Tool must have been rehearsing today, and guitar player Adam Jones decided to live stream them tearing through The Grudge on Instagram. For your listening pleasure:
In a recent interview with Kerrang magazine, Danny Carey spoke about Legends of the Seagullmen as well as a slightly more in depth update on the new Tool album. There are no particularly insightful revelations, and Danny does joke around with 2018 and 2019 a bit, which suggest to me maybe he’s not super confident of it being this year (though he does go on to reaffirm it will be 2018).
In points worth noting (which I’ve somewhat paraphrased):
- He says Adam and Justin come up with the weirdest shit and he tries to anchor and simplify it.
- Maynard then has the ability to simplify it further
- The tracks are long. Too long for the radio
- The new music “definitely sounds like Tool, but it’s an evolution” hence the title on the magazine cover.
Danny also recent spoke with MusicRadar, again mostly about Legend of the Seagullmen. This one is a pretty interesting read, though it doesn’t go into Tool much except for the now standard “definitely this year” line about the new album.
In my opinion – it’s great to see Danny speaking with confidence about the new album. There’s little doubt in my mind they’re now on the home stretch. As to whether it’ll be out in 2018? I’m still a little skeptical for now, though I am reasonably confident we’ll at least see them recording this year. For me the hype train is firmly in the station, until they confirm hitting the studio…
Yesterday I dropped the Fourtheye Readers Top 10, now today I present my own top 10 albums on 2017.
The list is presented loosely in order. Overall I thought it was a pretty solid year for albums, with a few newer bands I’d been keeping my eyes on releasing some excellent albums. There seems to be a few less older or nostalgia acts releasing albums these days, so probably many who haven’t listening to anything new since 2000 probably think it’s been a weaker year. Good music is where you find it – stop looking and you’ll stagnate!
Code Orange – Forever
Forever was released early in 2017, but was a constant through out my playlists all year. The album is on that is full of surprises, and at numerous points on first listen had me wondering if there was something wrong with the stream. An easy 10/10 for me and first choice for my top 10
Mastodon – Emperor of Sand
The last few albums from Mastodon have mostly done away with the progressive angle of their music, and moved towards a more mainstream sound. With the addition of Brann’s clean vocals a few albums ago (he sings on almost every track this time around) the band sites nicely in the niche between the more popular styles of rock. It’s not all bad though, this time around it feels to me like they’ve almost mastered their current sound, and Emperor of Sand is by far the best of their “standard rock” albums. It culminates with a slightly more progressive track – Jaguar God, which was probably my favorite song of 2017.
Death From Above 1979 – Outrage! Is Now
The second album from these guys since their reformation – the first of which was pretty forgettable. This one however, seems to up the ante a little – embracing pop a little less, and adding a few heavier and more diverse sounds to the repertoire. It’s also pretty catchy as well!
Dead Cross – Dead Cross
Dead Cross are a band made up of Dave Lombardo (of Slayer and Fantomas fame) as well as a couple of guys from noise/grind band The Locust formed. The asked Mike Patton to join them, and the result was released in 2017. It’s pretty much a straight up hardcore album, and doesn’t really add anything new to the genre, but it’s a fun listen (not sure what’s up with this video though!).
Primus – The Desaturating Seven
Primus seem to love Rush, and I always wished they’d head down that prog path a little further. This album doesn’t really sound like Rush, but it is a little more progressive, which is something I can get behind. My only real criticism of this (and it’s a common one) is that it’s pretty short, and the songs kinda sound a bit samey. Still, it’s a good same, and an album I’m happy to include in my top 10.
Employed to Serve – The Warmth of a Dying Sun
A late arrive to my playlists for 2017, the track I Spend My Days (Wishing Them Away) has one of the chunkiest riffs I’ve heard in quite some time. The rest of the album is pretty great as well!
Power Trip – Nightmare Logic
These guys are the cool new metal band, seeming reaching countless top 10 lists in 2017. It’s easy to discount these hype bands sometimes, but in this case the album is a great collection of thrashy metal, with no real dull moments. Dig your teeth into it!
The Black Angels – Death Song
I love a good psychedelic rock album, and I thought this year was a pretty quiet one for this genre. The Black Angels didn’t disappoint though, with what I think might be their best album yet.
Couch Slut – Contempt
This Wisconsin punk band Couch Slut released an abrasive collection of noisy tunes in July this year, and it’s an album I keep coming back too. The lyrics and vocals as are confronting as their name suggests, but containing within the chaos is some pretty great songwriting.
