February Tool Newsletter released

Blair has published the February 2013 Tool Newsletter, and it contains an interview with Opiate reissue artist Adi Granov. Here’s a snippet:

Q: First off, how did you get involved with the cover artwork for the 21st anniversary release of Opiate?

A: Adam and I met last year, and he was already familiar with my work, so we started talking about collaborating on various things. At some point some artwork for Tool came up and Adam asked me if I’d be interested in doing the art for the Opiate anniversary. I was very happy to do it!

Q: Prior to meeting Adam, were you a fan of Tool’s music, and/or their artwork? If so, what were your first impressions of seeing the original cover art of Opiate?

A: I discovered Tool at a pretty significant point in my life, as a war refugee in former Yugoslavia. It was a desperate time, so the music was a significant means of escape. Tool’s music really impacted me and I have been a fan ever since.

I’ve lived with the music for a while before, upon moving to the US, seeing the album art. I don’t remember if I connected the meaning immediately, but I do remember the intensity of the image. It was intense and creepy, kind of terrifying. It was a while before I realised that the figure was a sculpture rather than makeup on a model.

Quite an interesting interview, especially where it talks about how he’s reworked the original Priest figure from Opiate. Looking forward to the other interviews Blair has promised.

39 thoughts on “February Tool Newsletter released

  1. fulcanelli

    It sounds like this release will be all about the packaging only. Are the songs being remastered, redone, or is there anything music related at all?

  2. Davvda

    Confused by the fact that I haven’t seen anyone ask this question already… Why 21st anniversary? What’s special with 21? A 20th anniversary last year I’d understand but this, I don’t quite get. Someone enlighten me.

  3. lucidcandle

    i’m guessing (hoping) that the reason so much emphasis has been placed on the artwork is because the interview that was posted was with one of the artists. I do have a question though. usually i completely understand information having to wait to be approved but i’ve always assumed that it had to be approved by the band. in this case there are interviews with the band members that are waiting to be approved by the bands management. what reason could tool’s management possibly have to edit information the band members themselves are giving? i’d welcome any thoughts on this, the only thing i can think of is band members checking to make sure no one else is giving away too much information or anything but this seems not likely, especially when its info on a release a month away. any thoughts?

  4. inequitude

    Not upset to read of a move away from Alex Grey after a decade, but all the illustrations I see from this guy online seem to be… templated? CGI templates? His characters are super androgynous, and it doesn’t strike me as a tactic that’s gunning for intentional provocation (i.e. Brian Molko wailing in a pinafore)… moreso just a lack of talent. Bit weird. I really don’t know enough about his work though…. see how it goes – sure everyone knows what they’re doing, aye.

  5. hellboy1975hellboy1975 Post author

    Not quite sure what you’re talking about. I did a quick Google Image search and there’s very little CGI stuff. I don’t think he’s the worlds greatest artist by any stretch, but his work seems quite reasonable.

    What really counts though is his original stuff. There’s plenty of Iron Man and other known characters there, but I’d like to see some of his original work (and can’t be bothered Googling it myself).

  6. eyepod

    This would be “left field”and pretty damn cool IMO:
    This re release will be a 21 year old tool doing their own renditions of newborn tool’s songs.
    TOOL covering tool.

  7. smithersSOCAL

    opiate is a rad EP. and was my first introduction to the band. so on
    one hand I’m excited but tempering my excitement with a big glass of reality. tool has lately become the band that constantly disappoints. tired ass old website themed to an album released in 1996, dated repetitive art work, constant delays on an album that’s been promised year after year. new art sounds cool. but most
    of us already own this stuff (cassette, vinyl, and cd)…

    Adam needs to earn the $$$…. he can’t keep phoning it in with repetitive art.

    music AJ!!! that’s what the kids want.

  8. bobbob

    im sure adam will make it look quite cool. i do appreciate how everyones a little bitter on it. a lot of times you get people that are such ‘mega fans’ they like anything thats thrown at them with no sense of whatever you want to call it.

    i remember buying Opiate on CASSETTE (which someone took from me and i never got back) in Dec of 1994. the nastaliga of all this puts a smile on my face. Im sure its been remastered (prob by Danny) but if they do not include any other material its more of a money maker then anything else.

    if anyone is in the know those live songs im pretty sure were recorded at the Jello Loft i think it was called? i keep thinking they should just release the entire show with this special edition..that would be really good and fitting.




    Impulse control. Reasoning. Judgement. Higher Order Functions.

    Nothing “new” about anonymous internet users bitching for no reason to project their own state of dis-ease.

    Something new materializing in these kinds of brains would be mechanisms of impulse control kicking in, making way for reason, leading to a clearer judgement, revealing a higher order of functionality.

  10. BellJH

    If they’re updating the artwork theyre updating the music, surely. Id like to see studio versions of jerk off etc. Maybe some alternate versions or recent live takes on a couple of the songs.

    Hope we get more info soon!

  11. BellJH

    Does anyone else think that they might have put the reimann hypothesis track on this limited opiate re-release? Wasnt it on a board in the loft a couple months back? And blair mentioned it the first time about a year ago, maybe when they were drawing up their ideas for the re-release


    How is Opiate a throwaway release?

