It’s Maynard’s birthday today, and in the time honoured Fourtheye tradition I shall post a video of him doing one of my favorite Tool songs. Happy Birthday Maynard – see you in a couple of weeks! Watch for the cool laser effect at around 6:25…
After the interview with Aloke the other day, forum regular Mog suggested we run a competition where the prize is a free one hour lesson with Aloke via Skype. Mog graciously donated the fee for the lesson (valued at $100), and Aloke has agree to provide the winner with a PDF copy of one of his books to help with the lesson. The lesson itself is suitable for all musicians regardless of their level of experience. Being via Skype, the lesson can be had regardless of your location in the world, just so long as you have a decent internet connection.
The difficulty was to find a way to run the competition, and after some discussion Mog and I decided to run it as a charity drive supporting Hiefer International, a charity who strive to work with communities to end hunger and poverty and care for the earth. For every dollar you donate to Fourtheye, you will receive one entry into the competition. All money donated will then be forwarded to Hiefer International at the end of the competition. The competition itself will close at midnight April 30 US Pacific time. The winner will then be selected at random a couple of days later.
To enter, please us the button below (don’t use the dontation button found on the Membership page, as it makes it hard for me to sort out). Once the money is recieved, I’ll send you an email to confirm the entry.
Word from nxrm in the forums today was that he received his copy of the Opiate 21st Anniversary reissue. His was ordered via Toolarmy, so I’d expect fellow soldiers to receive theirs in the coming days (or weeks if you are outside of the US). No word on if standard orders were mailed at the same time (I suspect some are still to be sent) – I guess we’ll find out soon. Here’s a photo he took of the item:
Here’s a link to a few more photos of the package.
As promised in a recent post, I collected questions from many Fourtheye readers, and then presented them to Aloke Dutta via the wonders of Facebook. A couple of hours later and I had a response! How’s that for efficiency! Without further ado I present the answers:
Is there any possibility of you playing with Tool again?
ALOKE DUTTA: Sure, once they get their shit together! Individually, all four band members are so occupied with their own artistic projects that I hardly see them. But, possibility of sitting with them will never die.
Have you been asked to contribute to their new album?
AD: Not directly.
What was the catalyst in working with Tool on a recording ? Or rather what attracted you to Tool?
AD: Love and respect between Danny and I for our personalities and our music are the main reasons I worked with them. Besides Danny, I adore other three guys’ musical depth, artistic sense, and their ability to articulate their emotion in a sophisticated way.
Since the tabla is more of a delicate acoustic instrument, was the overwhelming noise difficult to deal with playing onstage with Tool?
AD: Modern technology always helps. I remember wearing ear plugs when I played with them on stage a few times a long time ago.
Danny Carey’s drumming has a tribal texture to it. Did he actively study tabla under your guidance or was he more interested in learning some specific idiosyncrasies of the instrument and incorporate that into his technique/sounds ? Or both ?
AD: All of the above. Because, true knowledge does not have a brand name, not even a cultural identity. The divisions we know of are created by politicians not by genuine artists/writers/musicians. I do not teach people how to play my music. I, instead, teach them how to play their OWN music. I try to help them to make connection with their own music god. Once you are in contact with your deeper self, then all different music styles begin to sound like ONE. The state of mind at that level transcendence all the cheap human labels. Danny was already there when he came to me. He came to me only to verify it. (He also helped me the same way as I did to him, he just does not know it!)
In what ways does learning to play the tabla translate to ones overall drumming ability and technique?
AD: Tabla carries the wisdom of all drumming. Ancient Hindu sages provided lots of materials for all drummers to understand the time factor in music. This knowledge is not just essential but vital for all musicians as writing technique barely writes a poem. It is the philosophical understanding of the story helps one to write a meaningful poem not the way writer holds the pen. Tabla training by a true teacher can discipline everybody’s mind, body and emotions.
Are your lessons suitable for musicians of of levels of expertise?
AD: Most certainly. I do not show off. I try to feel the need of a student regardless of their status in the music world, and try to help them accordingly.
Are there any artists that you would like to collaborate with in the future?
AD: Hard to tell, because I am not talented enough to sit with anybody. So, currently, I try to create art all by myself like a poet, a painter or a sculptor who does it alone!
What are your musical influences?
AD: My father, Anadinath Dutta and his spiritual Hindu upbrining. Later, my close friendship with one of the greatest sitar maestro Nikhil Banerjee has a significant influence in the way I think about music.
What are some of your favourite Eastern artists?
AD: Anadinath Dutta, Nikhil Banerjee, Ravi Shankar, Ali Akbar Khan, Amir Khan, Jnanendra Prasad Goswami.
Who are your favourite drummers?
AD: Anadinath Dutta, Keramatullah Khan, Max Roach, Danny Carey.
What music are you currently listening too?
AD: Aloke Dutta’s Spondaic Oblation only to improve next time.
What is your favourite film/video game soundtrack and why ?
AD: I don’t watch film or play video games. But, a bunch of movies have my music on them though!
What is your favourite Indian dish? Do you enjoy cooking, and if so do you have any recipes to share?
AD: Blair Blake’s Chicken Vindaloo. You have to ask him for the recipe. All I know that it is a secret.
What is your favourite Simpsons episode and who is your favorite character?
AD: Again, I do not have a TV, but I have to say Lisa since she once wanted to play some tabla at her school.
Boxers, briefs or commando?
AD: Mostly commando, of course. It is all authentically pure tantric, baby!!!
Thanks very much to Aloke for answering the questions, and I’ll be chasing Blair up for the Chicken Vindaloo recipe!
Don’t forget that he will be playing in New York and Boston this weekend, and you can find more details here.
