Publication: Night & Day
Date: October 17, 1996
Transcribed by Jeremy (Shift619@aol.com)
author: Jeff Niesel, a San Diego-based free-lance writer If topics's uncomfortable, Tool will want to bore deeper into it With evocative lyrics set to fine-tuned blasts of hard rock, Tool's new album "Aenima" (which debuted at No. 2 of the charts in its first week of release), is one of the most satisfying metal albums of the year. According to drummer Danny Carey, the Los Angeles-based band set out to make a record that would be more provocative than the average metal fare. "We dig a little deeper than most bands, and we don't write songs about things on the surface," said Carey, who brings Tool to SOMA tomorrow night. "We deal with things that other people find uncomfortable. A lot of people think our music is evil or dark or something. But it's not like that at all. Our aim is to create something spiritual." Carey and singer Maynard James Keenan met by accident. Carey grew up in Paola, Kan., a small town outside of Kansas City, and began playing drums in his school band at 10. After getting his first drum kit at 13, he learned to play rock songs by listening to his older brother's Led Zeppelin records. In 1986, Carey moved to Los Angeles and worked as a session player Green Jello and Pygmy Love Circus. Eventually, he met Keenan and formed Tool with guitarist Adam Jones and bassist Paul D'Amour (since replaced by Justin Chancellor). Tool's first EP, "Opiate," came out in 1992, and the band followed it a year later with "Undertow," an album that has gone on to sell more than 1.2 million copies. Tool was such a hit on the Lollapalooza '93 tour that it was moved from the side stage to the main stage, creating a buzz that heightened when MTV put the video for "Sober" in heavy rotation. "No one had paid any attention to us until we played at Lollapalooza," Carey said. "MTV gave the tour coverage and then started playing our videos. But playing live is our real strength. I think of records as two-dimensional postcards that can't compare to performances." Shock Value (still same article) The 15 tracks on "Aenima" are truly spine tingling. Many of the songs have a tribal beat to them. Between songs, the band includes segues of experimental music and noises. "We've just gotten better as a group," Carey said. "Producer David Bottrill was good. He has a 'Real World' vibe to his work from having working with Peter Gabriel. I've always listened to African music myself. Although the drums on the album are not exactly African, they are derivative of them to some extent." Tool videos and artwork have a peculiar, disturbed look about them, a look Carey said the band fights to maintain. The distinctly surreal videos for "Sober" and "Prison Sex" (both from "Undertow") utilize stop-motion animation to depict doll-like figures being dismembered. Carey said the band was in the process of editing its video for "Stinkfist," the first single from "Aenima," but he didn't know whether MTV would embrace it in the same way it did the video for "Sober." "To me, the video for 'Prison Sex' was the best one was have ever made, but it didn't get played nearly as much as 'Sober,'" he said. "It's too bad. MTV played it for a little while but then said that too many kids were having nightmares, so they would only play it late at night. Personally, I like it when I have nightmares. I wake up feeling like I've accomplished something."