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Tool October 2015 Newsletter

Blair has published the Tool October 2015 Newsletter, and for those of you who’s heart rate skyrockets at the mere thought of dense prose with little relevance to Tool, I suggest you steer clear. Here’s the bits Tool fans might actually find interesting:

Q: “BMB, What’s going on here? Tool is charging $500 for a meet and greet (with the option to pay even more money for merch)? Since when did the band cater specifically to upper class bourgeoisie Republicans? I hope they at least reward attendees with a free “Make America Great Again” baseball cap. Sincerely, An under-paid proletarian Tool fan.”

BMB: Hello, it’s $499. 98… Less than the price for two To’ak chocolate bars, so let’s not exaggerate, my friend! And besides, do you have any idea how much it costs to grab your Lakers season tickets, gas up the Lamborghini with high octane, give the traffic light corner transient a “Jackson” (if it’s red) on the way to the Staples Center, and then buy a few cocktails (with premium liquor) and a bag of peanuts? Talk about a bruising financial experience! And what about all those decoy tour buses and band member dopplegangers that have to be paid in cash! Plus there is a band member’s replica of the “Nautilus” submarine (complete with pipe organ) in his swimming pool…

Q: “Please tell me if there is any truth to the fact the boys of “][” {[]} {[]} “]_ are scheduled to play HELLFEST in France in June of 2016. I viewed an advertisement that has them on the line-up and would like to know before I purchase tickets to the event. Thank you, a long time fan.”

BMB: The hell if I know – have NOT heard a word about it. Is this e-mail from Lucifuge? Goddamned Craig’s List exorcists!

Not much to write home about. I doubt much has happened this month. No doubt songwriting continues, but I expect they are focused on the Halloween show for now, and Maynard is equally focused on Puscifer. I think we can expect a quiet few months on the Tool front. Maybe we’ll get word of some kind of curveball, but if it’s new album news you’re looking for, well let’s just assume that nothing will happen in that front until at least early 2016.

In addition to all that, there appears to be a new shirt that Blair is pushing, which you can purchase here.

“LUCIFUGE ROFOCALE” HIGH QUALITY TEE SHIRT

Fourtheye Interview with Blair Mackenzie Blake

Fourtheye is back from it’s slightly longer than expected downtime, and I now present to you the interview with Blair MacKenzie Blair, who most you know as the web content manager of Toolband. Last week I collected a range of questions from the blog, the forum and even from Reddit. There was great response, with over 70 questions being posed. From that list I picked the most interesting of them, and sent them off to Blair for his response.

Thanks to Blair for giving us the answers, and thanks to all those Fourtheye readers who submitted questions.

Without further ado, I present the Fourtheye interview with Blair:

Can you give us any further info on the curveball? Is it something that is expected to be released anytime soon?

BMB: I don’t have a time table, and haven’t heard much about this as of late. When I first mentioned it way back when, I considered it to be just another Tool project in the works, albeit one that I wouldn’t have expected them to be involved with at that particular juncture. But they moved forward with it, and are excited with the results thus far. Some day I will receive an email with more info about it that I am to post on the websites. Until then, you’ll just have to keep guessing, which many are doing, with some having guessed correctly.

Aside from the stage production changes as mentioned in the last newsletter, can we expect any other surprises at Monster Mash? Perhaps a collaboration with Primus?

BMB: It wouldn’t be a surprise if I told you, now would it?

Can you reveal what the Golden Ticket holders from the recent Opiate re-issue received?

BMB: I think that we are still waiting for the final winner to respond to our email before making this known to the general public.

What is your favorite Tool song and album?

BMB: I don’t have a favorite song, but will go with Lateralus as my favorite album. I actually haven’t heard much from the first two records, so maybe I should give them a careful listen before deciding? As for Lateralus, when I first heard the early arrangements – those without vocals – I didn’t think that it was going to be nearly as good as AENIMA. But once Maynard added his stuff, and the finishing touches were put on, I was extremely impressed with the overall result. With that in mind, when I later heard the ‘rough drafts’ for 10,000 Days, I always tried to imagine what Maynard would be doing in certain sections, but when it actually came time for him to do so, it totally surpassed anything that I was envisioning. Especially the intro to “Rosetta Stoned” and the melodic passages in “Wings.”Even so, in my opinion, the right musical arrangement has to be there in the first place for him to do what he does so well – to make it all work. So, it is truly a collaborative effort, with each musician being of equal importance in order to create that which so many people love about the band. This is still true today. From the musical arrangements of the new material that I have heard so far, there are lots of places for Maynard to really shine, and I am really looking forward to hearing this once they get into a studio.

