the tool page

online since 1995

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The Tool Page: An Article

Publication: FACES (as far as I know)

Date: Sometime, 1995

Transcribed by
Niki Rodgers (

  page: 61
 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 Jeenan
shrugs."Anger is definitley a very cleansing emotions, 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 and 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 bands's attention-grabbing
Lollapalooza '93 slot an then, on a seemingly endless and continuing slew of headlining 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 its misery. One might assumethis surprising success would give
Keenana 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 the recent good
fortune, indeed it's been something of a distraction, he notes.
              "I really don't have any reaction at all to it (success) on
way or the other," says the singer. "We wanted to sell a few albums just
to have it keep us afloat, so we could pay the rent, so we could make more
music and films. I guess we've accomplished that. 
               "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 for 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 its second album and has a number of
ideas it wil 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
ideas that seem like they'll be nice little projects to get involved in." 
                  There are no plans plans to do any recording in the
immendiate future, however, as one 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 cackels. "We knew if we
could get in front of people they'd see where we were coming from and what
we were about. But a lot more people caught on that we thought would, so I
think we owe it to them to keep playing." 
                 Yet, Tool understands its limitaitons 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 than a the one we were suffering
without the music, then I'd rather go back to "being" without the music.
It's not worth it to me to beat my head into the ground over this." 

Posted to t.d.n: 05/14/97 18:30:39