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Tool May 2019 Newsletter

Blair has released the latest issue of the Tool Newsletter today, dropping a couple of smallish hints for deciphering, but mostly reiterating how he came to be the Tool webmaster:

In the nineteen years of writing for my – er – I mean the band’s website, the hardest thing is knowing something that would constitute real band news – something positive to relay to eager fans – only being unable to post it for a variety of reasons due to the site’s official nature. I’m faced with the same dilemma today, but hopefully (keep your toes crossed) I can make an official announcement next month. Until then, in keeping with Adam’s “write about whatever you want” pep talk to me all those years ago, and knowing the guys probably have poor internet connections in Europe, there IS something that has been on my mind for a while now.

I think that most of us would agree that Crohn’s disease – a chronic disorder that causes inflammation in the digestive system – is nothing to joke about and any FDA-approved product that offers relief from the severity of the symptoms is to be applauded. With that said, from what I can hear, the band in the T.V. commercial for HUMIRA is really… really… really terrible (unless the studio track is entitled “TrainWreck.”).

https://toolband.com/news/2019/tool-newsletter-2/

Let’s hope Blair is able to communicate his news sooner rather than later, though personally I’m not expecting much more in the way of announcements until after the European tour winds up.

Speaking of which, the first date in Berlin is tomorrow night at the Mercedes Benz Arena. Wishing all the best to our Tool loving European comrades, for whom the tour drought is about to break!

Paul D’Amour joins Ministry

Former Tool bass player Paul D’Amour has been announced as the new bass player for Industrial metal stalwarts Ministry. He’ll be joining them on their tour next month, and has also apparently joined them in the studio.

Al Jourgensen also tells an amusing anecdote related to Tool:

“I used to live with Timothy Leary, and he had given me these bottles of liquid LSD to bring on tour,” Jourgensen recalled. “I’d put two drops in my bottle of whiskey that I’d bring onstage. I’d drink about half the bottle during a show. So we were on Lollapalooza in ’92, I think it was San Francisco, and when we came offstage there were these two guys who were like, ‘Great show, dude!’ So I gave them my bottle of Bushmills, but I forgot that I had put LSD in it. So they drank it and they were tripping balls for, like, two or three days. They didn’t know what was going on and they were freaking out. They were ready to call suicidal hotlines. It turned out to be Paul and Maynard from Tool! … But he actually thanked me for that moment because he said it really got Tool going into being a psychedelic band.”

https://www.revolvermag.com/music/ministry-enlist-tools-original-bassist-paul-damour

Ministry are best know for their iconic 90s albums such as Psalm 69 and The Mind is the Terrible Thing to Taste

Adi Granov selling original Tool artwork

You think you’re a Tool superfan? Sure you’ve dropped hundreds on VIP passes, Lateralus vinyls, limited edition First Editions of Danny’s book and even a Tool blanket – but do you own an original piece of Tool artwork? If you have a bunch of money and just don’t know what to do with it, then I have good news.

Artist Adi Granov is selling the originals of a couple of his art works done for Tool. From his Facebook post:

I have decided to start accepting offers on these two Tool paintings (via DM please, or via contact@adigranov.net). Both…

Posted by Adi Granov on Thursday, May 23, 2019

Pretty cool stuff, and certainly a once in a lifetime opportunity!

Happy Birthday Danny!

I don’t always wish band members Happy Birthday on here any more, but since I was sent a special photo by reader slaamri I have a nice photo of some signed merch to share.

From slaamri to Danny:

Happy birthday from France!

And I know the sentiment is expressed worldwide! Hopefully all those at the Tool show this evening will give him a solid rendition of Happy Birthday to You.

There’s also a few snaps of the great man from Blair on Facebook:

Tool confirm 30th August release date for new album

Hot off the presses – Tool have confirmed at the Birmingham show tonight that the album will be released on August 30th. No further details at this time, but stay tuned!

Tool debut new songs at Welcome to Rockville

Adam suggested that we’d get new Tool songs this tour, and they certainly delivered at Welcome to Rockville, with the band playing two tracks.

I’m hesitant to get too carried away with analysis over songs that have only appears in phone recording quality, but I’m largely happy with what I hear. Both a relatively slow burners, quite atmospheric with a strong emphasis on instrumental work.

