Tool Revisited is a series of articles dedicated to analysing, and discussing a Tool related topic, be it a song, album, show, side project or anything really. I plan on publishing one of these every week or so, and hopefully it may fill in some gaps in your own Tool knowledge, or even just generate some interesting conversation. If anyone has any ideas for future topics (or even wants to be a guest writer) then let me know.
The first of these articles is about the Tool/Melvins collaboration Divorced. This 15 minute track appeared on the Melvins album, The Crybaby, which featured many such collaborations not only with Tool but with other acts such as Mike Patton, David Yow, Skeleton Key and Hank Williams III.
According to the liner notes from the album:
"Tool: What can we say about these generous monsters? They have consistently been models of integrity professionally and personally, no matter how big they get; an example a LOT of bands could learn from. Dale came up with the song, we recorded it, and they slithered away with the tape. The man-love we feel for these gents knows no bounds, and their sweaty hands have been all over this baby. Their massive artistry cannot be denied."
Written by Dale Crover and the Melvins
Produced by the Melvins, Tool, Ryeland Allison and Vincent DeFranco
Recorded at the Lodge, Hollywood, CA
Tool appears courtesy of Volcano Entertainment II, L.L.C.
The track itself is a long, largely bass and drum driven track and also includes significant guitar riffs provided by both Adam Jones from Tool and King Buzzo from The Melvins. The track features no vocals of any note, except for a few screams, whispers and conversations. While not confirmed, it is assumed that Justin recorded the bass parts, and to my ears it sounds much like his sound and technique on the track.
Perhaps even more significant is the drum duel that takes place mid track between Danny Carey and Dale Crover. Though never confirmed, it is thought that Danny appears in the right channel of the recording, with Dale appearing on the left. There are some fantastic sections where both drummers exercise their considerable talents, making this track a must listen for those drumophiles out there. In some ways it feels to me that this track was a precursor to both Tool’s regular drum duels while on tour, and the future pairing of The Melvins with the guys from Big Business.
Shane from Toolshed summarised the track as follows:
1. keyboard/organ (sounds like it’s through a rotating cabinet)
2. sequencer percussion, electronic effects, with snare drum
3. left and right mixed drum tracks (Dale – left and Danny – right)
4. overdriven bass line (likely Justin)
5. whispered vocals (sounds like Buzz)
6. guitars, basses, and drums come in…heavy riffing
7. screaming (likely Buzz or Kevin [Rutmanis – former Melvins bass player])
8. repeat 3-5
9. repeat 6-7
10. drumming (Danny) over guitar feedback and playing, distorted bass
11. guitars, basses, and drums…heavy riffing (no vocals)
12. guitar solo and melody
13. drum solo duet (Dale and Danny) over guitar feedback
14. guitars, basses, and drums…heavy riffing (no vocals)
15. phone conversation (Maynard and someone) about a woman’s voice over trance music
As mentioned as point 15 in the list, at around around 13:30 into the song, this conversation takes place. At this stage I’m reasonably confident the “someone” mentioned above is Danny:
DANNY: what about Ryan?
MAYNARD: no, he blew it, he lost the number for the girl he met down here.
DANNY: oh,and Adam said she’s a beauty.
MAYNARD: she’s the one who has that fucked up voice.
DANNY: is she a rocket scientist?
MAYNARD: the fuckin…she has a voice like a fuckin’ modem dude!
DANNY: (laughs) sounds perfect!
MAYNARD: imitates a chick with a voice like a modem sayin’ some weird gibberish…(you have to hear it)
DANNY: (laughs heavely)
MAYNARD: then he got to work up there, you know Ryan gets off at work,i guess to show that he has a dick.
DANNY: (laughs again)
Are Danny & Maynard reading from some kind of script, or is this a genuine discussion. Who is Ryan? I guess we may never know.
For those that haven’t heard the track, here’s a Youtube link for you!