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A TOOL-Related Article

Publication: eye Magazine

Date: November 1996

Transcribed by Christian MacInnis (

 title: "The TooL at hand"
author: Alex Ristic

If you were to make a movie about Tool and their music and imagery, the
title would be "Dark and Darker". Not a happy band, these Californians
make music black enough to blot out the sun. Songs like "Prison Sex" and
"Sober" are deep enough to drown in, but also give the listener the idea
that the band has a social conscience.  Tool drummer Danny Carey recently
expounded to eye upon the virtues of the tools at hand --- acid, getting
laid and the departed comedian Bill Hicks, who's pictured in the sleve for
Tool's latest, "Aenima" (Zoo/BMG).  Hicks brought smiles to the faces of
band members, says Carey. " He had a different way of doing things. His
humor was coarser. He did a great Rush Limbaugh imitation." 

Carey says that some of Hicks' best bits were his routines on cancer. 
Ironically Hicks died of the disease two years ago. (How could he not see
that one coming?) And Carey really appreciates the finer points of what
inspired Hicks' comedy: "He was definately into psychadelic drugs."
Besides an affection for black humor, ingesting drugs like acid is another
thing the band have in common with Hicks. "We wouldn't deny our- selves
any technology or psychedelic drugs for inspiration. I think that any art
should be aimed at elevating the consciousness," says Carey.  Does
elevating the consciousness of the band include sexual arou- sal? nima
sounds like an attempt to broaden their sexual horizons with songs like
"Hooker With A Penis." Or maybe it's an attempt to broaden their little
black books? 

"We're not sexually frustrated," says Carey. "There's no problems getting
laid." We might not get as many girls as some other bands, but most of the
girls those guys fuck I wouldn't want anyway." That doesn't explain all
the artwork in the sleeve for nima. Tool brought in a model and posed her
in what appears to be some weird yoga moves -- one band member nearby
looks like he's masturbating. Add to that the obese woman hugging the
skinny guy on the sleeve for 1993's "Undertow" and you have some pretty
weird sexual imagery. "Things like that can be beautiful in a way,"
defends Carey. "We're just pro any lifestyle."  Well, whether the secret
of their success is drugs, sex or musical genius, these preoccupations
haven't stopped their climb to popular- ity. "Undertow" went platinum in
Canada and "nima" debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard chart in October. But
has success gone to their heads?  "Well, it would have been better to have
been No. 1," says Carey. As for interest groups that don't appreciate
Tool's vision or drug use, Carey is happy with the attention and isn't too
worried about the negativity: "If they called us servants of the devil I'd
be flattered."**

kabir/akhtar | kabir@t.d.n