There’s another update from Danny Carey in regards to the new Tool album floating around, and this is courtesy of Drum Magazine:
“It’s gonna be really good,” he said. “We’re really excited about it. We’re getting really close, too. We’re probably going to write the rest of this year and then start tracking early in the new year. So, it’ll be out some time in 2018.”
Good news it seems, and would suggest that Maynard is underway with his part of the songwriting process. Of course Maynard is well known for hosing down the other members of Tool in regards to progress, so lets take with a pinch of salt for now.
The rest of the interview is interesting, and probably skipped over by many. Danny talks about Legend of the Seagullmen as well as a new kit that Sonor are working with him on.
Tom Morello has reported on Instagram recently that he’s had a chance to check out the work in progress on the new Tool album:
Sounds like the body of evidence pointing to a new Tool album is growing. The when is still very much a question, but I don’t have any doubts this will happen, and hopefully soon.
In other Tool news, they’ve confirmed a second festival slot, this time as part of the Northern Invasion in Wisconsin. They will play the Sunday night on May 13th with Alice In Chains. A Perfect Circle taking part on Saturday. Tickets are a fair bit cheaper than Rock on the Range, though in my opinion the lineup much weaker.
Festivals not your thing? Hold fire and wait and see if there are a few Tool tour dates – I’d be surprised if there weren’t more added over the coming weeks.
On a recent MetalSucks podcast, in which they speak with Jimmy Hayward and Danny Carey, the pair discuss all things regarding Legend of Seagull, and intriguingly how it ties in with future Tool plans. It’s an interesting interview, though the audio is pretty poor, so hard to follow at times.
The take I’m sure that most of you are interested in, is where Danny talks about Tool’s future plans, going so far as to promise Tool will have something out in 2018:
Justin made us feel like Tool would have a new album out in 2018. On a scale of 1-10, how much did Justin lie to us?
Danny Carey: “He did not lie to you. On scale of how much he lied, it would be zero. It’ll be out. It’ll be out in 2018.”
So Danny is pretty convinced, and he reinforced this in a chat with Loudwire (where you can also hear the new Seagull track Shipswreck) as well:
“Yes. I’m saying definitely. We’ll probably have it done in the first half [of the year] if things go as planned. There’s setup times and manufacturing – I can never predict all that, it seems like it’s constantly evolving. [What time of year it will be out] I can’t tell you.”
Should we get excited yet? Probably not. Maynard hasn’t seem to hosed down the idea “yet”, but I don’t really think we’ll see anything released until late 2018 at best. Even then it’s hard to get too excited for something that has been in the works for so long. Danny is speaking quite positively, so it’s easy to assume that there are solid plans to record early in 2018.
Personally though, until we hear confirmation that Tool are recording, the lid will remain firmly on for me.
Tool have been announced as one of the headline acts of the Rock On The Range festival, held in May 18-20 in Columbus, OH. The join such luminaries as Avenged Sevenfold, Godsmack and Breaking Benjamin. If that’s not enough to get your juices flowing, also on the lineup are much better (but lesser know acts) Quicksand, Baroness, Code Orange and Power Trip.
Oh, and A Perfect Circle are also playing, presumably not on the same day as Tool.
According to the press kit ‘We have one of the only shows from Tool in 2018’ which suggests to me that we’ll see another few shows, I’d guess in the week or so leading up to the festival. I have no insight into the scope of the tour, but I’d guess it’ll be a short one.
Tickets are on sale now for the whole weekend. Single day tickets don’t seem to be available at the moment, but I imagine if it doesn’t sell out will do so closer to the event.
Time for the weekly Fourtheye update! A few interesting items this week, but nothing really newsworthy from Tool. As usual let me know if there’s anything else I can include.
In this weeks edition:
- New Danny Carey merch
- Justin + The Crystal Method
- The Haunted Swordsman
- Carina Round has a baby
- Albums of the week: King Parrot, The Contortionist, Metz and Death From Above 1979
Danny Carey Toolbox Elements shirt
Danny has a new shirt our called Toolbox Elements
DANNY’S new “TOOLBOX ELEMENTS” tee shirt is based on his custom built PLAN B (Electro-Acoustic Research) modular synthesizer – a masterwork of electronics created by Peter Grenader. The controls of the various synth modules are glimpsed while superimposed on the nine-sided geometry (NONAGON) that embellishes the purplish casing of the ToolBox performance system in polished plasma cut aluminum designed by Chas Smith. Fashioned according to Danny’s specifications, the center of the Nonagon also features “EYE OF HORUS” controls.
