the tool page

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The Tool Page: An Article

Publication: Hard Rock

Date: November, 1996

Transcribed by
D. A. McGowin (


i noticed this article and thought it would be nice to have it translated
over from French to here it is.  a couple of words were not
able to be translated but it still allows those who cannot speak or
understand French to read this article.

 (translating done by

BarrČ metal (heavy?  industrial?), comtemporary, intellectual, call it how
you like, has come into fashion in America, since NIN showed that an
audience existed for this atypical style of music. 

When Tool joined the genre, they became the truly sublime members [???]

Americans are "barjots" [no idea] For some time they were interested by
groups interested in hard rock, but played in an introspective way,
deliberately intellectual.  Gimmick or frank sincerity, we don't yet have
the ability [not sure here] to be able to judge them (if that is our
role).  Anyways, musical quality is at a turning point and it's not by
luck that AEnima, the third album by Tool (Opiate, the first, only had 6
songs, however) has returned directly to 2nd place on the American charts,
the we ek of its release.  We got hold of the group the day after an
apocalyptic concert in San Francisco, for the simple and good reason that
contributed [not sure] to the commercial success of AEnima all the world
is in agreement: it is a "magistral" [no idea] album.

HR:  How did AEnima's production go?

DC:  We stayed rather faithful to our usual methods: we come together in a
song and let it go in an organic way.  We try not to force things.  If the
mixture works, we write; if not, we come back the next day.  It's a very
natural process. 

I understand that you've spent some time in France.

MJK:  Yes, almost two years in the south...not two whole years, but in
pieces it's not far from two years. 

Where exactly?

I don't recall the name any more.  It's a very spiritual, very powerful
place.  You know, it's a big area with gometrical designs based on
geological forms.  I don't know, it's a bit like your Stonehenge. 

I will try to remember, but at first it doesn't tell me anything.

That's normal.  When you live nearby, it can't truly interest you.  It's
like the Egyptians who can't understand the spiritual power of the
pyramids.  It's normal, since childhood they spoke about the pyramids. 
So, what spiritual inspiration can they fin d there? 
What happened with Paul D'Amour, your last bassist?  Tool has always had
solidarity among its members. 

Danny:  Like usual, artistical differences.  We are always friends.  The
proof?  He will release an album on our label this year.  It's true that
what he wanted to do musically was much too pop-oriented for Tool.  He
therefore preferred to leave. 

Maynard:  Our new bassist, Justin Chancellor, works very well with us, in
that he wants to go in the same direction as Tool.  There's never been any
problem.  He's from an English group that opened for us and we've known
him for more than four years.  All is going well with him.  We appreciate

Tool is in the process of becoming huge in America.  How do you see this
fame?  Maynard:  Good, because we knew to protect ourselves.  In fact, all
depends on the way you "gĖrs le truc" [no idea].  There are groups that
publicize themselves greatly before their album is released, that have
their clip on MTV, that have millions of pho to sessions where their heads
appear everywhere, briefly, which in a certain way, searches to expose
themselves.  That's not at all the case of Tool.  We don't play that game. 
We don't have marketing, everything is very spontaneous and we never force

Danny:  We do that in a way by not appearing in our videos, by not making
ourselves known.  That makes it so I can go out at night without being
bothered on the street, that I can go see the group that opens for us
without being recognized in the room, it's pretty cool. 

Maynard:  It's not necessary to be recognized, you know.  It's more a
source of aggravation [not sure].  You don't have to sell your personality
to sell music. 

Fans like to identify with groups.  You don't want to frustrate them by
this discretion. [not sure]

That's not really the purpose of Tool, so we don't think about that. 
People who like us don't know who we truly are. [not sure] What they want
is to hear us before everyone.  That is caused by fame, the desire to know
our minds, to know what drugs we tak e, all that which doesn't count when
you like Tool.  I think that, in this way, we can have more profound, less
superficial fans, and the relation between the group and its fans is more

What do you think of being called in "groups like Marilyn Manson, Korn,
NIN, or Tool"? 

Hmm...I don't really want to be compared with Marilyn Manson or Korn. 
They correspond to trends which don't have much to do with music. 

Danny:  We are more interested in the musical quality of our songs.  That
which makes the public appreciate the groups you just named, it's that
they are typically in fashion.  I listened to Marilyn Manson's new album,
and I can't remember a single melody .  Anyways, their last video is cool! 

In the eighties, rock was easily accessible, with instant melodies. 
Today, it seems that the difficulty of access guarantees the success of a

Maynard:  I don't know, I imagine that the public is fed up with listening
to easy-listening [?] shit, which didn't have an alternative [?].  There
is also the fact that there was never interaction with the public, in the
sense of the artist being a member [?] of the public.  We do something
that brings more participation of people who appreciate us, who move with
Is that the concept behind Tool, a symbiosis with the public?

