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John Ziegler’s Stroke Recovery Fund

Sad news this morning in that it appears Volto! and Pigmy Love Circus guitarist John Z has recently suffered from a serious stroke.  My understanding of the US Medical system, is that it’s mostly a joke, so financially John appears to be under much strain.  A Gofundme account has been set up, and I’d encourage those with a few spare dollars to send some his way.

John “Johnny Z” Ziegler is a very well-respected and adored guitarist/musician in the Los Angeles music community and beyond. A dedicated player and sought after instructor, he is known for his band Volto!, as well as the groups Pygmy Love Circus and Zime – and of course as the ringleader of the Monday Night Jamz at the legendary Baked Potato Jazz Club for the past 12+ years.

On July 16th, 2017, John suffered a devastating stroke while alone in his home. In distress for an indeterminate amount of time, he was eventually able to reach his phone and signal for help. Paramedics arrived soon thereafter and transported him to Glendale Adventist Medical Center.

The stroke has affected John’s speech, vision, and entire right side of his body. While tests are ongoing to uncover the extent of any further damage, the doctors and therapists are optimistic he can regain function. Those that know him will be happy to hear John’s larger than life personality still shines bright, with his humor and signature charm very much intact. However, there is a lot of uncertainty ahead in his long road to recovery.

Due to this life-altering event, John is unable to perform and therefore support himself. He is in dire need of assistance to get him through this tough time that will undoubtedly require lengthy physical therapy to regain his playing ability.

The money raised here will go to the following:
– Medical & Therapy Expenses (including the potential purchase of a medical bed)
– Daily Care
– Transportation
– General Monthly Living Expenses

John’s immediate family lives in Texas, and are communicating with doctors to determine the best course of action. Meanwhile, the expenses are overwhelming, and will continue to mount. Any support you are able to provide will help give John the best shot at recovery and alleviate the increasing financial strain he and his family are under. Thank you for your help in getting Brother John Z back on stage where he belongs.

Maynard talks Tool and other things with Joe Rogan

Maynard James Keenan spoke with Joe Rogan on his podcast this week, and covers a range of the usual topics you’d expect – wine making, fighting, discipline, the music industry, his love for cross-stitching and of course, Tool.  As with Maynard’s other chats with Rogan, it’s an interesting listen, and great to hear him speak in a more relaxed, between friends manner than the usual defensive style taken with clickbait focused music journalists.

But let’s face it, Tool is what most of us want to know about (that bit starts at around the 1:22 mark on the video embedded below).  Specifically Maynard discusses frustrations, but also understanding and acceptance of the current writing process.  He also mentions that there are several tracks ready for vocals, and others in the works as well.  Though nothing is complete yet, he does mention that he had worked on vocals for a track, only to find when he returned to the band it had changes so much they were no longer relevant.

I came away from the interview feeling pretty good about where the album is at.  It appeared to me that Maynard feels good about what has been written so far.  There are obvious frustrations, but he seems at peace with where it’s at.  Some question if we’ll ever see another album from Tool, but for me this interview definitely made me feel it’s more of a “when” situation rather than “if”

So, my take on all this is that songwriting continues.  It’s not going to wind up any time soon.  I don’t think anyone should have expectations of Tool recording anytime this year.  I’d go so far as to say we’re unlikely to see a Tool album before this time next year.

New Melvins album, interview and tour dates

It’s all go for the Melvins at the moment, with a new album just released, a cool interview with Buzz and Mackie Osborne as well as tour dates for Australia and Europe.

Firstly, their latest album A Walk with Love & Death is now out via Ipecac Recordings.  This time around it features Steven McDonald from Redd Kross on Bass.  The first disc Death is somewhat traditional Melvins-fare, however the second; Love is a score to the Jesse Nieminen directed, self-produced short also titled A Walk With Love & Death.

We have a couple of Melvin’s tours (the current Steven McDonald version) visiting Australia and Europe in the coming months.  In both cases Redd Kross will be supporting, and I’ll definitely be checking them out when they hit Down Under.

Finally, there’s a cool video interview with Buzz and Mackie Osborne up on LA Weekly – well worth checking out!

Justin discusses the new album with Metal Sucks

Metal Sucks have today published a Podcast which contains a 10 minute interview with Justin Chancellor, where he talks about progress on the new Tool album, and their love of playing live.  While the interview is short on much concrete information, Justin does mention that he believes the new album is about 90% done.  He declined to give any indication of when it would be released though.

It’s an insightful interview, so well worth your time.

Tool Summer 2017 tour wrapup

The Tool Summer 2017 tour is done; capped off with a huge show at San Bernadino this evening. I’ve been holding back posting much about the tour, as I don’t really want to spoil it for those who are attending shows, but now that were all done, here’s a re-cap of what went down:

  • Tool played much the same setlist each night.  It was a pretty good one, though some are critical that it doesn’t include Lateralus:
    • The Grudge
    • Parabol
    • Parabola
    • Schism (typically the extended version)
    • Opiate (the new extended version – more on this further down)
    • Ænema
    • Descending
    • Jambi
    • Third Eye
    • Forty-Six & 2
    • ~12 minute intermission
    • Drum Solo
    • The Pot/Vicarious/Eulogy
    • Sweat
    • Stinkfist (typically the extended version)
  • Vicarious was played at most shows, with Eulogy once in Hershey, PA and then The Pot at several others.  Those at the San Bernadino show were lucky enough to see both Vicarious and The Pot.
  • The Pot was accompanied by some cool new video footage some speculate may be the video that was recorded for it sometime many years ago.  There has been no official confirmation of this.

