Adam posted a shot from (hopefully) the Loft’s whiteboard today with the hashtag #SmokeOnTheHorizon. Will there be fire where there is smoke?
Update: And a follow-up from Maynard:
Adam posted a shot from (hopefully) the Loft’s whiteboard today with the hashtag #SmokeOnTheHorizon. Will there be fire where there is smoke?
Update: And a follow-up from Maynard:
It was reported several months ago that Tool were facing a legal battle related with Cam De Leon‘s work with the band, and the insurance associated with that legal action. Legal documents were found, and discussed both here and other forums online. For some the legalese used was a little overwhelming and it wasn’t necessarily clear what was actually going on.
Trademark Nerd have created for us a summary of the legal case in language that is a little easier for the typical Tool fan to understand. Not to say that you guys are stupid or anything…
Anyway, the legal action will be unfolding in the coming months, and hopefully out the way early next year. Hopefully in the meantime the members of Tool can take advantage of the time prior to the holidays to nail down a few more tracks on their coming album!
Blair has posted his September Tool Newsletter, and it’s one huge advertisement of stuff we already know (coded messages excluded!).
He also hints that Puscifer may play some shows. Not sure how serious that is, but expect much celebration among Tool fans if this is true!
The Tool August 2014 Newslettertopolband has been published by Blair, and it has a couple of interesting points which, as usual, are open for interpretation.
Firstly he talks about Tool fans misinterpreting some recent posts, including confusing the recent Sturgeon album release party with that of a new Tool album. I admit the thought did cross my mind, however I refrained from emailing Blair about this. He also mentions that some expressed concerns that Danny joining Primus would create a considerable delay. For those not paying attention, it’s worth nothing he’s only lined up to play 3 shows with them. Oh, and word is the band have been practicing some Tool tunes, so expect more that just the usual Primus set…
He also talks about entomologist Rance Q. Spartley and something called the “Hoola Effect”. In the past references to Rance have often coincided with tour planning, so perhaps things are being set in motion for tours in 2015 (presumably post album release).
Finally he discusses the Loft, and it’s recent upgrade of soundproofing in a couple of rooms. With that he posts another photo of some “lenticular keychains” which appear to be some DAT tapes with recordings of No Quarter and You Lied on them, as well as some “final mixes” from 2000. Presumably this all relates to Salival.
If you’re quick, you can grab a copy of the Salival DVD from Toolband for $100!
Update: They’re all gone!
There is a photo, which may or may not appear on Toolarmy (if you know where too look) which may or may not have lenticular keychains in it. I’ll let you guys be the judge:
Metal Hammer asked Adam a few questions about the legal issues facing Tool, as well as an update of sorts on the new album:
Speaking of writing music, how is the new material coming along and what kind of direction is it taking?
“We’re always on an experimental path. We never think about what worked on the last record or what’s good on the radio right now. It’s a selfish process, we just go in there with some riffs. We experiment and the riffs start to take a different path and over time, this riff from last week might go really well with this riff from two years ago. We piece stuff together, almost like a film soundtrack, you know? But I’ll tell you this – there’s a lot of stuff in 7/4. Breaking up 7 can sound like an even number to the listener even though it’s an odd number, that’s really exciting. Rosetta Stoned had some elements of that where we had a middle break and the end rhythm of 7 against 5. It kinda opens up a whole can of worms! There’s some really light stuff going on but there’s also a lot of heavy stuff in there too.”
If there’s one thing that can be said about Tool records, it’s that they’re always worth the wait… any idea on when it will be ready?
“Ah man, I really appreciate that. It’s refreshing to be interviewed by someone that loves music and actually knows about our band. Some of the journalists we’ve dealt with… it’s been insulting to be interviewed by people that don’t bother following music or even seem to like it at all – it’s just a gig for them to get a paycheck. This lawsuit has really gotten in the way, all we want to do is get it behind us so we can focus on what we do best. I don’t want to just get it out and worry about the next record, then look back and go, ‘Why did I do that? It’s a piece of crap.’ I want to sleep well at night, it’s my legacy you know? Some day, I’m gonna croak and I wanna look back on what I did and go, ‘I worked really hard, took the time and had integrity.’ I know our fans are frustrated and obviously want to hear new music. You gotta look at that in a good way and think, ‘Wow – they really like us and they want more!’ To be honest, you can’t beat that feeling at all.”
You can read the full interview here.
In a lengthy Tool interview with Rolling Stone, Adam and Danny outline the legal woes that have drained their time, resources and creativity over the last 7 years:
“And it’s costing millions and millions and millions of dollars to defend us,” Jones adds. “And the fans are all going, ‘We want a new Tool album. What the fuck?’ And you don’t want to pull people into your problems, because they don’t understand.
“But the point is, we’re fighting the good fight,” he continues. “We’re going to trial and we want to crush them. But every time we’ve gotten close to going to trial, it gets postponed and we’ve wasted money and time and it has just drained our creative energy. We bought an insurance policy for peace of mind, but instead we would have been better off if we never had it and just dealt with the original lawsuit.”
