfect. The bassplayer agrees "In a lot of other bands 
it's about the singer or the guitarist. The rest plays 
for him or her. With Tool that is not the case. We have 
enormous respect for each other as musician and as a 
person. You hear that in the music. But it is so that we, also 
on this record, put the focus on some instruments to 
bring some changes and dynamics and also extra variation 
into it. We all take our own influences with us, that 
come back in the music. Danny for example loves industrial 
and ethnical music, and I listen to a lot of dance 
music like drum 'n bass. But we also have factors that unite 
us. For example we all love Pink Floyd."

The first impression teaches us that the lyrics are as 
cryptically as usual. "the lyrics for us are just as important 
as the music" the Bassplayer reacts "Maynard works very hard 
for it to make something special out of it. He 
loves to form them so that everyone can give it his own 
explanation. With out music we wanna serve something 
that stimulates your fantasy. 


An absence of 5 years would be deadly for most bands in the 
music world that just gets faster. It looks like Tool 
only got more famous in the time that they were away. The 
Internet is full of rumors and the first magazines are 
filled with previews.
"I think in that way Tool is a unique band. I sometimes that 
they are willing to wait forever. We are a band that 
is different, that dares to take risks. There is a big group of 
young people who are in that with their hearts.  I 
think a lot of bands underestimate their fans and take it 
easy cause of that. I believe that our public is not only 
loyal, but also intelligent. We always go -also on this record- 
for the highest.  I myself saw Tool from the outside 
for awhile. I love surprising, unpredictable music.  Now i am 
fan as well as a band member, now i know pretty 
much - for an outsider- that special is Tool."


Posted to t.d.n: 08/17/01 19:57:58