    Those songs are all 100% TOOL. The sound quality isn’t up to the levels they would later achieve, but that is to be expected from a first EP. I could go down the list of the tracks and explain why each track is fucking cool, but why bother? The energy in the live tracks and raw chemistry that can be found on Opiate is inspiring. You really won’t find bands emit that much newfound creativity very often anymore.

    All the Purveyors of Original Thought are here to shit all over every bit of news on this website, so don’t look for any actual deconstruction of music, discussion about song structure or lyrical content.

    Nope, it’s all just “MONEYGRAB”.

    These self appointed mascots of this page fail at every turn to recognize the obvious in pretty much everything that comes across their field of vision. Whatever comes in view is just a target for their inner unhappiness and sour existence to shine forth and attach to the object of spite.

    Half of us without this affliction can see it for what it is, and nobody is impressed.

    Predictable. Boring. That is my mantra for you.

  13. children

    It did say that it’s a “handcrafted” package. Sounds like it’s a collector’s item sort of release. There’s a possibility these 5 sets of 1,000 are in vinyl and it will be released in a much greater quantity in cd format at some point in the future.

  14. NYHC81

    who does everyone think they are on here to wave their fingers? honestly. you must be out of your heads. I think people are getting too high… so high.

  15. Zwerewolf

    crow011 said
    “If they’re doing updated tracks and what-not, it’s pretty rude to limit it to only 5,000 copies.

    Whatever. I mean, torrents, right.

    “OPIATE” was always a very throw-away release for me, anyway. People like Tyson think I’m nuts, but it sounds nothing like TOOL. It’s almost a demo for what the band could actually end-up being. Short songs, formulaic, and a little boring. Sure, the fire is there, and it’s cool to throw on every now and again – but given the choice of ANY TOOL album when I’m in the mood, that doesn’t even get a mention. It’s a novelty. You throw it on to be, like, “LOL, this was TOOL’s first release. Cool, huh.”

    Re-released with better sound quality, perhaps, and artwork = meh. I can totally see why hardcore TOOL fans would buy it, and I might’ve even considered it back when I was younger.

    As it stands, it kind of looks like a way to get some cash.

    I’ll keep sticking to artists who don’t require me to buy into their bullshit, just to feel like a “true fan”.

    Waste of time and money. NEXT.”

    I probably won’t buy it either unless it’s got something really special to it musically. I could give a shit less about the artwork involved… it’s not an original piece of art you’re buying it’s a copy and it’s too small to hang on your wall for all to see so I kind of agree with you. As far as the music goes… Think about the time that album was released and what else was going on in the music industry. TOOL were very very different than anything else at that time which they continue to hold true to now in-fact. I’m also really starting to see a theme to the overall catalogue and think that maybe their collective work is one giant concept album (wouldn’t that be something). I was working out in my yard the other day excavating dirt and laying brick and so I just threw my ipod on and listened to all TOOL songs on shuffle… It all kind of just blends and there really isn’t a rough transition from song to song. It’s like no matter which way you listen to the story it all flows.
    Meh… anyways… my opinion thanks for listening (Lateralus Album is my favorite part of the story thus far).
    Also: Someone mentioned something about them only releasing 5,000 copies. I thought they were releasing them in 5,000 copy increments with subtly different artwork but I may have read that wrong?
    Whatev… Got my How to Destroy Angels tix for the Monterey show (my home town) in April! So stoked! Can’t wait for NIN and if we can pin TOOL down in the US this year it will officially be the best concert year ever! :-) Follow me on Instagram Zvverevvolf the vv’s are actually two V’s in my instagram name. Love to hear from you guys as we have common interests.

    1. Zwerewolf

      @badkittygothgirl I could pick you apart if you had a little more to say yet you simply just ask a question without any rhyme or reason? If you have a retort I’d love to hear it! The only thing I have from you is a question and a username…. “badkittygothgirl” you label yourself likso juvenile and I feel like you maybe… don’t fit in somewhere and maybe… need to fit in so you just whip out your handy dandy label maker, throw on some black nail polish, black no 1 dye for your hair, black clothes maybe? I bet your perfume smells like burning leaves too right? (Pete Steele reference… oh yeah). If you’ve got a problem with me posting something on here then cough it up and let’s hear what you have to say. Don’t ask if I’m “still pushing” something. I’m not a drug dealer (i share what I have) and I’m not peddling some cheap product. Just trying to connect with people is all. I feel like there are certain people in these forums that just want someone to listen to them so they hop on here and make stupid remarks and act like children to start wars so they can get attention. This is supposed to be a place of common interest not conflict.

  16. Zwerewolf

    March 2, 2013 at 7:22 pm
    There is nothing more ignorant than someone that believes there is a difference between the two fascist wings of the tyrannical eagle that controls america.

    But yeah, fight the power dweebus.

    Anyways, i’ll say it again. Most people have become rotten spoiled brats with no class, respect or any sense of reality. A band that we like is releasing an anniversary album with new artwork, and from what the press release said “bonus laden” content. There is nothing about this that requires your shitty attitude or sardonic response.

