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Tool August 2018 Newsletter

The August 2018 Tool Newsletter is now out, and while it doesn’t contain any Tool news, it does give us something to be happy with: John Z‘s return to the stage:

 I hope you will agree that this message from John Ziegler makes for one helluva newsletter”  “So just last night after watching the bros throw down for the Doug Webb gig, I got on stage and brother Jamie actually let me play some guitar! This is huge for me and hopefully there’s a light at the end of this damn tunnel! Thanx again bro! Cheers and luv all y’all!”

https://www.toolband.com/news/454493/tool-newsletter-august-2018-e-v

For those not familiar, John Z is the guitar player for Volto! and suffered a stroke about a year ago.

What Makes This Song Great? Parabola edition

Some of you would have enjoyed Rick Beato‘s breakdown of Tool‘s Schism some time ago.  This week he’s revisited Tool, and this time taken a close look at Parabola.  

While it’s not quite as compelling a video as the Schism one, it’s still a cool watch.  Enjoy!

Support Fourtheye artist Frank Heiler

Hopefully many of you will remember the artwork inspired by Tool and Fourtheye that as created by American artist Frank Heiler.  I’ve attached a copy of the artwork to this post in case you forgot!  It seems that he has come across some hard times at the moment, due to a fire in his home studio.

Hey everyone, please share this if you can, 2 days ago, late at night, lightning struck our house, it shattered a window and caught the roof on fire. Everyone inside rushed out and we’re all safe.

But my friend Gianna and I had everything we owned up on the top floor, and it all burned. I managed to save my wallet and the clothes on my back, I saved maybe 4 paintings that are pretty damaged. Everything else is gone, 50-60 originals either burned or were soaked with water and ash, all of my belongings are gone, my computer that I use to run my art business online, my supplies, clothes, it’s completely destroyed. Same for my friend.

I basically lost 6+ years of creative work that can never be replaced.

If you’d like to help us out, it would be immensely appreciated and would make a big difference for us. I started a Go Fund Me here, the proceeds will be going to both of us to help us recover some of what was lost. Thank you for your support.

You can visit his GoFundMe page at this link.  Please consider throwing a few dollars Frank’s way – every little bit helps!

Tool July 2018 Newsletter

Another month goes by, and we have another newsletter with even Blair admitting there’s not much to share at the moment:

Well… I haven’t heard a peep pertaining to studio updates so make of that what you want.  I know that it’s pretty typical in the ‘Tool world’ to be kept in the dark when projects such as recording sessions are ongoing, so what can I say?  I’ve tried to get something… anything.  I even checked out Hellboy’s fourtheye website to see if he managed to get wind of anything via the Net, but evidently he hasn’t.  Keep checking, though (www.fourtheye.net).  With that mind, I guess I’ll go have a couple of beers while playing video poker.  Should Danny decide to pay me a visit (which he threatened to do a few weeks ago during my visit to Los Angeles), I’ll see if there’s anything that he can say on the record…about the record?

Maybe Danny should pay me a visit as well?

Being an optimist, I think that no news is good news.  The band are busy doing their thing, and it seems at the moment that Danny & Justin have done their parts, and Adam is working on his.  I suspect he shouldn’t be too far off done.  The A Perfect Circle tour is done for now, and Maynard back in Arizona, getting ready to kick off the harvest.  I don’t know how/when he’s planning to record, but interviews around the time of Eat The Elephant‘s release suggest he records from home these days.  I expect once the instrumental work is done, Evil Joe will fly over and kick off the process.

Studio updates and Maynard’s Metal Icon Award

Tool seem to be back working hard in the studio, with an update from Justin showing up his rig in the studio, as well as a quick Instagram post from Adam:

Justin sent me this photo with a caption: “Bass… How low can you go?”  In speaking with him, he told me that he was making great progress in “a great studio.”  He also told me how much fun he had at the recent Tool clinics and how impressed he was by many of the questions and comments from the band’s knowledgeable fans.

🤘🏽The Storm #FearIsTheMindKiller @eviljoebarresi

A post shared by Adam Jones (@adamjones_tv) on

In other exciting news, Maynard James Keenan was recently given a Icon Award at the Metal Hammer Golden God Awards:

Maynard James Keenan received the Icon Award at last night’s Metal Hammer Golden Gods’ ceremony.

The award was presented to Keenan by Daniel P. Carter, host of BBC Radio 1’s Rock Show, recognizing a lifetime of contributions to heavy music, with past lifetime achievement winners including Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Lemmy and Alice in Chains. Keenan was celebrated for his work with his trio of bands: A Perfect Circle, Puscifer and Tool.

A much deserved award.  Of interest to fans of the great man, he was quoted during his acceptance speech as saying “a lot of works being done, a lot of works been done. I’ll go on record now as saying you’re going to see some new music next year“.  It seems somewhat clear to me he’s referring to Tool, but maybe some new Puscifer material could be on the cards.  We’ll see in 2019!

