Date: Sometime, 1996
page: title: The Tool at hand author: Alex Ristic If you were to make a movie about Tool and their music and imagery, the title would be Dark and Darker. Not a happy band, these Californians make music black enough to blot out the sun. Songs like "Prison Sex" and "sober" are deep enough to drown in, but also give the listener the idea that the band has a social conscience. Tool drummer Danny Carey recently expounded to eye upon the vitrues of the tools at hand - acid, getting laid and the departed comedian Bill Hicks, who's pictured in the sleeve for Tool's latest, Aenima (Zoo/BMG). Hicks brought smiles to the faces of band members, says Carey. "He had a different way of doing things. His humor was coarser. He did a great Rush Limbaugh imitation." Carey says that some of Hicks' best bits were his routines on cancer. Ironically Hicks died of the disease two years ago. (How could he not see that one coming>) And Carey really appreciates the finer points of what inspired Hicks' comedy: "He was definitely into psychedelic drugs." Besides an affection for black humour, ingesting drugs like acid is another thing the band have in common with Hicks. "We wouldn't deny ourselves any technology or psychedelic drugs for inspiration. I think that any art should be aimed at elevating the consciousness," says Carey. Does elevating the consciousness of the band include sexual arousal? Aenima sounds like an attempt to broaden their sexual horizons with songs like "Hooker With A Penis". Or maybe it's an attempt to broaden their little black books? "We're not really frustrated," says Carey. "There's no problems getting laid. We might not get as many girls as some other bands, but most of the girls those guys fuck I wouldn't want anyway." That doesn't explain all the artwork in the sleeve of Aenima. Tool brought in a model and posed her in a what appears to be some weird yoga moves - one band member nearby looks like he's masturbating. Add to that the obese woman hugging the skinny guy on the sleeve for 1993's Undertow and you have some pretty weird sexual imagery. "Things like that can be beautiful in a way," defends Carey. "We're just pro any lifestyle." Well, whether the secrets of their success is drugs, sex or musical genius, these preoccupations haven't stopped their climb to popularity. Undertow went platinum in Canada and Aenima debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard chart in October. But has success gone to their heads? "Well, it would have been better to have been No. 1," says Carey. As for interest groups that don't appreciate Tool's vision or drug use, Carey is happy with the attention and isn't too worried about the negativity: "If they called us servants of the devil I'd be flattered."
Posted to t.d.n: 04/13/02 15:49:40