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The Tool Page: An Article

Publication: hit parader

Date: March, 2002

Transcribed by
akasha (akashatool@yahoo.com)


  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