Posted on the Frontier Facebook page not long ago are details of a VIP ticket sale for the coming Tool shows in Australia and New Zealand:
FOR DEDICATED FANS!
On sale to public Fri 12 Apr, 9am (local time)
Adding to the sheer power and force of a live performance that Tool ticketholders have to look forward to, those who purchase a VIP package will also receive:
- Access to sound-check with members of Tool
- Q+A session with Adam
- Exclusive merchandise pack including:
1. An exclusive Tool tour t-shirt
3. VIP laminate
4. Bag of goodies
(These items feature designs exclusive to the VIP package and are not available for purchase anywhere else)
- Early entry to the Floor (for GA ticket holders only)
*NOTE: the VIP package does NOT include an event ticket. Please ensure you have purchased your event ticket prior to purchasing your VIP package.
Packages go on sale from 9am local time, Friday 12 April and will retail for $504 + ticketing agency transaction fees.
I don’t like to editorialise too much, but $500 is an outrageous amount for this in my opinion. Still, no doubt there will be some takers.
Looks like one of the pieces Adam shared recently on Instagram wasn’t for Tool, but for punk band Red Hare‘s album Nites of Midnight. I’ve never heard of Red Hare but they consist of Swiz members Jason Farrell (also of Bluetip and Retisonic), Shawn Brown (also of Dag Nasty and Jesus Eater), Dave Eight (Swiz and Bluetip), as well as Joe Gorelick (of Garden Variety, Retisonic, and Bluetip). Here’s a album:
The album should be available via Dischord on May 21.
Aloke Dutta is playing a few shows in New York and Boston later this month, and promoter KC Solaris asked me if I’d give you guys a gentle reminder! Here’s some details:
Aloke will be doing a RARE 2 hour solo performance, a 2 hour Rhythm Concepts Workshop (description and details below), and offering Private Lessons in both New York and Boston. Tickets to both solo performances are available by pre-order here $25 Advance / $30 at the Door. Please also purchase ahead to reserve your spot at the rhythm concepts workshop which is described below.
ALOKE DUTTA @ GREENPOINT GALLERY
390 McGuinness BLVD.
Greenpoint, Brooklyn NYC
Rhythm Concepts Workshop 2-4 pm Tickets available here:
SOLO Tabla Performance 7-9pm
ALOKE DUTTA @ FIRST CHURCH, JAMAICA PLAIN
6 Eliot Street
BOSTON, MA 02130
There’s more information to be found here.
Aloke has also agreed to answer a few questions for Fourtheye readers – so if you have any suggestions, please leave them in the comments section below, or visit this thread in the forums.
Blair has released the March 2013 Tool Newsletter today, and rather than being an April Fools Joke, it seems to refer to a fire that happened recently in the Tool Loft:
Rather than posting the newsletter that I had originally planned for March – due to recent circumstances involving the band’s rehearsal space – this morning (fueled by 2 cups of Café du Monde), I hastily penned this somewhat somber substitute. And here’s why: With no one present (save, perhaps, for some tattooed phantoms of prior late night carousing), around midnight on Sunday, March 31, 2013 in the common era (or early Monday morning – April 1 in the same era vulgaris) part of the Tool loft caught on fire.
I’m assuming it’s legit, as Blair has already posted his King Buzzo related Toolband joke. Hopefully this only turns out to be a short term setback for writing sessions.
Update: Turns out it was all just a misunderstanding – Adam, Justin and Danny will be joining Tool after all! In other foolish news, it appears King Buzzo is the winner of the first Opiate Reissue “Seal of Xatanitos”:
In breaking news just at hand:
Frontier Touring are disappointed to announce that Tool will no longer be playing shows in Australia this April/May however are equally pleased to announce that they will be replaced on tour by TOOL LIVES!
Singer Maynard James Keenan will be joined on stage by bass player Matt McJunkins, Drummer Jeff Friedl and guitar player Mark Tremonti as they play all the Tool hits in a unique in-the-round experience.
“This has been a long time coming,” announces Keenan. “Danny, Adam and Justin are hard at work on the new Tool album, and rather than disrupting their work schedule, I thought it would be in the best interests of the band to continue the tour without them. I’ve been touring with Mat and Jeff for a while now, so it seemed only natural to ask them to join the band. I’ve been a fan of Mark since his early days with Creed, and look forward to collaborating with him on this tour.”
Drummer Jeff Friedl is aware of the big shoes he has to fill: “Danny Carey is an amazing drummer!” he exclaims “It’ll be a challenge nailing his double kick parts, but I’m sure I’ll get there.”
Mark Tremonti gives us a taste of the setlist: “Maynard would like us to lay down some covers. He made a list for us and I was happy to see Imagine and a bunch of other of my favorite 70s protest songs that we’ll spin during each show.”
We are also pleased to announced that there will be a wine tasting for VIP ticket holders prior to each Australian show. Each ticket, valued at $500 comes with a free plastic wine glass, a novelty shopping bag, and a pair of socks recently worn by members of the band. “There isn’t much to do on the long flights in cattle class,” explains McJunkins “so we’ll each be wearing a bunch of different socks as a special gift for the fans.” Glasses of Caduceus wine may be purchased for $30 each.
I’ve contacted Blair for confirmation on this and will let you know what I hear…
There hasn’t been an announcement, but several Fourtheye readers have notified me that both Adam’s and Danny’s interview with Blair have been published. The one with Adam appears in the last newsletter on Toolband. It’s largely a reprint of what has already been talked about in other interviews.
Danny’s, found on his website, is a little more interesting, and he talks about his work on Opiate and hints at some of the esoteric meanings behind the release.