Weekly Update 4-June-2018

Been a couple of weeks since our last update. with the Tool world mostly quiet since the recent festival dates and clinics.  Here’s a few little bits & pieces you might find interesting though:

  • The making of Justin’s Warwick Bass
  • Stream Yob’s “Our Raw Heart”
  • A Perfect Circle continue across Europe
  • The Pieces Fit – Tool’s Cult of Meaning
  • Albums of the week: Baptists, TesseracT, Null Apostle, High Priestess, Wax Chattels

The making of Justin’s Warwick Bass

There’s a new video from Warwick, which gives some visual insight into how his custom bass was create.  No, it’s not a Wal.  No, Justin is not about to give up playing his Wal.

Stream Yob’s “Our Raw Heart”

Yob are a doom metal band quite popular with Tool and their fanbase, and later this week they have a new album out called Our Raw Heart.  It’s currently streaming on NPR, so check it out!

A Perfect Circle continue across Europe

A Perfect Circle are partway through the European leg of their Eat The Elephant tour.  There are still plenty more chances to see them until the end of this month.  I was lucky enough to catch a pro-shot show from the Rock Am Ring Festival, and the band sounds great (it’s out there for those interested, though not on Youtube).

Some of you who went for the box set of Eat the Elephant would have enjoyed the little hologram widget thing they released with it.  For those curious, a 2D version of this clip for TalkTalk is now on Youtube:

The Pieces Fit – Tool’s Cult of Meaning

Trevor Quirk from The Point has written an interesting essay on Tool entitled the Cult of Meaning.  Those of you interested in some deeper meanings behind Tool might be interested in taking a look

Albums of the week

Baptists are a hardcore punk band out of Vancouver, Canada.  They put out a great new album just a couple of weeks ago called Beacon of Faith:

Djent!  Metalcore! Out of place capital letters!  I can hear the groans now!  Despite that, TesseracT have headed doing a more progressive path of late, and it’s one I enjoy.  Their new album Sonder is a great listen.

One of the best and heaviest albums I’ve heard this year comes from a crew from New Zealand called Null Apostle.  Their album Bridge Burner has everything you need to scratch that death/grindcore itch…

I love a good doom/stoner album, and High Priestess have released one that’s as good any this year.  Killer riffs and grooves – this album is worth a listen

Second band from New Zealand this time around, this time on a slightly different noise scale to Null ApostleWax Chattels do a cool brand of post-punk, and their recent self titled album is one I’ve thoroughly enjoyed!

Tool Newsletter May 2018

Tool newsletters are finally back, and in this May 2018 edition Blair tells us in his usual roundabout way about his thoughts on the recent Music Clinic Tour.  He even laments a few unasked questions:

What I wanted to hear was how the guys answered certain questions – such as: How hard is it to tune a nano Silverburst guitar?  How many salmon on average does Justin catch while fishing in Alaska from his Boxing Day gift Sikorsky S-76C helicopter?  What’s the number of stops on the pipe organ inside the replica Nautilus submarime anchored in Maynard’s swimming pool, and does Danny still feel the mystical vibes from the Knights Templar artifact that was melted down to be included in his Jeff Ocheltree Custom Craft set? Incredibly, no one asked about these things. I would have thought for sure that there would be questions about the advantages of parking bollards at the new loft, or if there were any updates on the new refrigeration system for the vintage Pepsi machine. But, no, instead, fans were asking really odd things like “How’s it going with the recording process?” Is it me – or does that seems kind of silly?  Oh, well, you had your chance…

All valid points I thought!  Not really a bunch of news in the newsletter, but it is great to have Blair back doing his thing!

 

Tool 2018 Festival and Music Clinic Wrap-up

Tool have completed their short run of shows (two festivals in fact) as well as a run of Music Clinics.  Many of you would have seen posts about these here in the forum, as well as places like Reddit.  For those that haven’t, or just want a handy summary, here are some of the key points I’ve gathered from the internet.

The two live shows had the same setlist.  The went more or less how you’d expect – same as last year but with the welcome addition of Sober:

  • The Grudge
  • Parabol
  • Parabola
  • Schism
  • Opiate
  • Ænema
  • Jambi
  • Sober
  • Forty-Six & 2
  • Sweat
  • Descending
  • Stinkfist

The shows were pretty well received – there didn’t appear to be any obvious visual additions to the sets from what I could see on Youtube videos.  The band sounded to be in decent touch for one that has presumably focused more on new material recently than their old.  Maynard in particular sounded pretty good to my ears.

A few bits of banter during the shows, including Maynard discussing his riot gear, bananas, and the need for the other three to hurry up.  Some media outlets were pretty quick to jump on this so called “rant” as some kind of division between the band, though I imagine it’s nothing more than Maynard joking around.

