Publication: hit parader
Date: March, 2002
page: 32 title: TOOL Probing the soul author: winston cummings In a world filled with clone-copy imitators and follow-the- leader musical sheep, a band like Tool stands out like a beacon of ultraviolet light in a monochromed field. With the multi-platinum success of their latest album, Lateralus, this freakish, eminently unpredictable West Coast quartet now stands as one of hard rock's most intriguing forces, a dark, disturbing unit that manages to tweak society's self- satisfaction and twist our perceptions of reality with equal aplomb. While in recent days bands like Slipknot and Mudvayne have emerged to take the metal form in a more theatrical--and, to some, more troublesome--direction, the overt musings that these bands bring forth can never come close to matching the level of skin-crawling creepiness that Tool has managed to perfect. For vocalist Maynard James Keenan, guitarist Adam Jones, bassist Justin Chancellor, and drummer Daney Carey, the contemporary music form is clearly not designed for party-hearty revelry or minimalist odes of angst expression. Rather, it is an expansive canvas upon which this amazing quartet can create some of the most alarming-- albeit entertaining-- musical images ever heard by the ears of man. HIT PARADER: What pleases you most about the success of Lateralus? DANNY CAREY: I think that it's expanded what we do-- and at the same time, it's gone another step in allowing people to see us as something more that a metal band. There are obviously elements of metal in what we do, but we've never wanted to be limited by that. We always want to expand our musical parameters, and this album definately does that. HP: How would you describe Tool to the uninitiated? ADAM JONES: We're four individuals who each have our own opinions. We end up meeting in the middle and producing what you hear as Tool. We treat everything we do in the band--whether it be the album art, the videos, or the promotional posters-- with as much thought as we put into the writing and recording of the album. It's part of the whole Tool approach-- we take nothing for granted. We take what we do very seriously. When we first started the band we all had our own day jobs. We did this as a side project, and in fact we never even gave any htought to getting signed and actually turning this band into any sort of a career. It was all about the music then, and it's still all about the music now-- music that inspires, and music that creates thought. DANNY CAREY: We're one of the few bands that hasn't had to play any lame fashion games. We've always been able to put art first. The band is really strong right now-- everything is really working well. There's more focus than there has ever been before. Everyone in the group is totally committed to making Tool as strong a band as possible, and because of that we know that the future projects we do are only going to get bigger and better. JUSTIN CHANCELLOR: I've never come across-- or been a part-- of a collection of souls so diverse in character and belief. Everyone in this band possesses the ability to mutually accommodate those differences and evolve them into positive creativity. It's rather ironic that I first met Tool about six years ago, and by a strange quirk of fate, now I'm part of the recipe. MAYNARD JAMES KEENAN: I'm sorry could you repeat the question? I was thinking about somthing else. HP: After the success of Undertow and Aenima did you feel you had to create something extra special with Lateralus? MJK: You can't let any previous work cloud what you are trying to do. We did approach this one somewhat differently because we didn't go into the studio with a lot of finished ideas. When we started to record, there were still a lot of elements that needed to be completed. Before, we had worked on everything until we knew it backwards and forwards. By working this way, there was a little roughness left around the edges. It gave everything from the recording sessions to the finished songs themselves a more edgy feel. I like that. DC: One of the goals we set out to accomplish on this record, among a lot of other things, was to make it obvious to all the materialistic idiots out there that energy is primary and the illusion of matter is secondary. Our main goal when we're together is to write music in a forum where we can involve our subconscious as well as our conscious. To make that happen we every means available to us, they can be various "fragrances" or whatever modern technology can supply. Putting together an album can become a very long, tedious process with us because every idea gets tortured and drawn and quartered. But eventually everything does seem to fall grudgingly into place. JC: To me, this album is like an amusement park where you can jump on any ride or, alternately, you can swallow the whole tab and be taken hostage. The treatment will be brutal and rigorous and the demands great, but you'll walk away from it saying that you were treated very well. At first we had to spend time finding our feet with each other and realizing our collective vision. Once this was achieved, constipation became a rare concept. HP: How have things been out on the road? JC: Touring has been really special because it's the communion of our music on a much more personal level-- it surpasses recording in being able to directly communicate with people. DC: 90% of touring is waiting. The trick is to turn that waiting into productivity. But going on the road is a necessity for us. No recording can capture what happens in a room with four people who have a similar cause and truly believe in that cause. That's especially true for the way we play. Live is what our band is about. Sometimes I look out and I can't understand exactly why the crowd is responding in a certain way; Apparently kids will mosh to anthing these days. But there are also those people in the crowd that the music reaches on a deeper psychological and subconscious level. Those are the people with whom we are really trying to communicate.
Posted to t.d.n: 03/19/02 23:20:38