Greetings from Indonesia Fourtheye readers. A few days ago Tool’s first demo 72826 appeared on streaming services such as Google Play Music and Apple Music. In the meantime there have been reports of it disappearing from some sites too. It’s unclear at this point if it’s a formal release, or even a permanent one so your mileage may vary depending on things like your region and chakra alignment.
Other Tool new seems scarce at the moment, and there’s no real official confirmation of anything.
The latest iteration of the Tool newsletter is out, and this month Blair recounts the tale of the band visiting CERN in Switzerland whilst on tour in Europe:
Even though some of the CERN workers are Tool enthusiasts (and pose for photos while raising the horns) this doesn’t change my mind as to the true purpose of the LHC. And, besides, its currently down for maintenance (?), so no instantaneous deliveries of strawberry ice cream to the Orion Delta, opening the rusty gates to hell or any conCERNs whatsoever about accidently erasing the known universe with their Higgs-Boson “god” particle. At least until they ramp up again (pun not intended).
I know some where expecting Blair to come good on his “promise” for news “next month”, but personally I felt this was a little optimistic. New will come soon, I’m sure, now that the band has wound up it’s tour. Be patient!
Tool collaborator Chet Zar will have some of his work on display in the Bien Art Gallery in Brunswick, Victoria from mid July:
OPENING NIGHT: Saturday, July 13, from 6–9 pm. Free entry.
This exhibition will be on view from July 14 to August 4, concurrently with Dark Art 2019.
This show depicts a new class of beings in Dy5topia, the alternate dystopian reality that serves as the setting for Zar’s work: the faceless bureaucrats who help run things behind the scenes. Zar imagines a shadowy underground maze of rusty pipes and old electronic control panels, as in a kind of demented boiler room, from where they do their bidding for those in charge.
Zar notes that it’s easy to fall into the trap of always trying to come up with something new for its own sake. While Zar tries to create unique and new characters when he paints, he believes that sometimes the most obvious things to paint are just as worthwhile. For this show, he wanted to get back to his roots and explore them again with all of the techniques he has learned over the years. He wanted to go back to the aesthetic that inspired him when he first started painting: the dirt, the grime, the rust and the ugliness of a postmodern world in decay. He took inspiration from some of his earliest influences—horror comics, Giger, the Quay Brothers and David Lynch—as well as his early work on videos for the band Tool.
More details on this event can be found at the gallery website. Sounds like a cool show, sadly I won’t be able to get there to check it out!
There’s not much actual news around the new Tool album around at the moment, except for the announcement that it’s coming on August 30th. There is a bunch of rumours and speculation around the place, that in order to keep you guys (any myself) amused, I’m going to list, and then give some kind thoughts about whether I reckon it’s legit or not.
Note that some of below could be considered spoilers, so stop reading now if you don’t want to encounter them!
The next Tool album will be a double album. This has been suggested by many Tool fans on numerous occasions. Given that the band has spent 13 years writing, surely they must have enough material right? Maybe they do, but everything I’ve heard suggests that it will be a regular CD length album. Word is from a few of my sources are that we should expect less tracks than we think, but that they are all longer.
Descending and Invincible might not be on the album. This one’s a bit absurd actually. Some seem to think that these two tracks are just previews of sorts, and that they either won’t be on the album, or will exist in a significantly different form. I ain’t buying it!
The new album packaging will contain some kind of battery. This one was reportedly mention by Danny Carey at a Baked Potato show a month or so ago. I’m pretty confident at this time the reason the album is coming in August instead of July is likely to be packaging related, and while I have no insight as to whether it has a battery or not, it seems plausible that at the very least we’re going to see something out of the ordinary this time around.
Alex Grey will be providing the cover art once more. There was an Alex Grey interview with Metal Injection recently, in which there was a question asked regarding Tool that was avoided by Alex. Some took this to be a hint that Alex would be doing the cover art once more. I’m skeptical at this time – a reliable rumour I heard was that the artwork was an unseen piece of art, and that it wasn’t recognisably any particular artist. Given that Grey has a pretty strong artistic style, I take this to mean he’s unlikely to be the cover artist. That said, I would be a little surprised if there was none if his art in the packaging.
The first track will be released in July. There was a Reddit post recently in which a radio DJ announced he expected the new single in July. I’m unsure if he really has legit info to confirm this, but to me it seems a no brainer that we’ll see a more thorough album launch in July, including the album title, track list, packaging options and of course a “single”. Don’t expect this 10 minute plus track to be appearing on your typical radio station though. More interesting question is will there be a video?