The Music Clinics were where most of the interesting insights have come from, with many attendees posting their thoughts online.  The clinics took a common format, a Q&A session, followed by a couple of songs – The Grudge and Eulogy.  Some more questions followed, as did renditions of Descending, Jambi and Aenema.  Also played was a new synth heavy drum solo type song, which Danny described as a segue on the new album.  They also appeared to play some sections of Rosetta Stoned.  There was also a screening of 2/3rds of the new Opiate video.

Following the Q&A and mini-concert, there was time for fans to mingle with the band members in attendance, as well as view a range of props and other Tool memorabilia.  There was of course t-shirts, posters and drum skins for sale as well, for those that had some change left over after the $500 entry fee.

Q&A details found online seem to suggest that fans asked similar things most night – typically things like “how is the new album going” and “what are you listening to at the moment”.  Here’s a collection of tidbits I’ve collected from around the place:

  • The band are obviously very excited about the new album, and feel like it’s some of their best work.
  • When asked what song that we’ve heard took the longest to write, at first Justin answered “Third Eye”, but then after a quick exchange with Adam he replaced that with Wings(1&2). Adam commented further that sometimes one of them might have a riff that they really love but it’s just not working the context of any arrangement. It might be several years later when someone else comes in with another and they have some eureka moment when suddenly that old riff the other guy had stashed away suddenly works. He then said (if i recall correctly) “This time there’s like seven of those.” Which I assumed meant tracks on the new album; roughly insinuating that that type of occurrence happened a lot during this writing phase.
  • In regards to live recordings, they appear to have recorded pretty much every show for quite a while, but don’t really want to share it with the record companies.
  • There was some discussion towards their record label in general, including confirmation this album would be the last of their contract.  Reading between the lines it almost appears like they are saving things like the Live DVD to be released independently after the contract is completed.
  • All members of the band met about 12 months ago to discuss the progress on the album and plan how to finish it.
  • Danny has finished his recording parts on the new album, and Justin is mostly finished.  Adadm and Maynard still to do their parts.
  • Maynard composes his parts by vocalising over the top of the music, humming melodies and such, and then fills in the details with lyrics afterward.  The songs don’t change during this process, Maynard works with what the rest of the band give him.
  • Money earned by the band is split equally between the four members. This includes income from the VIP tours, which typically don’t involve Maynard.
  • The band confirmed that every song on the album is over 10 minutes long, and there appear to be 7 of them.  Not sure if that 10 minutes includes some form of segue, but it certainly appears it might be a struggle to fit all those tracks + segues onto one CD.

Most reviews of these Music Clinic shows have been pretty positive.  The only comment I would make is that they sound pretty similar to the VIP experience given on previous tours.  It was nice to see the band (sans Maynard) do their thing in an intimate setting, I gotta say I was expecting there might be a little bit more to these sessions.

References:

Weekly Update 14-May-2018

Another quick weekly update for the Fourtheye faithful!  If you’re one of those lucky enough to go to a Tool show/clinic in the next week and want to avoid spoilers, you should stop reading!

In this weeks edition:

  • Billy & Maynard Wig shopping
  • Setlists and Q&A from Tool Music Clinics
  • New music- Wrong, Skinless, Rivers of Nihil, Sleep

Billy & Maynard Wig shopping

Maynard James Keenan and Billy Howerdel from A Perfect Circle have filmed a short, somewhat funny video for Revolver where they joke around in a wig shop.  It’s not really champagne comedy, but worth a watch.

Setlists and Q&A from Tool Music Clinics

There’s a bunch of posts on Reddit which goes into detail what happened at the recent Tool Music Clinics.  For the most part they sound like a cross between the standard Tool VIP experience, and an intimate instrumental only show.  There’s a pretty cool Mega Thread happening on Reddit which covers and range of questions asked at the first clinic.  Some interesting snippets of info!

At the Northern Invasion Tool show last night, the setlist was more or less the same as we’ve seen the last few years, with a nice addition of Sober.  No doubt a range of videos will pop up on Youtube over the coming days.  Adi Granov provided the artwork for the show.  I’d wager that the show next weekend will have the same artwork

Here’s a few links worth checking out:

New music worth checking out!

  • Do you like Helmet? Wrong sound a lot like an old, angry version of that band, and their albums strays very close to out right copying them at times. They have a new album called Feel Great, and great it is!

  • Skinless are a pretty hard hitting death metal band.  Brutal even.  Their latest album Savagery is a great listen for fans of the genre

  • Also in the Death Metal genre are Rivers of Nihil, though they have a bit more of a prog metal thing going.  Their latest Where Owls Know My Name is well worth a listen!

  • Stoner metal legends Sleep surprised us with an album about the same time as A Perfect Circle released theirs.  You can stream The Sciences here.

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