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Tool add two more Music Clinics

Tool have snuck in a couple of extra Music Clinics while I wasn’t paying attention – one in Pittsburgh and the other Philadelphia.

Blair also added a few thoughts on Toolband as to what these clinics could contain.  It sounds like a little more that just the Adam Jones VIP thing seen on previous tours:

First of all, KUDOS to those Tool enthusiasts who realize the unique opportunity of the upcoming music clinics and have secured their spot for the experience.  As you might imagine, there has been a great response to these intimate forums and the limited number of tickets available to ToolArmy members went really fast.  As of my writing this, there are still a small number of tickets for sale to the general public and these can be purchased via the links below.  Again, I urge you to act fast so as not to miss out – the clinics also include a damn near personal performance of songs followed by the dissections of the tunes by its composers!

From email that I’ve received, it appears that some of you aren’t sure what exactly these clinics entail, and have been comparing them with the Meet and Greets hosted by Adam Jones in the past.  As special as those events were, rest assured that the clinics are designed to be on an entirely different level.  As advertised, “A rare immersive dissection and performance with DANNY CAREY, JUSTIN CHANCELLOR & ADAM JONES,” here’s your chance to gain insight as to how the Tool machine works.  Just about everything’s on the table:  methods and processes behind the writing and arranging of their critically acclaimed albums, individual vision that goes into the overall mix of things, artistic and philosophical concepts behind their distinctive stage projections, videos, etc., as well as their thoughts on the current recording process. But, you’ve got the green light to change things up – questions need not be of a technical nature; ask about their personal musical preferences and other subjects of interest. Believe me, they are varied!

So, while you are there – seize the moment.  Connect.  Interact.  Whether you’re an aspiring or seasoned musician… or just someone who appreciates the band members and wants to know what makes them tick.  Ask that one question that you never thought you’ve have the chance to.  Intermingle like you’re backstage.  Chat with Tool about anything now that you will be among the very few people that ever have the opportunity to do so

This is also your chance to view up-close rare Tool memorabilia and receive exclusive commemorative merch that only you are privy to.

Ticket details for these clinics are on Toolband.

A Perfect Circle announce Fall US and European dates

Fresh from the release of Eat The Elephant, A Perfect Circle have announced a new set of dates for later this year, with a small run of dates across the US as well as a range of new ones for Europe:

October 20 Salt Lake City, UT Maverik Center
October 22 Denver, CO Red Rocks Amphitheater
October 24 Austin, TX Austin 360 Amphitheatre
October 29 Atlanta, GA Fox Theatre
October 30 Orlando, FL CFE Arena
November 1 Charlotte, NC Bojangles’ Coliseum
November 2 Nashville, TN Bridgestone Arena
November 6 New York, NY The Theater at Madison Square Garden
November 17 Anaheim, CA The Theatre at Honda Center
November 18 Las Vegas, NV The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas – The Chelsea
November 20 Phoenix, AZ Comerica Theatre
December 2 Glasgow, Scotland Glasgow Academy
December 3 Manchester, UK Victoria Warehouse
December 5 London, UK SSE Arena Wembley
December 7 Antwerp, Belgium Lotto Arena
December 13 Hamburg, Germany Sporthalle Hamburg
December 15 Kraków, Poland Tauron Arena Kraków
December 16 Vienna, Austria Wiener Stadhalle
December 18 Milan, Italy Mediolanum Forum
December 19 Rome, Italy Palalottomatica

US dates on sale Friday.

Europeans shows on sale Wednesday.

Check your usual ticketing venues/websites.

Good deal for European fans, seeing them a couple of times this year.  A little disappointed there’s not a run of Australian shows.  I don’t think there are big enough gaps in the calendar for that to happen now – perhaps early 2019.

Review: A Perfect Circle – Eat The Elephant

“This is not going to go the way you think” a prominent quote from the most recent Star Wars movie The Last Jedi – and I expect the latest A Perfect Circle album will be greeted with similar levels of division within the fanbase.  Seemingly gone is the goth-tinged hard rock of the first two albums, Eat The Elephant greets us with a range of largely more mellow, yet more diverse sounds.

It starts off with the title track Eat The Elephant, with an abrupt piano jerking us into their world, with some jazz vibes and some very deep notes.  Maynard sings about the need to begin, the Elephant seemingly a metaphor for a large project.

The second track Disillusioned matches the bands stance on phones/photos at concerts, and encourages us to reconnect at a less digital level. Many are somewhat critical of this stance, however personally I both like the message (it’s not pressing for a full digital disconnect) and think the track is one of the best on this album.

The Contrarian is the first “new” track that jumped out to me as being great – Maynard’s vocals take on an eerie tone throughout, with a range of singing techniques and layered vocals telling the tale.  It then breaks out into what is one of the more traditional APC like moments as it finishes with bang.