First up was the complete version of Descending, which has been previewed many times over the last couple of years. It’s a reasonably dark and somber track, resembling both Jambi and The Grudge at times. Maynard sings along for the first half, but the final half is completely instrumental:

The other song played is reportedly called Invincible, is perhaps a bit more upbeat than Descending. Once again this has a riff what was previewed occasionally over the last few years. It’s got a bit more Maynard scattered throughout, and features a quite significant breakdown in the middle, with a nice chugging off-kilter riff.

A highlight for me of both songs are some really strong Adam Jones guitar solos – even though they sounded a bit rough live, I reckon they will be pretty epic when it comes to hearing the real thing.

I know many of you will want to comment on Maynard‘s vocals. I think they are quite interesting – it’s certainly not pushing the higher range of his voice (not entirely unexpected) but I did enjoy some of the vocal flourishes and effects used. Lyrically it’s interesting both songs seem to mine a similar vein – it could almost be taken as commentary on the bands journey over the last 13 years.

Get keen everyone! What do you all think? Are you feeling the hype? Or are you not satisfied with what you hear?



More updates leading into Rockville

A few other interesting tidbits of information come out overnight, mostly related to the Welcome to Rockville Tool show coming this Sunday.

A note regarding spoilers: I know some of you Fourtheye readers are keen to avoid spoilers, and I’m also keen to protect you, but the reality is that this is a news site. While I’m going to keep spoiler information out of the titles of posts here, if you delve past the first paragraph you may not like what you read.

First up is a shot of the merch booth, which contains a new tour shirt with are created who Adi Granov. It’s a cool looking shirt – some are quick to assume this is some kind of album cover, but I’m not sure this is the case. I suspect posters featuring this art will be available as well, but that didn’t appear to be the case at the festival merch booth (yet)

Adam also shared via Instagram some new additions to his Silverburst collection:

https://www.instagram.com/p/BxAXeWJn-Xt/?utm_source=ig_web_button_share_sheet

Everyone love a new axe, but possibly the most interesting part of this is the range of tunings we have going on here. We know the band us Drop D extensively, delving into C for song such as The Pot and Parabola. But the fact that we have a wide range of tuning presumably heading out on tour, suggests a couple of possibilities.

Will they play the aforementioned songs? That’d be nice, but probably not what many of us are especially excited about.

More likely that new music using some different tuning could be played. There has been a rumour floating around that suggests that many of the songs on the new album are tuned down so that they suit Maynard’s voice a little better. I guess we’ll find out soon enough!

Tool confirm they might play new music this tour

There was a new Tweet overnight from Tool’s account, which suggests that new material is definitely on the cards for this coming tour:

Most importantly, Maynard will have a new costume! What could it be?

Adam teases Descending in Instagram

Just as I was about to write a rant about Tool have let their fans down with a lack of communication, Adam posts a grab on Instagram which teases their often previewed live track Descending. All of a sudden my anger has subsided somewhat.

Many hoped that we’d see some new songs played at the upcoming shows (the first of which is on Sunday), with probably just as many expecting more of the same setlist. I have no real insight into what I think might actually happen, but this video gives me some hope that we might actually see the full version of Descending (or whatever it’s actual name is) played this tour.

What would really be cool? If Tool decided to debut both the live version of the song, and make the recorded version available at the same time. That way we can avoid resorting to hunting down the inevitable phone camera recordings.

Discussion: album track length predictions

The wait for details on the new album is long, and so far unsatisfying, and it appears that even with a tour on the horizon only the most optimistic of us expect some kind of deliverance in the coming days. Even a much hyped website update seemed to reveal little.

Instead, we can turn to mindless speculation. Today I pose the following question – would you prefer:

  • An album containing only “normal” length Tool tracks (say around 5-8 minutes long each)
  • An album containing fewer, but longer songs (for example 5 tracks that are all ~15 minutes long)
  • A mix of track lengths, like most of their post-Undertow albums

Personally, I’m keen to see more longer songs on the album, and certainly much of the speculation so far seems to suggest that many, if not all of the tracks are lengthy in nature. Does this also suggest that a “single” is unlikely?

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