Date: October 1994
Transcribed by (email@example.com)
title: Tool author: Peter Atkinson "You can only scream your head off for so long before you get kind of tired of screaming," Tool vocalist Maynard James Keenan shrugs. "Anger is definitely a very cleansing emotion, but there comes a time when it stops being all that useful." It's no wonder Keenan feels that way. Even for a band that bases much of its music and outlook on life on the obscure philosophy of lachrymology (literally the study of crying), which advocates confronting one's pain and anger, there can only be so much venom to go around. Keenan's been purging himself of the "hatred keeps me alive" sense of rage and frustration that fuels Tool's cathartic debut album Undertow for over a year. First, on the band's attention-grabbing Lollapalooza '93 slot and then, on a seemingly endless and continuing slew of headline tours. Through the touring and the disquieting videos the band made for Sober and Prison Sex, Tool has attracted nearly a million fans eager to share in it's misery. One might assume this surprising success would give Keenan and his bandmates-guitarist Adam Jones, bassist Paul D'Amour and drummer Danny Carey, pause to perhaps see things in a somewhat different, more favorable light. Keenan maintains that is certainly not the case. There's no jumping for joy in the Tool camp because of it's recent good fortune, indeed it's been something of a distraction, he notes. "As far as how I look at things, certainly the frustrations will never go away," he continues. "But, I'll be dealing with them differently. The more I deal with them through singing the older songs, the less there is a need to continue writing angry songs." Somehow, during an insanely busy schedule that finds Tool piecing together its videos, as well as rehearsing during tour breaks, the band has begun scripting material for it's second album and has a number of ideas it will be trying to flesh out over the next year. Although Keenan wouldn't provide a description of the new stuff, given its present discombobulated state, he would say it would be "different" from Undertow or Tool's 1992 EP Opiate. "I think it will sound like music that was written after Undertow," he offers vaguely. "It will be a natural progression because we're all growing as musicians in different ways. We have about 20 or 30 sketches-just riffs and emotional interludes. What we're trying to do now is get the little sketches down on tape. Then, we can go back through and go `Okay, I think this really interests me, I'm going to try to develop this further.' We're going to go with the ideas that seem like they'll be nice little projects to get involved in." There are no plans to do any recording in the immediate future, however, as on of the distractions of success Keenan spoke about, touring will keep Tool busy into the summer. "All of these people have made us great big rock stars," he cackles. "We knew if we could get in front of people they'd understand our music. If they could hear it, see it, feel it and be part of it with us, they'd see where we're coming from and what we're about. But a lot more people caught on then we thought would, so we owe it to them to keep playing." Yet Tool understands it's limitations and won't get into a situation like pals White Zombie and remain on an extensive tour, then head back into the studio to record the next album and it's back on the road again. "We really love the music, but we're into the music to feel better about the world around us, about our places in it," he says. "And, if it becomes more of a burden then the one we were suffering without the music, then I'd rather go back to being without the music. It's not worthit to me to beat my head into the ground over this."