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The Tool Page: An Article

Publication: Rip It Up

Date: May, 2001

Transcribed by
Peter Grylls (

  page: 44
 title: Inside the TOOLbox
author: Danny Keenan

Before Tool will talk to Rip It Up's Danny Keenan, they pack him into 
the back of a BMW in Los Angeles where he's secretly played six 
tracks from their new album. Let the onslaught begin...

RIU: Does the new album have a title yet?

M: Maybe

RIU: Would you care to elaborate on that?

M: There may be an album title, but no one has heard it yet.

D: It's still not finished yet. Until it's finished, then it'll be 


RIU: Throughout the internet and various press, there has been a 

number of names and song titles. Are they just guesses?

D: They might be little clues, but we'll see.

RIU: Pieces to the puzzle?

D: Yeah

RIU: Can you tell me what the first single will be?

M: No

D: We haven't actually picked it yet

A: Don't take it personal

D: We're debating over it. We need to pick one soon, but at this 

point we don't know.

RIU: I guess that means that I can throw out all my questions in 
regards to the first video clip or any single artwork

M: I guess. You can ask them though.

RIU: Do you have any visual ideas for the album?

M: I was kinda hoping to get Lucy Lui in the video

A: Yeah. Charlies Angels

M: We'll do a Charlies Angels video

RIU: It's been well over four years since the release of Aenima. 
Outside of an extensive tour and A Perfect Circle, why such a long

D: On top of all that, we had some business/legal issues to deal 
with. But we did tour for two years.

J: And it took about a year to write and record the album after 
finishing up our business stuff.

RIU: Do you hate being businessmen.

J: Yeah

D: Hate it

RIU: Four or so years is quite a lot of time. The general public's 
attention spans are short and music has changed considerably. Was 
there ever any concern that four years was maybe too long?

M: No

J: We just wanted to come up with something unique, ya know? It takes 
a lot of experimentation. It's discovery.

RIU: There's a natural musical bridge between Aenima and this album. 
Do you agree there is a lyrical bridge?

M: Sure. I'm not really sure because we're in the middle of it, so 
it's hard to figure it out, but definitely we write from our own 
experiences. So it's four years later, so we're more mature people 
and we've seen a lot more things. When you get to a certain age, you 
start to get a better perspective, you get more hindsight and write 
from that place, and its certainly going to be a different place, but 
a natural progression.

RIU: I would imagine that a recording studio with you guys would be 
an incredibly closed shop?

D: Yeah. It's closed.

RIU: So is it a sterile studio, or a home away from home?

M: It's a home away from home, definitely.

RIU: Then what does home consist of?

M: Creature comforts definitely. For me, that would be an espresso 


D: Magic symbols, candles. Whatever it takes. Whatever tools we need, 
we just move in.

M: Small farm animals.

D: They take over our space. We try and create an environment where 
things can grow. That's it.

RIU: This issue has been round for decades, but do you feel a need to 
be responsible in your lyrics?

M: Yeah. People make their own choices, that's the bottom line. To 
me, those kind of social frustrations that come about, with people 
lashing out, is because of unaddressed aggressions , repressed 
emotions and that kind of stuff. So to me, when you see some movie 
about somebody doing some horrific deeds, in a way, by watching the 
movie you have related to and expressed that emotion and that desire 
and therefore you don't need to go do it. It's kinda like letting the 
steam out in a way. But the more you repress it and deny it, it's 
gonna come up somewhere and it's not gonna be pretty when it happens 
and it'll be real when it happens, rather than just a book, a story, 
a film or a song.

RIU: You are renowned for subtle and cryptic lyrics, sound bytes and 
audio tricks. Can we expect more of the same with this album?

J: Yeah, we definitely tried to get really creative. We're still 
using the same instruments that we have before, but we just tried to 
push the boundaries back even further, within those parameters.

RIU: Are there any songs on the album that you think will surprise 
the hell out of your fans?

D: Yeah, there are songs that people would never of imagined us doing 
I think. On this record there are a couple of departures. Probably 
the ones that you didn't hear, 'cause they're at the end of the 
record. It gets weirder as it goes.

RIU: Did you surprise yourselves?

