the tool page

rediscover communication

This site is no longer being updated. See here for details. Follow me here and here for updates. Thank you for 22 great years. (And yes, lyrics are posted for new album "Fear Inoculum".)


select a year

The Tool Page: An Article

Publication: Entertainment Tonight

Date: May, 2001

Transcribed by

 title: It's Tool Time!
author: By Jill Ward 

While some artists scramble to claim unique monikers 
like "P. Diddy" or even strange hieroglyphics, MAYNARD J. 
KEENAN is happy just being Maynard. But when it comes to his 
music, the daunting frontman is actually two, two malcontents 
in one! Hot off a tour with his highly successful co-project, A 
PERFECT CIRCLE, a seemingly inexhaustible Maynard returns 
to his eldest child, TOOL, to create a brand-new release.

On May 15, the L.A. metal act drops Lateralus, their first new 
material since 1996's Grammy-winning Aenima. And after five 
years under the bridge, fans will be happy to know that Tool's 
latest effort hardly finds them fresh from a Calgon bath. 
Forever struggling with the question "why," Lateralus is yet 
another strange journey through the noir and bizarre. Your 
first clue comes via the album's creepy artwork and 
phonetically unfriendly song titles. Sonically, however, Tool 
continues to produce high doses of moody instrumentals and 
loud, crunching rock reminiscent of their ZEPPELIN and 
FLOYDian influences. But with the ever-pondering Keenan at 
the helm, a collection comes forth that could only spell Tool. 

Kicking off the opus is "The Grudge," a quick-quick-slow and 
riff-heavy ditty that dangles on the album's plausible theme 
of cavernous introspect. While Keenan no doubt "digs" the 
fatally philosophical, this track holds an air of passage, hence 
the lines "Choose to/let this go." And take for instance the 
album's first single, "Schism," currently in rotation and 
climbing Billboard's Modern Rock Chart. This stuttering 
musical voyage offers up the lines, "I've done the math 
enough to know the dangers of a second-guessing/doomed 
to crumble unless we grow/and strengthen our 
communication." Seems Keenan is offering up some personal 
insight, rather than the former ponderings that just left us 
dangling. The shimmering hi-hats of "Parabol" and its ear-
splitting counterpart, "Parabola," also walk a line between 
questions and conclusions. 

But fear not, Lateralus faithfully calls for a few quick trips to 
the mosh pit. "Ticks and Leeches" growls and hammers away 
at an unknown enemy, and maybe, just maybe was the 
therapy the band needed after legal woes with their former 
label. Several tunes also offer up the chance to vent including 
the album's title track, "Lateralus." Aided by finger-splitting 
guitar work by ADAM JONES, the tune slowly climbs into a 
frenzy with the help of drummer DANNY CAREY who, by the 
way, makes no apologies throughout the album. On the 
other hand, tunes like "Triad" call for deep thought as you 
slowly headbang in a JIMI HENDRIX sort of fashion. Fans who 
enjoy old school skate bands like THE GOD MACHINE may 
take a particular liking to this track. 

Needless to say, Lateralus is an emotional collection. Cuts 
like the free-falling tune "The Patient" are often delicate and 
intimate despite floor-shaking strums from bassist JUSTIN 
CHANCELLOR. On this particular cut, Keenan delivers a 
convincing plea midway through in a heart-wrenching octave 
strangely reminiscent of XTC. On the other hand, ambient 
instrumentals like the "Mantra" and "Eon Blue Apocalypse" 
seem to exist purely to excite the senses -- much like the 
album in its entirety. 

So with the latest gem from Tool currently hitting the shelves, 
it begs the obvious question: "So what's the deal with 
your 'other band,' Maynard?" "They're both a priority and 
there's equal space for both of them," he tells "To say I should focus on one or the other is like 
going up to a mother and saying, 'Your first kid was great, 
but your second kid was so much cooler than your first baby. 
You should focus on that one' -- it's just a weird argument. 
I've given birth to some words in different forms and reacted 
to different musicians. I want it all to succeed. I want people 
to hear all of it." 

And with the success that both musical ventures have 
enjoyed, there should be no worries there! In fact, Tool has 
already kicked off the Lateralus tour and, at last check, all 
U.S. dates are sold out! In late May, the band will then 
continue their journey throughout Western Europe before 
wrapping things up on July 1 in Toronto. 

1. The Grudge
2. Eon Blue Apocalypse
3. The Patient
4. Mantra
5. Schism
6. Parabol
7. Parabola
8. Ticks & Leeches
9. Lateralis
10. Disposition
11. Reflection
12. Triad
13. Faaip De Oiad

Posted to t.d.n: 02/26/03 11:49:50