  • The stage configuration was similar to the past couple of tours, with a few new lights in stage, as well as lasers placed in the centre of the main video wall (which made for a few cool effects).  Despite bans on recording, there’s plenty of footage of the show on Youtube for those curious.
  • The posters for the shows were variations of the bug theme used on recent tours.  While this may seem a little disappointing, the poster quality was pretty high with a foil type paper used on many of them. (image pinched from pooptank55 on Reddit)

  • The San Bernadino show had a one off poster by Adi Granov.  Image taken from Adi Granov’s Instagram account

  • Speaking of San Bernadino, despite a few suggestions otherwise there didn’t appear to be much “special” about the set.  As previously mentioned, they played a song longer than usual, but there were no guest slots from what I’ve heard.  Given the quality of the support acts, no doubt it was a great day, but the Tool set didn’t appear to be much out of the ordinary.
  • From the videos I’ve watched, I have to say the band are in really good nick.  Maynard’s vocals are as good as they’ve been for quite some time now, in fact probably the strongest since 10,000 Days.
  • Reports from the VIP sessions sound like they were much the same as those in the past, with one important distinction – attendees were shown part of the new video for Opiate (which is strongly suspected to be the “curveball” Blair has referred too over the years).  The whole video wasn’t shown, but what was shown was reportedly excellent.  Accompanying the video is a new recording of the extended version of the song, including new vocals from Maynard.  Nor release date for this was given, though I read that Adam suggested this could be released digitally at the appropriate time.

Here’s a collection of reviews from the tour:

tl;dr a couple of minor surprises, otherwise the same old (albeit high quality) Tool show

 

Justin talks about San Bernadino show

Adam had his chance, now Justin Chancellor speaks OC Weekly about the San Bernadino Tool show coming up this weekend.  He opens up a bit about some of the other acts playing on the weekend including Primus:

“My fourth gig I ever did with Tool was at the Oakland Coliseum. We supported Primus,” Chancellor said. “I was like 25 and it was all very overwhelming. To come full circle and be touring with them last year, and actually not be quite so intimidated and shy, and be able to strike up some relationships with these people has been really fantastic.”

 

 

A Perfect Circle announce Fall tour

A Perfect Circle are doing another round of touring this fall with dates in October, November and December; kicking off with the previously mentioned Aftershock Festival.  Tickets go on sale this Friday:

October 21 Sacramento, CA Aftershock Festival
October 23 Colorado Springs, CO Broadmoor World Arena
October 25 Albuquerque, NM Tingley Coliseum
October 26 El Paso, TX UTEP Don Haskins Center
October 30 Knoxville, TN Thompson-Boling Arena
November 1 Fairfax, VA EagleBank Arena
November 2 Brooklyn, NY Barclays Center
November 4 Reading, PA Santander Arena
November 5 Uncasville, CT Mohegan Sun Arena
November 7 Camden, NJ BB&T Pavilion
November 8 Boston, MA Agganis Arena
November 10 Portland, ME Cross Insurance Center
November 11 Albany, NY Times Union Center
November 12 Syracuse, NY The Oncenter
November 14 Montreal, QC Place Bell
November 15 Toronto, ON Air Canada Centre
November 17 Pittsburgh, PA Petersen Events Center
November 18 Cleveland, OH Wolstein Center at Cleveland State University
November 19 Highland Heights, KY BB&T Arena at Northern Kentucky University
November 21 Detroit, MI Fox Theatre
November 22 Grand Rapids, MI The DeltaPlex Arena
November 24 Chicago, IL UIC Pavilion
November 25 St. Paul, MN Xcel Energy Center
November 28 Spokane, WA Spokane Arena
November 30 Vancouver, BC PNE Coliseum
December 1 Seattle, WA KeyArena at Seattle Center
December 2 Portland, OR Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum
December 4 Eugene, OR Matthew Knight Arena

Adam Jones interview in upcoming issue of Kerrang

Reports from the Tool Army Members Facebook page suggest that Tool will be the focus of the next issue of Kerrang Magazine, and will feature Adam Jones on “that new album”.  Exactly what we’ll get remains to be seen (the title seems a bit click-baity), but I’d hesitate to suggest it’ll be anything more than “we’re still working diligently on it”…

Adam talks about the San Bernadino not-festival

Adam Jones from Tool recently had a chat with Kelli from the Orange County Register, in which he discussed a few things about the current tour and upcoming San Bernadino show.  He suggests that they’re still working on the album (though doesn’t give any clues as to when it’ll be done), and that the coming San Bernadino show isn’t a festival!

“We’re not using the ‘F-word’ on this – you know, festival,” Jones said. “It was just a nice opportunity since we were playing that outdoor venue to be like, ‘We’ll let’s add one more band. OK, wait, let’s at one more.  OK, maybe one more.’

“Our band has always taken the route of what would we want if we went to a show and what I would want if I bought a ticket, a T-shirt or a record, is to get my money’s worth. We didn’t have to up the price of the ticket or anything like that for this show, we just had to fatten the budget a little so we could have more bands and just make a fun day of it. It’s definitely not going to be like Lollapalooza or anything, just a day with bands that you can come out, enjoy and have a good time.”

The interview is reasonably short, and worth a quick read.

In the meantime, the summer tour seems to be going pretty well.  I’ve held back reporting on it wanting to not spoil those who are seeing them later in the tour.  it’s safe to say that it’s not what some boldly predicted it to be (ie. a month long album launch party) but there have been a couple of small surprises.  For those that want to delve deeper into these spoilers they can check out this thread in our forum.

Photo courtesy of Fret12

A Perfect Circle play Aftershock in CA

This morning A Perfect Circle have been announced as part of the lineup for the 2017 Aftershock festival in Sacramento, California.  They will play on October 21st with acts such as Nine Inch Nails, Mastodon, Gojira and Code Orange.  Not a bad lineup at all!

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