A: In a good way.

M: Yeah in a good way, we took a few risks.

RIU: Is New Zealand a big territory for you?

D: It's overwhelming. Per capita, those [New Zealand & Australia] are 
definitely our top markets. I don't know how it happened, but it's a 
good relationship with people there.

RIU: How do the fans compare?

M: They seem to be more intelligent.

A: They're really passionate, but they're not as knuckle-headed as 
the fans are here in the US and I consider myself to be a knuckle-
head. It's like they're still going nuts, but they're still really 
respectful at our shows.

RIU: Do you think that your fans are in it for the lyrics, or more so 
the energy?

M: I think that they're in it for the whole thing. They're certainly 
individuals and each individual, ask them individually.

RIU: You guys were at the forefront of pioneering the "dynamic" style 
of rock with heavy and lighter elements. Many other acts are now 
doing it, whether it be rap/rock acts or bands like the Deftones. How 
do you evaluate the new rock acts?

M: I think the Deftones do a pretty good job. I really like the White 
Pony record. I think that Chino is one of the few singers out there 
that can actually sing, so it's nice that he doesn't get caught up in 
the things that some of the other bands get caught up in, like 
thinking that they're not allowed to. It's good 'cause it's a 
vulnerable side that you don't see in most of the popular rock, 
alternative, rock/rap bands. They don't show their ass.

RIU: You are reknown for keeping tight control over everything you 
do. Do aall the powers that be try and infiltrate your world?

M: What do you think?

RIU: Probably

M: I think that they gave up. At one point they were trying to but 
they just went: 'Oh fuck it, we cant. We can't fuck with these 
guys 'cause they'll stop doing things until we go away.'

A: They still try and find that loophole to try and suggest 
something,or try to bend you, but we've made it this far making our 
own rules so I think they know what to do.

RIU: When you started in 1992, you essentially started this new rock 
sound with acts like Nirvana, The Smashing Pumpkins, Pearl Jam, 
Soundgarden and Rage Against The Machine. How do you feel now that so 
many of your contemporaries are no longer around?

M: Like I should be looking forward to a pension plan *laughs*. I 
want a retirement home in Florida.

D: It is satisfying to see that we had the strength and the courage 
to maintain a relationship with each other. It's tough. It's tough to 
stay married with a person for ten years, let alone stay married with 
three people for ten years, it's hard. We've had one change along the 
way. But it's all worked out.

A: And it worked for the better.

RIU: What do you think is the key to your longevity?

J: Just having a lot of respect for each other and really respecting 
each others ideas and keeping an open mind.

D: I think that keeping that white-hot vision of the end product in 
mind. It's worth suffering through each others pet peeves and all 
that stuff if you know what the end product is going to be and that's 
so rewarding. That's why we're still together. If that wasn't there, 
we would have kicked each others arses ages ago and and broke up.

RIU: What do your fans want to know?

D: I think is those things that other bands are displaying all the 
time. There's that stupid show on MTV called 'Cribs' or something, 
where the viewer sees where you live, what you live like and what you 
eat and stuff. It gets to the point where it's so ridiculous and 
everybody is asking "Who?" instead of "What?" and I don't support it. 
I want to hear what they are saying artistically or musically. The 
face behind it doesn't really make any difference. But that's what 
gets exploited all the time and I think that's kind of grim.

A: It's where society is right now with music, there is just no 
mystery, it's all exposed, it's all what's happening behind the 
scenes, it's all VH1 specials and there's no vulnerability. There's a 
reason why we don't push our images and we push the music and really 
hard to try and conform to that and I don't think we will.

RIU: You guys must have been one of the prime targets for Napster. 
Did that concern you?

D: Oh yeah. That's why we made you sit in the back of the car and 
listen to the record *laughs*

M: I had to yell at a few websites, because we had a few surprises in 
the Slival box set and they posted them on their website as soon as 
they heard a rumour about them. Whatever happened to a kid going and 
a buying a thing and taking it home and going: 'Wow! there's extra in 
here for me, that I didn't expect.' If you read these websites, your 
presents are open before Christmas comes. It's fucked.

Posted to t.d.n: 05/06/01 03:07:55