What was Adam doing in the studio when Motorhead caught him there in February?

BMB: He was either bugging his friends while they were trying to work, or working himself on what is now known as the “curve ball.”

Why hasn’t anyone found Problem 8 – The Riemann Hypothesis yet? Can it still be found? Has anyone been close to figuring it out? Any more clues?

BMB: It will be very difficult for anyone outside of the band to hear this unless someone wants them to do so some day.

Does there exist and/or will there be any official video of concerts pre-10,000 Days that will ever have an official release?

BMB: There is lots of unedited footage to make a live Tool dvd, but I have no clue as to if and when they will edit this for a release. Maybe after the new album is released?

Other than the obvious new material for the album, does tool have any unreleased or cut songs from any previous albums? Could they ever see the light of day?

BMB: Not that I am aware of, other than that previously mentioned.

Will 10,000 Days vinyl ever happen?

BMB: I really think so, as I have seen a test pressing.

Please elaborate on the progress of the album from when you believe you heard half of an album (sans Maynard) in Danny’s car several years back to what you have heard recently. Did they decide to scrap some of the music and start over?

BMB: Being that I am a lot older now, and don’t go to loft much (with a diabetic cat that wakes me up for her shot of insulin very early in the morning), I haven’t heard a lot of new material lately. I know that they are sticking to their work schedule, so am guessing things are progressing nicely. I don’t think anything has been scrapped, but intros and outros and such tend to get changed. They are perfectionists when it comes to arranging a particular song.

It is no secret that you insert clues into your posts/newsletters about all things Tool. Have you ever made any band members angry by giving away too much info (albeit cryptically)? Or are they pretty happy with you throwing a bone to any fan determined or smart enough decode your posts?

BMB: As far as I know they have never been angry about anything – at least I have never been asked to edit or delete anything. Maybe they haven’t deciphered such things yet, or, as the person suggested, are happy about my throwing their fans a bone. But then again, perhaps they don’t even read the newsletters, etc.

What was “the Deal” that was mentioned in the June 2015 Newsletter?

BMB: Let’s talk about this after the next show or shows.

Will there be another Tool webcast/podcast?

BMB: Your guess is as good as mine.

Will the new Tool album be available in some hi-res HD audio version? Are there any plans to release hi-res versions of any previous albums?

BMB: Such things are being discussed, but I am not privy to any details at this point.

Approximately how many Tool shows have you attended? What live Tool show was the most memorable for you and why?

BMB: I’ve been to several small club gigs in the early pre-signed days, including the show that they afterwards got their first manager, and one when they signed their first record deal, so that was pretty cool. I have been to about 30 shows I would guess. The 666 show in Germany stands out, as well as one of the Coachella shows that had particularly good catering by my chef friend. Hard to say, really, which was the most memorable due to backstage drinking, and that they are fairly consistent with their performances.

Do Tool plan to play in Europe any time soon? What about Puscifer?

BMB: I would say once the record is released they will for sure tour in Europe.

What got you interested into the occult, and how has this changed your life?

BMB: I have long been interested in the mysteries of the human mind, and what else might be out there, if there is anything else that is totally independent of the human mind? As for changing my life, it just makes me think deeper at times with regards to certain things that I might not otherwise have considered. However, I don’t let any ideas concerning borderland phenomena get in the way of other things of a ‘simpler’ or more mundane nature that I also enjoy, such as sports and such. In other words, there is a balance in my life, and I don’t let any occult pursuits control what I do or think (unless, of course, I am perfectly possessed!) I certainly don’t take it to the level that others do, or at least, claim to do. I don’t want to wind up joining “The Flat Moon Society” or some ‘we have all the answers’ group that insists on everyone wearing silver tennis shoes.

Do you have any upcoming books/projects that fans would be interested in?

BMB: There are a couple of things, including a new project with Danny. Hint: It’s not about collecting books this time. More about both projects in a few weeks.

What are your top 10 albums?

BMB: “Night on Bald Mountain” and “Two, Too” by Fireballet, “Grand Canyon Suite” by Grofe, “The Snow Goose” by Camel, “Tales of Heaven and Hell” by Wendy Carlos, “Brain Salad Surgery” by ELP, “Scheherazade” by Renaissance, “The Dark Side of the Moon” by Pink Floyd, “The Planets” by Holst, and “In The Court of The Crimson King” by King Crimson.

