Blair posted a small update on Toolband today, suggesting that Maynard is finally working on vocals for the next Tool album:
In speaking with Danny last night, he told me that the band has temporarily MOVED some of their gear into a larger space (across town) where MAYNARD is working on VOCALS for some of the new Tool material. I’m sure that he has already been doing this to some extent, but now he has more room to breathe and a better vocal booth.
So good news it seems, and while I still think the album is some way off, it’s good to see some of the roadblocks being removed. Adam recently posted a snippet of some footage from this not-Loft location, showing mixing desks and other recording related gizmos. While I don’t think this is necessarily related Tool actually recording anything other than demos, it’s all good signs of progress.
Progress is slow, however some glimmer of light shines through the storm clouds with Adam today confirming that another Tool track is “in the can (minus Vox)”. So while the album ain’t done yet (and probably is still a way off) at least there seems to be progress!
In what is one of the most revealing interviews in the last 10 years, Justin goes into a fair bit of depth into the progress and process behind the new Tool album. Jon D’Auria from Bass Player speaks at length with Justin Chancellor on what is a insightful read.
While he didn’t want to be drawn into speculation as to when the album will be ready (based in my interpretation we certainly shouldn’t be expecting anything for a while yet) he does go into what and how they write, what some of the set backs have been and how he feels about the expectations of a ravenously loyal fan base:
How sick are you of people asking when it’s going to be done?
It’s understandable, and it’s a compliment that people are excited to hear it. But it’s difficult to hear that and not feel some kind of guilt. All I can say is that we’ll go back Monday and do our best to finish it for you, although that’s not really how it works. But we know the listeners will be happy with it when it’s finished.
How do you, Adam, and Danny typically write together?
Adam and I usually have the source material we’ve come up with together here. We’re playing pretty much nonstop right now, so a lot of ideas are coming out. Often, Danny and I will be playing something and Adam will rush into the room and tell us to record it, and then we’ll spend the rest of the day working on it to see if it’s worthwhile. And of course we have a whole treasure chest of ideas on our phones that we record on our own. Basically, Adam and I have riffs and Danny has rhythms or different time-signature beats, and we try to keep them basic before bringing them in to see what the other members will do with them. We establish a riff so we and the listener can identify it, and then we say, Okay, now how far away from it can we go on this journey?
Well worth the read, so check it out when you have the chance!
Sorry for the delay, but life’s been pretty busy the last few days! Anyway, the Tool July 2016 Newsletter is now out, and this time around Blair recounts a recent conversation he had with Danny Carey, giving us a few snippets of info on the progress of the new album:
While enjoying his “House Specialty” lasagna to the sounds of an excellent pianist (and master harpist, Mariano Gonzalez!), he added that they were very close to knocking out another tune, and that as soon as it was finished, they would send a recording of it to Maynard. When I asked if this was the song with the REALLY unique time signatures, he told me that they had already finished the music on that one. Okay, admittedly, not exactly stop the press news, but what can I say, other than that they are still grinding away on new material four days a week, and would be back at it later in the week (once Danny returned from the Las Vegas glitz, Justin from celebrating his wedding anniversary and Shelee’s birthday in palm-swaying Hawaii, and Adam hunting for glossy treasures at Comic-Com 2016 in San Diego).
The other question that I asked Danny concerned the fate of the broken vintage Pepsi machine from the loft – whether or not it had been repaired? Now, here was something that brought a quick response: Yes, he was determined to have it fixed, with or without the ‘original’ parts. Finally, what about the so-called “curveball”, to which he replied that he still wasn’t sure when it would be made available for public consumption, but that “It turned out dang good, though!”
Nothing too revealing, but good to at least hear of some kind of progress, and some suggestion that Maynard is now (or will soon be involved).
King Buzzo had a chat with Team Rock lately about his favorite Melvins albums, and while talking about Stoner Witch, had the following to say about the new Tool album:
The Stoner Witch record was the middle record of the three that we did with Atlantic. It wasn’t the best selling record from that time; Houdini was the best selling one but that was actually my least favourite of the three. I’m proud of all of those records though, and when you listen to them you can tell there’s not a lot of record company meddling going on. Stoner Witch in particular was a lot of fun to make, and we really learnt a lot in the studio on that one. I think it was the longest time we ever spent in the studio actually; 19 days, which for us is a long time. Bands like Tool obviously spend about six months on their albums, and they’ve spent about ten years putting together the new one. And they haven’t even started recording yet, but Adam [Jones, Tool guitarist] told me the shortest song they’ve been working on is twelve minutes long. Anyway, Stoner Witch was great.
It’s not much I know, but there’s not a whole load else to publish at the moment!
Check out the new Melvins album Basses Loaded below:
In our absence, Blair has posted the April 2016 Tool newsletter, which includes a censored section for you to decipher (if you are so inclined):
During a recent phone conversation with a certain band member, he told me the following: “Goddamn, I just ******* the *** **** ***** and it was pretty damn amazing! Of course, ** still has to **** **** of * *** ****** before ** **** ********, but what * *** was well ***** *** ****.”
In other news, I was told (again, by a band member) that *** ******** made **** a good *****, so it ***** **** **** *** ** playing the ************** on *******! Of course, this doesn’t take into consideration a grey goo scenario involving self-replicating nanobots, VY Canis Majoris going hypernova, or even the more likely stumbling block of anthropogenic global warming from too many advanced personal vaporizers (APVs) using propylene glycol, which is NOT the main ingredient in antifreeze. There is also some talk about **** *****, but nothing ** ****** ** and, ***** *******at this time. So, keep your toes crossed.
Word has it that the ***** for another **** song has been ******** at the ****, and that the fellows are off to a good ***** on ******* one. So, there you **** it.
Possible interpretations so far include finished tracks, completed videos and confirmed shows, or possibly all of the above. Time will tell I guess, though I hear with very good authority that the Voodoo Festival in New Orleans is all but confirmed.
It looks like Maynard hasn’t given up hope of a new Tool album, at least according to a recent interview with WMMR (a radio station in Philadelphia I believe). You can listen to the whole interview below, Maynard comes online at about the 1:46 mark. It’s an ok interview, nothing you haven’t really heard before though (though I did discover Al Bundy has a black belt):
When asked about Tool news he responded:
“No, not really. They’re still doing what they do, and I’m still hopeful.”
So there you have it. No real news. Maybe one day we’ll get some actual news…
Blair has posted the March 2016 Tool Newsletter, and this month it recounts the life and death of a Pepsi cooler in the Loft. The status of the new album does get a bit of a mention though:
After a short deliberation it was unanimously agreed by the band members – as a tribute to its many years of commendable service – to continue with the day’s session. Afterwards, there was some discussion about getting it repaired, or perhaps even a full restoration. However, until any technicians are called or any refurbishing gets under way, it is uncertain how the machine’s absence will affect any future Tool tunes? Personally, I don’t believe that it will change much, especially at this stage of the writing/arranging process, in which, I believe, there are only a couple of ‘shorter’ songs left to complete(?), along with a segue or two or three. (Of course, we need to keep in mind any changes that might be needed to accommodate the vocals, etc., once all of the arrangements are finished.) Even so, I still don’t think the departed Pepsi machine will change in any significant way any new material created by the band. But if it does, someone might want to start looking for cooling unit parts…
Regardless of the status of songwriting, I can’t see Tool recording anything until after the wine harvest, but it is somewhat promising to hear that a good deal of the songwriting is complete. The real question is how much of that includes Maynard’s vocals, or will there need to be a further writing session to get that done?