the tool page

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The Tool Page: An Article

Publication: The Seattle Times

Date: November, 2001

Transcribed by
Shawn L. (

 title: Tool hammers out quality metal
author: Patrick MacDonald

Concert Preview 
Tool hammers out quality metal 

By Patrick MacDonald 
Seattle Times music critic 

Tool has the best of both worlds: It's a shadowy cult band 
with a huge following most mainstream bands would envy. 
Even some of Tool's biggest fans wouldn't recognize the 
group on the street, because the band members' likenesses 
aren't anywhere to be found on its four albums, and the 
musicians don't appear in the videos. The band's press-kit 
photo is 10 years old, and all the band members look 
different now. 

Even in concert, the group remains shrouded. The stage is 
darkened and attention is focused on video screens behind 
the group, which show amorphous, unfocused, unsettling 
films of blood and guts and maggots and other nightmarish 
Lead singer Maynard James Keenan, defying rock-star 
convention, doesn't stand in front of the band but behind it, 
on a platform near the drummer. He not only is never 
spotlighted, he spends much of the time facing the video 
screens rather than the audience. He's a big, imposing man, 
looking even more menacing now because he has shaved his 
head and painted a wide black stripe across his forehead. 
(Keenan, whose voice is a powerful instrument, also is lead 
singer for A Perfect Circle, a more conventional band, known 
for the rock-radio hit "Judith.") 

Tool's music is dark and troubling, but delivered with such 
intensity and musicianship that it's easy to get caught up in 
its whirlwind of guitar, bass, drums and vocals. The band 
seems to take up where Led Zeppelin left off, crafting quality 
metal with alternative-rock influences. 

The often-opaque lyrics have an apocalyptic feel, leavened 
with the possibility of redemption via love and music. Keenan 
is one of few rock figures to speak out against the bombing 
of Afghanistan, and he says Tool's concerts  he calls 
them "gatherings"  are sacred ceremonies that offer 
emotional release in a troubled time. 

The band  including guitarist Adam Jones, bassist John 
Chancellor and drummer Danny Carey  is joined in concert 
by several dancers who, inspired by Asian traditions including 
butoh, hang from ropes or move on all fours. This tour 
focuses on the band's two most recent albums, "Lateralus" 
and "Salival," expanding the already long songs (Tool's 
album cuts usually run six minutes or longer) into even 
longer jams. 

Opening is Tricky, who sings and raps and toasts, Jamaican 
style, backed by a band.

Posted to t.d.n: 02/04/02 02:24:54