Revolver published an interview today with Adam regarding the 21st Anniversary Edition of Opiate. He goes into more detail about the recording and politics of the album, as well as the new artwork being created for it. He also mentions that there are no bonus tracks:
Overall, how does Opiate hold up for you 21 years after its release?
It’s kinda like a time machine. It takes you back to that time and what you were thinking. Creatively speaking, there’s always room for improvement. Playing some of those songs live 21 years later, you’ve obviously evolved. And now Justin [Chancellor, bass] is in the band, which makes it that much different and better. So it’s fine. I mean, I’m sure you’ve written an article where you go back and look at it and wish you’d set it up differently. So you can always change stuff. But I’m very happy with it. It’s really fun to give it a birthday and celebrate it. It’s more of a special thank-you for the fans. I know that sounds weird because we’re selling it, but we just wanted to make sure we did something unique and special with it—which is why rather than just reissue the music, we’re going back and readdressing all the packaging and artwork. I felt like George Lucas going back and adding digital effects to Star Wars. I know a lot of people are against that, but I’m into it. It doesn’t change the story. I think it’s great. It’s stuff that you wanted to do back then but you couldn’t.
Is there anything specific you would change about it?
Maybe the way it’s mixed. But there’s a politic in that whole thing, too. You can’t just explain it to somebody, as far as capturing your music the way you want. As far as my guitar playing? Yeah, maybe I’d redo a lead or use a different effect here and there, but overall I like it. It’s something I’m very proud of.
He also talks in a little more detail about the delay in their next album:
You mentioned earlier that you guys are in writing mode. What’s the status of new Tool music?
I guess you wouldn’t be doing your job if you didn’t ask. [Laughs] It’s unfortunate that we haven’t put anything out in a while, but you know, we’ve changed as a band. It’s just like a marriage—you grow older, people change, and you’ve gotta adapt or move on. We’ve become even more eclectic and distant, so getting things done and getting together is very hard. There are a lot of other interests. But what I really want people to know is that it’s not a bad thing. I’m serious. I think there’s a little more respect now, and when there’s compromise, it’s a little more open. I don’t know if that’s just a matter of getting older and going, “Ah, fuck it,” or what. [Laughs]
I’ve been with these guys a long time, and we’ve outlasted all of our peers. I mean, I try to think of the bands we came up with that haven’t broken up or broken up and gotten back together, and I can’t think of one band. OK, the Melvins. But that’s it. And we kind of set that up early by deciding that no matter who does what we’re gonna split everything four ways. Some decisions have to be unanimous. Others are put to a vote. We’re really involved in the business side. We write our own checks. But as far as the writing? It’s been a little more lax—as in relaxed. But it’s nice. We live kind of cushy lives now, so we get together when we want. It makes everything go slow, which is unfortunate—we all would have liked to have been done with a new record a long time ago—but when it’s done, it’s gonna be good. And that’s the point. We’re not gonna put out something that sucks just to put it out. We also had two really bad things happen, things that I’m not gonna get into, that set us back emotionally and mentally. But we’re past them now, everybody’s recovered, and that process has kind of actually added to us focusing on being creative. So maybe sometimes bad things happen for a reason.
It’s a great interview, and worth the read.