The lead single for the album is The Doomed, and it’s one that after reading many Fourtheye comments a selection of you felt were some kind of “theme” for the album.  Many sick of politics had ruled the album (and track) a dud, merely because they didn’t want to hear Maynard singing about politics.  In the end those fans needn’t have worried, as the album didn’t end up the big political protest that some feared.  The Doomed is a solid track, and definitely one of my favorites from the album.  Not to mention probably the heaviest moment.

So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish is quite the interesting track.  On the first couple of listens this upbeat and more poppy piece had me scratching my head and wondering what had happened to the band.  Even after a number of listens, I can’t say I’m a huge fan of this song, but I admire that Billy & Maynard have tried a few different things on this album.  This album really doesn’t sound like any other APC record.

TalkTalk was the final single released during the album promotion phase, and is another high point of the album.  The message is a quite topical one, and the chorus pretty catchy.  It’s a pretty vanilla song, but works quite well.

By And Down The River is a rerecording of By And Down from their greatest hits album Three Sixty.  I didn’t think much of the track then, and this new version doesn’t really change my mind on it.  Apparently Billy thinks it’s one of their best songs though, so I guess I must be missing something!

Almost straying into rock ballad territory is the track Delicious, but with a ballsier chorus and an almost Smashing Pumpkins like solo at the end.

DLB is one of those moody instrumentals that people like.  It sounds cool and all, but I expect I’d skip over it on most listens.  Not sure what DLB stands for though!

During recent tours the band played the tracks Hourglass and Feathers.  Hourglass has a distinctive synth sound which really draws attention to it, with Maynard chanting along.  Hard to judge tracks based on sketchy Youtube videos, but it never really seemed to translate live for me. One the record though, you can feel the vibe of the track – Maynard experiments quite a bit vocally on this track, not all of it works though.  It’s certainly one of the more interesting parts of the album, but ultimately it falls a little flat for me.

Feathers was the other track previewed live.  It really doesn’t do a great deal for me.  It plods along at a pretty mellow place, and doesn’t really take me anywhere.

The album leaves with a final piece called Get The Lead Out.  Lyrically it seems to play off similar themes to the title track, and has an almost trip-hop vibe in parts.  It’s a cool way to end the album, and for me one of the more experimental moments that clicked for me.

So after a few listens, the album began to gel a little.  It’s a great sounding album – Billy Howerdel and Dave Sardy have done a great job capturing the music, and Maynard’s vocals are strong, though somewhat unorthodox in parts.  He uses many vocal effects and layering not seen outside of Puscifer, and it mostly works.

Some will go to great lengths to work out lyrical jabs at Tool and other things, but my advice is to largely go with the flow.  Don’t read too much into what Maynard writes – it’s just part of the meal that is the elephant.

I’m not going to give this album a score.  I think overall it is a few notches below Mer De Noms and Thirteenth Step, however I do prefer it to eMotive.  Sure, I would have liked a more “traditional” APC album, but I didn’t walk away disappointed after listening, though perhaps a little underwhelmed.  It’s an album that feels like Maynard and Billy are trying to reach beyond the expectations of what A Perfect Circle is all about, and it misses the mark as often as it hits.  I am very interested to see what the future of this band holds though.  Is this one last crack, or will they continue this project over the years to come.?

Maynard chats with Lars and other Eat the Elephant related interviews

Plenty of Maynard James Keenan in the press at the moment, the most interesting of which are a chat with Lars Ulrich from Metallica, and a piece for The Australian.

Firstly, Maynard speaks in a video interview with Lars Ulrich.  It’s a reasonable broad interview, touching on A Perfect Circle, as well as it’s relationship with the other bands in Maynard’s arsenal:

Also out in the last week, Andrew McMillen from The Australian had a pretty insightful chat with Maynard about the construction of Eat The Elephant:

Well, to put it another way, then. Do you recall which song went through the most revisions from the time that Billy initially sent the musical idea to you?

Oh, jeez. All of them. Yeah, they all evolve so much. Then we go down blind alleys, turn around and come back. Yeah, I don’t know. They all go through so many changes, and those changes can be quick, it might be like we mentioned; it could be that the music went through a million changes and all of a sudden, the lyrics came almost overnight, once it was settled.

You’re unique as a lyricist in that sense that you juggle writing for three different, popular bands. Do you have any personal rules or criteria that you use to determine whether a thought or idea would be best expressed through each of these outlets, and not the others?

No, never. It’s all about the music. It’s all about conversations. The way you speak to your mother is far different than the way you speak to your college roommate, or a bartender, or the mailman. You just honour those conversations that are in front of you; those subject matters, that music, it’ll all take that direction.

