the tool page

spark becomes a flame

This site is no longer being updated. See here for details. Follow me here and here for updates. Thank you for 22 great years. (And yes, lyrics are posted for new album "Fear Inoculum".)


select a year

The Tool Page: An Article

Publication: The Arizona Republic

Date: November, 2002

Transcribed by
Julie (

 title: A Thinking Fan's Band
author: Michael Senft

A thinking fan's band 
Metal master Tool revises its thought-provoking show

By Michael Senft
The Arizona Republic
Nov. 17, 2002

Throughout its 10-year history, Tool has set new standards 
for heavy metal.

Eschewing the sexual innuendo of its hair-metal predecessors 
and the rap-metal posturing of its contemporaries, the LA-
based quartet has won critical acclaim and legions of 
followers, not to mention two Grammys. 

All this while blending virtuoso musicianship with lyrics that 
draw equal inspiration from Albert Einstein, Noam Chomsky 
and Aleister Crowley.

When these metal superstars step onstage Tuesday at 
America West Arena, they promise to deliver more than 
intricate music with thought-provoking lyrics. And they want 
their audience to do more than mosh.

"We want the audience to use both sides of their brain at our 
shows, so we try to stimulate both, with images and words," 
guitarist Adam Jones says.

When Tool visited Cricket Pavilion in October 2001, it 
certainly accomplished its goal of cortex stimulation. Not only 
did the band run surreal videos on gigantic screens but it 
featured mesmerizing acrobatics by Osseus Labyrint, a pair 
of contortionists who performed throughout the set, both 
onstage and suspended from the rafters.

The band even had the Gilbert High School drum corps join it 
when the show started, then invited opening act Tricky to sing 
with it during the encore.

"Actually, my nephew's in the (drum) corps," Jones 
explains. "That's how we were able to set that up." 

If you're thinking about skipping Tool this time because you 
caught them in 2001, reconsider. After 18 months of constant 
touring, the band is changing its show to keep it interesting, 
both for itself and its fans. Which means no high school 
drummers and no contortionists.

"The whole production is brand-new. New visuals and different 
songs," Jones says. 

Asked for specifics, he's cagey, not wanting to spoil the 
surprise. But he does let slip a few hints:

"We had Alex Gray, who did the cover (for Tool's latest 
album, Lateralus), design the whole show. Like the album 
cover (which features translucent pages of anatomy cross 
sections and Eastern mandalas), it builds on itself 

Jones, who has directed the dark animated videos for all of 
Tool's hits, adds, "I worked on a lot of the visuals as well, 
using CGI (computer-generated imagery) and shooting 
underwater for strange effects." 

One thing that won't change will be Tool's diverse choice of 
opening acts. Last year's Valley visit featured Tricky, other 
shows have featured prog-rock legends King Crimson. This 
time, Tool is bringing the Swedish math-metal band 
Meshuggah along. 

"Our agent will say, 'Take this band, they need the 
exposure,' but we're going to bring the bands we like and 
make a really diverse show," Jones says.

And, as with Tricky last year, Meshuggah will be helping 
throughout Tool's set. 

"We like to mix up the older songs," Jones says, "do things 
differently. It keeps the show interesting, for us and the 

"I think you'll really like it. We've tried hard to make this 
something special."

Posted to t.d.n: 11/22/02 10:25:38