They also talk about progress in song-writing and tell us how the current work is coming together:
In fact, “heavy” is a word both band members use to describe their new sounds. “Sometimes I feel we get a little too proggy or too into exploring time signatures but not getting heavy enough for my taste,” Jones says. “There are some good nose-bleeding riffs happening, and I’m really happy about that. It’s not out-of-the-gate crazy heavy, but there are these little journeys with nice paths that end up very heavy.”
“It’s all a little more ‘metal’ sounding, if I may,” Carey says with a laugh. “I’m having fun drumming on it. There is one other song [beyond the 10-minute tune] that I would say is pretty much there. It’s another one that’s pretty gnarly with some good double-kick [drumming] going on in it.”
It’s a great article, and while not necessarily full of good news, it is nice to hear some substantial news in regards to song-writing on the album.
Thanks to the dozens of you who emailed me links to the article – these things always come out when I’m asleep!
As most of you remember, Tool embarked on a short tour earlier this year to venues in the US and Mexico. Some of you will also remember the controversy when Kanaduh recorded and posted about the VIP sessions with Adam. Kanaduh attended several shows on the recent tour, as well as the VIP experience, and took the effort to pen a comprehensive write-up of his Tool experience. He is a passionate Tool fan, and the article is a reflection of his thoughts and opinions, not those myself. I present it largely unedited. Hellboy
Hello. As some of you know, I travelled to the first bunch of shows of the Tool tour earlier this year in the West Coast. It was an interesting tour that featured some interesting setlists. Along with the usual group of songs, the tour featured a few performances of Third Eye and Pushit, plus a rare live-extended version of Opiate that will almost certainly been seen in some formation on the new album. I had never been to the west coast before so visiting these cities was also an amazing part of the experience. Spokane was beautiful in the winter, Portland was great, and Eugene was the University-hippie capital of the world. I wasn’t a fan of San Francisco, but maybe I just didn’t go to the right areas.
Don’t get me started on Reno – what a shithole!
As is always the case with my crazy adventures, the highlight was meeting some incredible people from these forums (ToolNavy and Fourtheye). I want to sincerely thank all of the people I met over those two weeks (you know how you are) for the beers, joints, and generally crazy nights we experienced.
The purpose of this post is about my experience on March 12th one show where I purchased the VIP package. As some of you may know, I was the one who recorded the entire Q and A session and VIP sound check session. First of all – this is not something I planned on doing. In the 39 Tool shows I have been to I have barely taken a picture, let alone any bootlegs or videos or recordings. However, in the days leading up to my VIP experience I noticed that not a single leak/bootleg existed online. When I entered the venue in the morning I noticed that security was extremely light, and I figured I would try getting some recordings if it would be safe and possible. Everything I recorded was simply with the built-in basic recording application on my iPhone. Because I was early I was able to get a front seat in the Q and A session, and with the phone slightly (and discreetly) sticking out of my pocket it managed to get a VERY crisp and clear recording of the entire session.
Surprisingly, this seems to be the only leak that came out of the entire VIP experience on the tour. The Sober sound check I recorded is on YouTube (that somebody else posted), however the ambient-transition and Vicarious sound check, in addition to the entire Q and A session were removed promptly and have not resurfaced yet as far as I know.
I received a not-so-friendly email from the brother of Adam Jones (who is an intellectual property lawyer in Chicago) demanding that I cease and desist posting any of the recordings. [What are the odds I can get all of the Tool members to sign the letter!?J]
I also find it comical that in the Vegas VIP experience (the next one), they confiscated everyone’s phones (very inefficiently from what I heard as they wasted tons of time), and Juan cited “that asshole in SF” who ruined it for everyone. Sorry.
Anyways, since I cannot post the Q and A without risking more friendly messages from Tool, I did the next best thing: I went through the entire 90 minute session word by word and tried my best to transcribe it for you guys.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Everything here is paraphrased based on my personal interpretation of what was being said during the session. Even though quotes are used below, sometimes it may not be word for word. This should be used as a reference and a general overview of what Adam talked about – not a direct quote of what he said. I did my best to interpret everything as fairly and accurately as possible.
Q and A
THIS PART IS INTERESTING:
An audience member asks how the setlist is determined for each concert.
“Adam, Danny and Justin can play with a fever. Adam can play with his back hurt. Justin can play with a migraine… Maynard can’t. So he picks the setlist every day based on his ability to give you his full performance based on how he’s feeling that day.”
Well there you have it. Maynard picks the setlist 100% of the time.
Adam adds: “sometimes Maynard makes a comment about never wanting to play that song ever again. Then 2 years later it’s the first song on the setlist”. Interesting – this could be a reference to Third Eye. (Hellboy: I reckon it’s more likely to be Pushit)
[Kanaduh notes] Okay – this is where it gets interesting! So for weeks leading up to the tour I knew I would be going to the first 7 shows but only 1 VIP experience. Obviously I knew I would have the opportunity to ask 1 question to Adam. I constantly went back and forth in my head over what I was going to ask him. I definitely wanted it to be something different or unique.