    Nobody is forcing you to buy it, nobody cares if you buy it.

    5,000 fans will get varying degrees of enjoyment out of it, and you sinkholes of negativity and spite will continue to think everything is pointless and shitty and “gimmicky”.

    What’s new? Nothing in your frontal lobes, apparently.

    Zwerewolf: @DRURY I pretty much mostly agree with you… can’t really say much other than what you’ve already said… well, I can and we all know I can but I’ll just piggy back off of what you’ve already stated. Cry babies are annoying… that is all.

  17. NYHC81

    @Zwerewolf & @badkittygothgirl, sorry I don’t want to instigate further arguing but I’ve read all 100 of the comments on this post twice and I seem to be missing something. what is the back and forth about here? can someone please summarize the facts because I’m missing something for sure. please…if someone can I’d appreciate it.

  18. voidvoid

    Another month passes by…fans debate when the album is going to be released again…some tool news…oh, a re-release of Opiate…The Pot video…

    fucking pathetic…

  19. Zwerewolf

    Zwerewolf with W’s was taken on instagram already. I’ve been using it for a while so decided to keep it and used the v’s for w’s. Thunder and lightning isn’t what I’m about but if anyone wants to call me out then don’t do it in a round about way. Speak directly to me and let me know what your problem is. I vaguely understand what a hipster is and from my understanding I am nowhere even close to being a hipster. I don’t listen to indy music and I don’t wear scarves unless I’m out snowboarding or living in Chicago which I no longer do. I don’t try to make myself sound cool I just say what I think instead of altering my personality to accomodate others. I also don’t post short pointless responses on here like 50% of you. I don’t have a facebook which is the most hipster of all and the reason I like instagram is because taking photos is something I enjoy doing and sharing with others. I do see a bunch of chodes on instagram and simply avoid them. It’s rare to find people on instagram that I’ll follow because about 90% of them are self indulged and obsessive over taking photos of themselves, 6% just keep posting the same fucking pictures over and over again, 2% post bullshit they find online and snapped screenshots of and then there’s the final 2% which are cool and like to share their photos and ideas with other like minded people… I like to think I fall into that category. I enjoy it… how does this make me a hipster? I also like regular coffee usually whatever is on sale at the grocery store with a little bit of half and half and light sugar… NO LATTES… A bunch of haters here that are probably less creative with their posts and responses than most 4 year olds on Facebook. That’s it for now children.

  20. Zwerewolf

    Furthermore… PBR is pretty gross I’ll have to agree. Anyone like flying dog beer? Try Gonzo if you haven’t already had it. Comes in a 4 pack and I think it’s about 12% alcohol. RIP H. S. Thompson

  21. NYHC81

    the two bands don’t have much in common musically (except they are both from my youth) but the Deftones have put out one and a half pretty damn good albums since 10,000 Days. Just saw them last night in NYC. They sound fantastic live (one of the few things both bands have in common). It’s odd being their bassist is out of commission and they’re a bass driven band (you could argue) that they would release two new LP’s since his tragic accident. Not really trying to make a point here, just posting some fragmented opinions. I would be more disappointed if the Deftones fell silent for 7 years though. I honestly believe Tool is about ready to pop with some new music, I’ve finally reached my threshold of patience, same reason I signed up here. But I’m not stretched thin like “butter scraped over too much bread”, I’ve just come to that place as I did after Lateralus where I listen to the previous work straight through and take a deep breath. Okay, what’s next? Does that jive at all with anyone here?

  22. voidvoid

    I think Blair’s post clearly insinuated that the band has moved jamming/writing/arranging sessions to Hawaii. He did mention some other time that they had previously considered going somewhere exotic to inspire them while writing.

    In my opinion, this isn’t s a good sign. This kind of thing usually means a band has run out of good ideas and aren’t inspired. Oh wells

  23. NYHC81

    what’s with Blair’s new post? is that sarcasm? hard to tell anymore. it’s one of two things, he’s either calling bullshit on Tool for trying to finish this new epic track but instead taking another vacation to Hawaii (which make no logistical sense being he exclusively blogs for the band) or two, the instrumental portion is tracked already. which would be incredible. thoughts?


    There is nothing more ignorant than someone that believes there is a difference between the two fascist wings of the tyrannical eagle that controls america.

    But yeah, fight the power dweebus.

    Anyways, i’ll say it again. Most people have become rotten spoiled brats with no class, respect or any sense of reality. A band that we like is releasing an anniversary album with new artwork, and from what the press release said “bonus laden” content. There is nothing about this that requires your shitty attitude or sardonic response.

    Nobody is forcing you to buy it, nobody cares if you buy it.

    5,000 fans will get varying degrees of enjoyment out of it, and you sinkholes of negativity and spite will continue to think everything is pointless and shitty and “gimmicky”.

    What’s new? Nothing in your frontal lobes, apparently.

  25. Zwerewolf

    @badkittygothgirl just a request to interact with people from around the world… something wrong with that? got something against me or instagram?

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