Justin + Crystal Method
We’re reported before that Justin has worked with the Crystal Method, and looks like one of their tracks will be featured on the soundtrack for the documentary Hired Gun.
“We Miss Cliff” featuring Justin Chancellor: Loved what Justin did for the Cliff Burton piece lot of pressure was put on Scott as we used Metallica’s “Orion” as temp music…What Scott delivered was chilling and absolutely perfect!
“Being a fan of music documentaries, I jumped at the opportunity to view an early cut of Hired Gun. Fran’s a great story teller so it didn’t take me long to realize I wanted to be a part of this project,” shares Scott Kirkland. “The scene that immediately spoke to me was Rudy Sarzo’s retelling of that tragic day in March of 1982 when the world lost Randy Rhodes. I became a kid again, staring at the family’s 20″ Magnavox TV in shock, as an awkward reporter with an MTV hat told the world he was gone. I stopped everything and started writing and from that initial demo I got the gig. This project allowed me to explore so many different genres and emotions that I found it to be so creatively stimulating. The night before the entire score was due they sent me the Cliff Burton scene. So I asked my mate Justin Chancellor to stop by after rehearsal and watch it with me because I knew he like myself and so many others worshiped Cliff. Justin is so brilliant and plays with his heart. I’m thrilled that my good friend Tobias Enhus was able to join me and couldn’t be prouder of our contribution to this awesome project.”
The Haunted Swordsman
Adam has endorsed a Kickstarter project but former Stan Winston Studio buddy Kevin McTurk called the Haunted Swordsman:
Carina Round has a baby!
Congratulations to Puscifer member Carina Round, who recently gave birth!
Albums of the week
Death from Above 1979 – Outrage is Now!
Their debut was pretty great, the followup a bit average and their most recent pretty good – worth a listen!
King Parrot – Ugly Produce
Aussie grinders King Parrot released a great album this week, full of noisy numbers I expect none of you will enjoy
The Contortionist – Clairvoyant
Probably the most Tool like of this weeks list, these guys have a brand of progressive metal that sits well with me. Check it out
METZ – Strange Peace
Canadian noise rock band METZ recently recorded with Steve Albini, so you can probably guess how this is going to sound. Fucking rad for the most part.
Things are moving so slowly in Tool land at the moment, I’ve run out of material (and motivation) for regular posts. So while Tool are in stealth mode (likely for the rest of the year I expect) rather than bombarding you with with stuff that is only somewhat interesting, I’ll do a weekly update. This update will include Tool related stuff, relevant side projects, and even a few updates from bands that have supported Tool, or I feel would generally interest Fourtheye readers.
In this weeks episode:
- Justin gets a new bass
- The Art of Work, with Maynard James Keenan
- The Melvins rate legal weed
Got anything that might interest Fourtheye readers? Let me know!
Justin gets a new bass
Adam posted on Instagram a pic of Justin with his new Warwick bass.
Some of you may notice the whiteboard behind, suggesting that perhaps they’re working on new stuff. Frequent AJ followers on Instagram may have also noticed
The Art of Work, with Maynard James Keenan
Maynard is featuring in a number of short episodes recorded for the Revolver website, in which he discusses a range of topics – mostly about what inspires him to make music and wine.
Part 3 and 4 are yet to arrive, but keep your eyes peeled
The Melvins rate Legal Weed
The Melvins are always good for a laugh, and this interview for Pitchfork media has a few solid chuckles:
Don’t forget they have a newish album A Walk with Love & Death (which isn’t bad). And Dale has a solo album called The Fickle Finger of Fate (which is better).
On Reddit the other day some chap called cptsweatpantz decided to start an online petition to get Tool to re-release their albums on vinyl. A noble suggestion, however was met with the usual cries of “online polls don’t do shit!” – something I agree with despite signing anyway.
Lo and behold the creator of the petition receives an email from Danny Carey (screenshot of which is below) in which he says:
The petition won’t really matter. We are already in the process of remastering all of our albums for release on vinyl in the near future.
Thanks for your enthusiasm Josh,
Good news on the surface of things, since I suspect many would embrace the opportunity to grab some legitimate, and reasonably priced Tool vinyl. “Near future” can be taken to mean anytime between now and End Times.
It should be pointed out that it’s pretty easy to spoof email addresses, so I’d suggest some caution here (though I have no real reason to doubt this random Reddit guy). Fingers crossed it’s legit though.