Some of the things I considered asking:
I raised my hand at this point and was lucky enough to be chosen to ask my question. Of course I was nervous and in the heat of the moment I said the first thing that came to my head:
Kanaduh: “Like a lot of people here I go to a lot of Tool shows, and for me one of the best parts of a Tool show is the transition and ambient sounds/intros in between the songs. In previous tours the intermission was always fantastic with sounds/lights/lasers/etc. So why was there a change this tour for the intermission? I don’t want to be negative, but at least for myself and people I’ve talked to the intermission this tour is not ideal”
Adam: “We take a break because we play a long time”
Kanaduh: “But I mean for the audience”
Adam: “It’s not about you.” Entire VIP claps/laughs as if he dissed/insulted me and then Adam walks up to me and shakes my hand
Adam: “It’s just we are older and you know, we play a long time for you guys, so take a little break! Gives you a chance to pee, grab a beer, etc.”
So basically this entire exchange sort of pissed me off. Although I think he misunderstood my question, I wasn’t very happy with the answer. I obviously was not saying “don’t take an intermission!” I was implying that the lights of the venue should not come on for 12 minutes and kill the mood/atmosphere, and instead they should have kept it like previous tours and used those 12 minutes for the lighting/tech crew to give us some cool visuals, and ambient/trippy sounds. In the past many reviews referred to the intermission as an “alien abduction” – the point is that although Tool was not on the stage, the intermission was very much an integral part of the tool concert experience. The 2014 tour changed that, and I think it was a shitty change. I’ve been to more than my fair share of Tool shows and in my humble opinion the new intermission format flat out sucks. And further to reply to Adam’s comment…
yes a damn concert IS about the audience! I will not bitch about the delay in the new album, or a lack of a live DVD, or Maynard’s other distractions, but the one thing we can all say definitely IS about us are the live concert experiences. Another thing – his comment about using the intermission to buy a beer – almost every single venue (with exception of Vegas/casinos) will stop serving alcohol before the intermission. And on top of all of this, as we all know tool shows have been getting shorter and shorter every tour in terms of actual song-playing time – removing the intermission experience just makes it even shorter! Anyways, that’s my personal rant and how I managed to piss off Adam with my 1 VIP question.
OTHER RANDOM NOTES ABOUT THE TOUR
Anyways that’s all I have to say about this. I hope you genuinely enjoyed reading this review of both the 2014 tour and the VIP experience.
Lastly, I want to post a quick excerpt from my Reno show review I posted in March. It was after I had met 6 different Toolshed/Fourtheye members over the course of 6 days between, during and after the shows. I had totally forgotten about writing this – but it definitely made me smile today and reminded me that you fuckers are all amazing people:
“When I tell my friends back home or at work that I’m travelling all over the country to see TOOL again, they think I’m insane. When I tell hotel employees, taxi drivers or border patrol agents the purpose of my trip, they ask “What makes this band so special that you need to see them again and again?” What people do not understand is that these trips are not just about seeing the band live. These trips are about meeting people – and let me tell you from experience that TOOL fans are among the most amazing people on Earth. Every city of my trip thus far I’ve met with someone new from either Fourtheye or Tool Navy, and these memories and friendships will last long after the band stops touring.
Experiences like this trip let me grow, mature and evolve as a person – mainly from the people I meet in addition to the philosophical-art-rock-brain-orgasm that is TOOL. That is why I go on these trips – to become a better person. Isn’t that what TOOL is about too?I want to take this opportunity to send a message to the many lurkers of both Tool Navy and Fourtheye. There are dozens (if not hundreds) of people every day who read these forums and never post – I used to be one of them. Register for these forums! Start posting! Most importantly, if you see the band live try to attend meet ups or grab drinks with other like-minded strangers. Some of the most genuinely incredible humans post on these boards.”
Blair has posted the June 2014 Tool Newsletter on Toolband this morning, and it’s a reasonably short one. It doesn’t really hint at much, except for that Tool continue to work on new material:
Be prepared for lots of problems as MERCURY GOES RETROGRADE UNTIL… JULY 1. So, if your cell phone call drops out in the canyon… If your order from the shopping bazaar is the wrong shirt size… If your Bic won’t spark that blunt after only 2,999 flicks… If your VHS tape of “The Eighteen Year Old SchoolGirls” suddenly has a faulty end-of-tape detection mechanism… If the Cheetos nubs in the bag are smaller than usual… If your car battery goes dead (and there’s no alien spaceship that sounds like a broken lawnmower nearby)… If they get your order wrong at the Jack-In-The-Box drive-thru… If your cochlear neural interface implant goes on the fritz… If the commercials are louder than the television show that your watching… If you get bitten by a black widow spider after falling onto the floor after being hit between the eyes by popped champagne cork… YOU NOW KNOW WHAT TO BLAME.
Also, if you are currently working on ANY creative project, you should probably stop until after July 1… Unless, of course, you are in a band called TOOL, and busy working on material for a new record. If this is the case, back up your hard drive… and go with the flow!
Not sure if this suggests something is happening on July 1st, or if Tool are on a break until then (hopefully not). Not sure if the Happy Trails backwards at the end means something. Either way, have a good June!