Stay tuned for my thoughts on Eat The Elephant sometime later today!

 

APC’s Eat The Elephant Released Today, 4/20

 Find it HERE on various platforms

APC Store

Please be aware:
If you approach this album with a newbie attitude… good luck, you’re on your own.

Weekly Update 12-April-2018

Time for another not so weekly update!  In this issue:

  • Mike Patton talks Tool
  • Legend of the Seagullmen gig
  • Tom Morello comments on Tool album again (in Italian)
  • Off the Grid!
  • Albums worth listening too!

Mike Patton talks Tool

Faith No More singer Mike Patton is a well respected member of the music industry, and seems to be somewhat of a Tool fan according to a recent chat with Revolver:

WHAT HAS IT BEEN LIKE TOURING WITH TOOL?
Honestly, it has been great! Tool always pays us fairly and treats us very well. I admire that they do whatever they want. They don’t take orders from record labels or “industry types.” My hat is off to them.

HOW HAVE TOOL’S FANS RESPONDED TO YOUR BANDS?
Weeeeeeell. During the Fantômas run, I collected a lot of spare change from the stage after each show. I can’t complain though — if I paid $60 to see my favorite band and a bunch of noisy weirdos took the stage, I’d be violent, too!

WHAT INFLUENCE, IF ANY, HAVE TOOL HAD ON YOU AND YOUR OWN WORK?
They give me hope that not all huge bands are pompous, clueless, drug-addled morons. That, and I steal lots of fashion ideas from Maynard’s stage wear.

Legend of the Seagullmen gig

There’s a gig happening for Legend of the Seagullmen this weekend at the Roxy Theater in LA.  Brett Hinds seems to be on board this time, so if you’re in town it’ll be a good chance to check out this bands first headline set, as well as with Brett on board.  Tickets here!

Tom Morello comments on Tool album again (in Italian)

Rolling Stone Italy have an interview with Tom Morello, who talks about the new Tool music that he heard a while back.  My Italian is pretty rough, but I believe he says something along the lines of hearing all long and distinctly Tool.  Here’s a sample:

Un’ultima domanda: so che hai ascoltato il disco dei Tool. Ci fai uno spoiler? Non lo diciamo a nessuno. 
Ho sentito la versione strumentale del disco, non facciamo confusione. Maynard non aveva ancora registrato nulla. Suona alla grande, posso dire che vale la pena aspettare così tanto. I Tool sono una band che presta grandissima attenzione alla composizione, curano tutto nei minimi dettagli. Ho ascoltato 7 o 8 canzoni: sono lunghe, eleganti, brutali… sono i Tool.

Off the Grid

This one is more of a housekeeping item – I’ll be off to the Nullarbor Plains here in Australia over the next two weeks, and will be mostly off the grid.  Kittaan will be holding down the fort over that time, posting any interesting Tool news that might come up, as well as the best of recent A Perfect Circle promo work as Eat The Elephant gets released while I’m away.

Albums worth listening too!

Plenty of great new albums at the moment – here’s a few suggestions:

  • Cosmic Psycho’s – Loudmouth Soup Classic Aussie Punk rock band release one of their best albums in some time. Some of you Aussie Tool fans may remember that these guys supported Tool back on the first Lateralus tour in 2001.
  • Front End Loader – Neutral Evil Another one of my favorite Aussie rock bands, not content with aging gracefully have elected to put out another album, with a release schedule that somewhat resembles Tool.  They don’t sound like Tool though.
  • Dr Octagon – Moosebumps: an exploration into modern day horripilation Kool Keith is back with Dan the Automator and Kid Koala with what I think is a pretty cool hip hop album.
  • Earthless – Black Heaven I always thought this band was an instrumental one, but turns out they sing sometimes too, like on this album.  It’s pretty good!
  • Conjurer – Mire These guys are a great hardcore doomy style metal band from the UK.  Check it out on Bandcamp.

Tool announce Music Clinic tour

Without a full tour to support them, it seems Tool are taking their VIP show on the road.  Tickets go on sale to the public on Friday the 13th, with a Toolarmy pre-sale kicking off on the 11th.  Rumour is that tickets are $500, which I expect will raise a few eyebrows.

Here are the details:

TOOL MUSIC CLINIC: A RARE IMMERSIVE DISSECTION AND PERFORMANCE WITH DANNY CAREY, JUSTIN CHANCELLOR AND ADAM JONES

A SERIES OF INTIMATE DISCUSSIONS TAKE FANS BEHIND-THE-SCENES INTO THE INNER WORKINGS OF ONE OF ROCK MUSIC’S MOST MYSTERIOUS BANDS

April 9, 2018, LOS ANGELES – Tool, one of rock music’s most mysterious and speculated about bands, give fans a rare glimpse behind-the-scenes via a series of intimate music clinics.