Maynard doesn’t “scream” on the new album. A few sources that have reportedly heard the album, seem to confirm that Maynard’s vocals are a bit more laid back this time around, and that they heard no “screaming” on the album. Based on the two tracks performed so far, it’s easy to see how this could be a thing. Maynard is not an angry young man any more, and there are many songs he finds hard to perform live these days, the obvious one being Vicarious. I reckon Tool will be very keen to play most, if not all of the album live, so expect that Maynard’s vocals will be tempered with that in mind.
David Lynch will be making the first video. This is an odd rumour, based purely on a couple of band members “liking” his Twitter account around about the same time. Reportedly Lynch also mentioned listening to an unnamed 90s band recently. I guess Tool fits the bill. There’s nothing to rule this out, but I’ll be pretty surprised if he’s secretly filming some kind of Tool video for the new album.
Blair has released the latest issue of the Tool Newsletter today, dropping a couple of smallish hints for deciphering, but mostly reiterating how he came to be the Tool webmaster:
In the nineteen years of writing for my – er – I mean the band’s website, the hardest thing is knowing something that would constitute real band news – something positive to relay to eager fans – only being unable to post it for a variety of reasons due to the site’s official nature. I’m faced with the same dilemma today, but hopefully (keep your toes crossed) I can make an official announcement next month. Until then, in keeping with Adam’s “write about whatever you want” pep talk to me all those years ago, and knowing the guys probably have poor internet connections in Europe, there IS something that has been on my mind for a while now.
I think that most of us would agree that Crohn’s disease – a chronic disorder that causes inflammation in the digestive system – is nothing to joke about and any FDA-approved product that offers relief from the severity of the symptoms is to be applauded. With that said, from what I can hear, the band in the T.V. commercial for HUMIRA is really… really… really terrible (unless the studio track is entitled “TrainWreck.”).
Let’s hope Blair is able to communicate his news sooner rather than later, though personally I’m not expecting much more in the way of announcements until after the European tour winds up.
Speaking of which, the first date in Berlin is tomorrow night at the Mercedes Benz Arena. Wishing all the best to our Tool loving European comrades, for whom the tour drought is about to break!
Former Tool bass player Paul D’Amour has been announced as the new bass player for Industrial metal stalwarts Ministry. He’ll be joining them on their tour next month, and has also apparently joined them in the studio.
Al Jourgensen also tells an amusing anecdote related to Tool:
“I used to live with Timothy Leary, and he had given me these bottles of liquid LSD to bring on tour,” Jourgensen recalled. “I’d put two drops in my bottle of whiskey that I’d bring onstage. I’d drink about half the bottle during a show. So we were on Lollapalooza in ’92, I think it was San Francisco, and when we came offstage there were these two guys who were like, ‘Great show, dude!’ So I gave them my bottle of Bushmills, but I forgot that I had put LSD in it. So they drank it and they were tripping balls for, like, two or three days. They didn’t know what was going on and they were freaking out. They were ready to call suicidal hotlines. It turned out to be Paul and Maynard from Tool! … But he actually thanked me for that moment because he said it really got Tool going into being a psychedelic band.”
You think you’re a Tool superfan? Sure you’ve dropped hundreds on VIP passes, Lateralus vinyls, limited edition First Editions of Danny’s book and even a Tool blanket – but do you own an original piece of Tool artwork? If you have a bunch of money and just don’t know what to do with it, then I have good news.
Artist Adi Granov is selling the originals of a couple of his art works done for Tool. From his Facebook post:
Pretty cool stuff, and certainly a once in a lifetime opportunity!
Adam suggested that we’d get new Tool songs this tour, and they certainly delivered at Welcome to Rockville, with the band playing two tracks.
I’m hesitant to get too carried away with analysis over songs that have only appears in phone recording quality, but I’m largely happy with what I hear. Both a relatively slow burners, quite atmospheric with a strong emphasis on instrumental work.
First up was the complete version of Descending, which has been previewed many times over the last couple of years. It’s a reasonably dark and somber track, resembling both Jambi and The Grudge at times. Maynard sings along for the first half, but the final half is completely instrumental:
The other song played is reportedly called Invincible, is perhaps a bit more upbeat than Descending. Once again this has a riff what was previewed occasionally over the last few years. It’s got a bit more Maynard scattered throughout, and features a quite significant breakdown in the middle, with a nice chugging off-kilter riff.
A highlight for me of both songs are some really strong Adam Jones guitar solos – even though they sounded a bit rough live, I reckon they will be pretty epic when it comes to hearing the real thing.
I know many of you will want to comment on Maynard‘s vocals. I think they are quite interesting – it’s certainly not pushing the higher range of his voice (not entirely unexpected) but I did enjoy some of the vocal flourishes and effects used. Lyrically it’s interesting both songs seem to mine a similar vein – it could almost be taken as commentary on the bands journey over the last 13 years.
Get keen everyone! What do you all think? Are you feeling the hype? Or are you not satisfied with what you hear?