I don't know if it involves a concept.  I think that it's normal for the
public to feel strongly about music.  It's the reason why a group like
Nirvana was so big.  They place themselves on equal footing with the
public, there had never been this distinct ion in the rock n' roll
attitude.  Before them, there was never this strong connection between the
group and the audience.  With all the shit like Van Halen and Winger,
there was never a real relation with the audience. 

Danny:  We try to propose something deeper than Hootie & the Blowfish,
something which brings people to reflect and identify with us in the
strength of the music, and not just repeat the refrains. 

Maynard:  That type of group has their own place, we don't have to condemn
them.  We say that Tool is truly not in the same place. 

You spoke of style some questions ago.  Do you think that one day Tool
will be the "in" group? 

I don't think so.  To be in style, it's necessary to play a role:
accepting to do interviews on MTV, accepting whatever they ask of you. 

Danny:  Yeah, give interviews to Spin and Rolling Stone, play the hype
game that makes you in style.  We don't need that, so we don't do it. 
There are many young groups that let themselves be compromised, but it
ruins their image in the long run. 

Maynard:  Take the example of Beck.  He was big here with his piece.  He
was the "in" musician for some time.  That hasn't stopped him from
continuing in the style he's chosen.  His new album isn't selling as well,
but he kept his integrity.  He's an arti st.  He will last, he will be the
next Tom Waits, and he won't care if his next single is popular or not. 
He likes what he does, he's an artist in the true sense of the term. 

I saw yesterday's show and I was very impressed by your video projections. 
Are they as important as your music? 

No, it's true that they're a bonus, that makes a certain interaction
between the music and the video.  No it's not the most important.  The
very visual side of our CD artwork and our videos... 

Danny:  It's just a bonus that gives more impact to our songs, but we've
toured many years without video effects. 

Maynard:  We have always been a group with a live impact, and it wasn't a
loong time ago, we didn't use videos.  It's just something to improve on
the group, and the music can survive on its own. 

Don't you think, in these circumstances, that Tool is the perfect group
for making a CD-ROM, with images and sounds at the same time? 

Yes, maybe.  But if we make a CD-ROM, we want to do it well.  We tested
those of David Bowie and Peter Gabriel.  Those were nothing more than
video games that didn't do much.  If we made a CD-ROM, we would want it to
go farther, that you won't want to ran ger[throw it away?] after you have
it.  That's why we're thinking about it very seriously.  But because we
don't really have much time, we will wait.  It is out of the question to
make a simple video game.  If we make a CD-ROM, we want it to be deep, to
i nvite the user to jump back in, when he thinks he has finished.  Just
like the album.  We want the user to jump in more than once, so he can
search all the secret passages, explore the depth.  Take a game like Myst. 
Once you've finished it, you don't wan t to play again.  If we make a
CD-ROM, we hope that people will return to it, while still having the
impression they've explored it all. 

Tool is an intelligent group.  So I would like to hear your commentaries
on certain subjects which need a certain refection.  Talk to me about

Music changes people.

Danny:  For me, most is the most advanced for mof language.  It's
somethign sacred that I can't see like most musicians: to commercial ends,
for satisfying their egos.  I can't use that manner of thinking. 


Maynard:  That's an offensive word, in that it's often associated with
dogma, with an established order.  Religion is something wonderful which
unfortunately can be negatively exploited, like with the catholic
connards[?] in control of the Vatican. 

Danny:  At its roots religion is something wonderful.  However, the
problem is that it's perverted by ugly dogmas that transform people. 


Maynard:  I consider them as a sort of spiritual pathway...they truly can
take you to see things in a very different way.  But you must be educated. 
Since we weren't made to perceive these new things, drugs can be fatal. 
They are in any case a way of se eing this in an alternative way, a
catalyst for perceiving reality more deeply.  Unfortunately it isn't given
to everyone to feel the power, and for certain people, drugs are terrible

Danny:  I see drugs as a tool (a Tool!).  Understand, they can be abused
stupidly.  In my part, I will never refuse the aid of technology that
allows me to go further in my vision of things.  And drugs are in a sense
one of these technologies.  But it's n ecessary to know how to feel[use?]
them absolutely, which definitely isn't given to everyone. 

Maynard:  It's an extremely creative process.  Said another way, one of
the most powerful ways of meditation.  People don't always realize that
when they have an orgasm, they create something.  There is true energy in
the sexual act, it's something of inc redible power.  It's necessary to go
against religious dogmas, who for so many years made you think of it as
something bad.  The religious want to simply ignore that under the orgasm
hides an uncommon creative power.  The orgasm is something truly pure. 

Danny:  Throughout the U.S., sex is viewed badly.  People fear sex, and
that's too bad.  I think the world would be better if people fool around more.
Maynard:  The true bad thing, the sickness, is fear...

Posted to t.d.n: 07/24/97 22:14:10