A TOOL-Related Article
Opiate-Era Bio from Zoo Entertainment
Transcibed by Erik K. (Mudfly) (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Maynard James Keenan--vocals
Tool never quite experienced the full bone-picking wrath of the A&R
vulture pool. The cryptically monikered foursome were inked by Zoo
Entertainment halfway into their six-month existence, ending the race
after a scant few gigs. "Why dick around and play games with the industry
and deal with all that stuff?" reflects bassist Paul. "It just gets so
sickening, bidding wars and all that crap..."
That said, it's obvious that the members of Tool are anything but
Los Angeles-transplanted rock-god-wannabes. True, they emigrated from
various ports of call to settle in their adopted El Lay, but there was no
Sunset Strip pay-to-play pipe dream involved whatsoever... In other
words, these guys had real jobs. Guitarist/artist Adam Jones convinced
vocalist Maynard to pick up the mic. Maynard's downstairs neighbor just
happened to be drummer Danny Carey, whose busy agenda continues to
include work with Green Jello, Pigmy Love Circus and Carole King (!), and
who in turn brought Paul into the fold.
"Mostly what happened was Adam kept pestering me to get together
with him and do something," says Maynard of Tool's virtually accidental
formation. "I wasn't sure that I wanted to, but I did. So we wrote some
songs and were practicing in Danny's space and the drummers we were
trying to get kept not showing up. So Danny said, 'Fuck it, I'll fill in
if you want me to.' Paul, the bass player, who is actually a guitar
player, came to L.A. to work on a film that got pushed back and had
nothing better to do."
Opiate, Tool's debut EP, captures the volatile chemistry behind the
quartet's formidable, building momentum. For a meager six-song sampling,
Opiate showcases a myriad of moods and mindsets. A seamless rhythmic
backbone and a torrent of wrenching guitars and tortured vocals propel
"Sweat" and "Hush". Maynard's haunting refrain alters the mood a bit on
"Part of Me," while utter chaos reigns on "Cold and Ugly" and "Jerk-Off,"
two songs recorded live at Tool's New Years Eve bacchanal at the Green
Jello loft. The title track "Opiate" closes proceedings on a particularly
schizophrenic note, building gradually from a post-orgasmic lull into a
full-on tribal frenzy.
The Tool aesthetic extends beyond the live and studio recordings
presented on Opiate. On a raw visual level, their phallic wrench logo
T-shirt has intimadated at least two prominent rock writers out of
showing public support for the band. Of the arresting live performances
that spurred the mercifully brief Tool A&R war, Maynard comments: "When I
go to see a band, the first thing I look at is the singer. If the singer
believes what he's saying, then I listen to the band. If the band is up
there jumping around and the singer's got a half-smirk on his face like,
'I'm just here for the beer,' then I don't pay attention."
SINCERITY IS THE CORE.