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A TOOL-Related Article

Publication: Faces

Date: October 1994

Transcribed by (

 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."

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