The discussions include drummer Danny Carey, bass player Justin Chancellor and guitar player Adam Jones walking attendees through a handful of the band’s songs, from the process of writing them to playing them live. Audience members are encouraged to ask questions via an open discussion, as well as mingle with the band following the session.

Ticket holders will receive commemorative merchandise, exclusive to the series of events and limited to the number of people in attendance. An accompanying, traveling exhibit will be on display at each event, featuring unique items from Tool’s history.

May 11  St. Paul, MN  Myth Live Event Center

May 14  Chicago, IL  The Vic Theatre

May 15  Indianapolis, IN  Egyptian Room at Old National

May 16  Royal Oak (Detroit), MI  Royal Oak Music Theatre

May 17  Columbus, OH  Express Live! Indoor Pavilion

May 19  Cleveland, OH  Agora Theatre

Tickets are on-sale this Friday, April 13 at 10 am local via (links). A limited number of tickets have been set aside for Tool Army members, which will be available on Wednesday, April 11 at 10 am pacific via the band’s webstore (http://www.toolband.com/store/music-clinics).

PLEASE NOTE: Due to the limited number of tickets that will be available for the pre-sale, TOOL ARMY MEMBERS who are interested in attending the clinic are urged to act quickly  (On WEDNESDAY, APRIL, 11 at 10:00 am PDT) to secure a spot for this unique Tool experience.

Maynard speaks as Eat the Elephant publicity train ramps up

In case you’d forgotten, the new A Perfect Circle album Eat The Elephant comes on April 20, and as we’d expect both Billy and Maynard are featuring quite heavily in various forms of media at the moment as the promote it.  Two of the better articles I’ve come across recently are below.

The first is an interview with Revolver magazine, in which Maynard speaks at length about the writing and recording process for the album:

On Eat the Elephant, Howerdel worked with producer Dave Sardy. And rather than collaborate side-by-side with Keenan on each track from beginning to end, most of the vocals were done in Arizona and engineered by Puscifer’s Mat Mitchell. It’s a process Keenan now prefers for all his projects. The singer also traveled to the guitarist’s home studio in L.A. “to kind of nudge things forward” and go over ideas.

Keenan was back at the vineyard in time for the harvest, and traded recordings back and forth with Howerdel online. “We were actually on parallel paths, getting things done,” says Keenan. “When I start to dig into the content, the melodies, the words,” the singer explains, he becomes something more like “an Italian mother in the kitchen: ‘Get the fuck out. Dinner’s not ready, get out. Need the kids out of the kitchen!'”

There’s a few light hearted jabs at Tool in the interview as well, and it’s well worth the read.

The second is an interview with Matt Pinfield:

It’s a pretty length discussion about A Perfect Circle, touring and various other interests of Maynard’s (don’t expect Tool chat).

Yet another Tool studio update!

No April Fooling this year from me, as I haven’t been organised.  Tool did have an April Fools of sort, but since it was studio footage it wasn’t quite as foolish as it could be.  Here’s a link to the video on Dropbox (I’m sure someone will upload it to Youtube in due time).  Unsure at this point whether or not they are videoing parts of the recording process (for possible release) or if that’s just part of the joke.  Time will tell I guess!

We’ve had a number of updates via social media over the last few weeks, and I’ve thrown together a quick Imgur page which collects most of the studio photos I’ve come across.  Feel free to suggest any that I’ve missed and I’ll add them in!

The most recent studio photos come from Al Jones, who some of you may recognise as Adam’s brother.

Danny’s Drum Altar in the studio catches fire

There was an Instagram post from Adam Jones recently which showed a picture of Danny Carey holding a melted drum head, presumably outside the studio while recording the new Tool recordDanny’s website now has an explanation for  the fire:

Danny’s drum altar burst into flames the other night after he finished tracking one of the tunes for the new TOOL ALBUM. This occurred while he was listening to the playback and contemplating if this should be the KEEPER TRACK or if he should try one more take. After smelling acrid fumes coming from the adjoining room, he rushed to check it out and realized that his drum altar was ablaze. The small fire fire was quickly extinguished, but not before the Egyptian tutelary deity HORUS suffered minor damage. The falcon-headed one was carefully transported to the ER where it was administered doses of super glue and later released. Afterwards it was decided that the track in question would be a keeper. I’m also happy to report that Horus (with the good ear!) is now back on the altar where he continues to provide support as only he can.” (to quote Danny.)

In other recording news, there are unconfirmed reports that they have changed studio, due to some technical problems with recordings.  Unsure if this set back the recordings in any way, but it certainly appears the band is moving forward regardless.

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