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A TOOL-Related Article

Publication: The Herald Sun (Australia)

Date: November 7 1996

Transcribed by Chris Martin (
Submitted by "Ronch: Devine Bovine" (

This article is from Australia.

-TOOL of the trade-

In the middle of one of the down pours that marred the Sydney
leg of the three-state, Alternative Nation festival, a lone, alien
looking, mohawked figure made the 10-minute walk from the media and
band centre to the stage area.

Maynard James Keenan, Tool's riveting singer, had no desire for the
dry comfort of the vehicles that constantly ferried others past him.

An hour later the singer's other worldliness was working for Tool
with a set that was part groin thunder and part the best futuristic
metal act on the planet.

Henry Rollins made a cameo appearance on Tool's 1993 Debut album,
"undertow", and refers to the outfit as "a machine".

But that's just one part of it.  The other element of the Tool
equation is a distinct animal component.

"I think it's equal parts," says a deadpan Keenan.  "We're nitrogen-
based humans, I think that's what it is, no, carbon-based life-form,"
he says.  "And we're very close to making the crossover between
carbon and silicon in the near future.  If that happens then you'll
have computers becoming self aware I think at some point, or at least
functioning by themselves without the need for prompting."

"I think that's where Tool fits in:  we're equal part measuring and
equal part feeling."

With Tool's long-awaited second album, the masterfully hypnotic,
"Aenima", Rollins may think twice about any future cred-boosting
raves for the band.

Simply put,Aenima, the first work to feature new bassist, Justin
Chanceller, is the sort of recording that Rollins has been
threatening to make for years and has never quite nailed.

If ever the hard music genre produced an album from parts unknown,
this is it.

The recording was co-produced, engineered and mixed by David
Bottrill whose credits include the side work of Robert Fripp, the
genius behind Tool's English heavyweight virtuoso heroes, King

Keenan's explanation of the album's title is as out there as the
title itself.

"It's kind of a take on a Carl Yung psychological term," he says.
"It's a take on one of (the psychologist's) balancing aspects."

Not surprisingly, Keenan believes sound can alter body chemistry.

"Absolutely," he says.  "It's kind of a trancendental language."

But he isn't so sure if Aenima can perform that metabolic
transormation for the band's audience as well as himself.

"It's capable of doing it for me.  I don't know if it's capable
of doing it for other people, but I would think so."

kabir/akhtar | kabir@t.d.n