What is the spookiest thing you have ever encountered?

BMB: A Carolina Wolf spider while removing bricks from an old house in the mid-west. No, actually, something that I can’t describe very well at all that I glimpsed in my parent’s basement in the early morning of January 5, 2000 as a nearby police officer witnessed a strange triangular shaped aeroform pass overhead.

Is the Maynard autobiography still happening?

BMB: I haven’t heard about this, but it sounds like a great read if it happens. It’s not something that I mentioned, is it?

Being from the Midwest and all, can you please tell us how old you were when you caught your first sheep tangled up in a fence?

BMB: I don’t recall having ever seen a sheep while living there. I don’t even think that I counted any sheep while trying to fall asleep at nights back there. It seems kind of sad though that the person who asks this question would have to resort to finding a sheep tangled in a fence in order to make it with the poor thing, as opposed to properly courting it with special clover and forbs and other niceties. The times are a changing, I guess.

Do you still have the original Coleman?

BMB: Yes, it is in a closet waiting for some opportunity to be used again.

Blair MacKenzie Blake

Tool September 2015 Newsletter

Wasting no time after the Tool August 2015 Newsletter, it appears that the Tool September 2015 Newsletter is now upon us. It falls into the cryptic newsletter category, and hints that there will most likely be some form of announcement later in September. As to what, it’s anyone’s guess. New tour dates (possibly Australian)? Details of the new album? A curveball? More blankets?

Read the newsletter below with calendar in hand and let me know what you think:

TOOL NEWSLETTER
SEPTEMBER, 2015 E.V.
KICK-BACKED LABOR DAY EDITION

“Full transparency” may latest catchphrase on the evening news, but it’s also a precept long strictly adhered to on the Tool websites, and with this in mind, I should tell you that some of the band members are taking a break from the writing/arranging sessions today in order to enjoy the Labor Day holiday. Obviously, not me though! So, in the breaking news department this month, although some of the guys won’t be at the loft working on new material this afternoon, they have pinky-promised to make up for this by jamming – not only tomorrow, even though it is “INTERNATIONAL LITERACEE DAY” – but also on “GRANDPARENTS DAY”, despite it being a Sunday, with a partial solar eclipse to boot! As for “MEXICAN INDEPENDENCE DAY”, which is on Wednesday the 16th, nothing has yet been decided (except that sopaipillas aren’t just side orders if they’re stuffed), although they will for sure be staying at home the following day (September 17), which happens to be the one “CONSTITUTION DAY” when Mercury goes Retrograde, and with it all of the technical problems that are likely to occur. There’s no point going to the Tool Loft if wah wah pedals don’t wah wah (the little Crybabies!), and a Virus oscillator 2 suddenly develops semitone issues during the diminutive planet’s whoopty-freakin’-doo joyride. The Autumnal Equinox will definitely be a workday for all, and you might want to check the band’s website for a special announcement. Well, kinda sorta special…Ah, come to think of it, don’t bother checking on that day. I certainly wouldn’t want anyone to be disappointed… In the event that the band members flake on “MEXICAN INDEPENDENCE DAY”, they will make up for it by getting together on Sunday, September 27, although it is the “ASIAN MOON FESTIVAL”, with, coincidently, a total lunar eclipse at 10:48 PM EDT. I realize that I didn’t mention “PATRIOT DAY” on Friday, September 11, but, honestly, only one member in the band is really a football fan, and he only likes the K.C. Quiffs… Oops, I just realized that it’s “PATRIOT DAY”, not “PATRIOTS DAY.” Duh, of course they’ll be taking the day off on Friday in order to observe the memory of the tragic events that unfolded (actually, they have Fridays off anyway). Which brings us to SukKot on Monday the 28th (damn, is it already Sukkot again, with all that loud clanking noise from my neighbor struggling to assemble a Lowe’s sukkah by the swimming pool!). I’m going to take a wild guess and say that the guys will be jamming new material on Sukkot (and not in a temporary palm thatch-covered dwelling purchased at the Home Depot). So, there you have it – a genuine Tool newsletter posted on Labor Day. Well, somebody had to go to work…

HAPPY TRAILS

Crowley glass

Ask Blair stuff!

Update: Thanks all for the responses. I have a huge list of questions for Blair that I will sort through over the next couple of days, and then send to him. Thanks for everyone’s input!

I was speaking with Blair today via email, and asked him if he’d be interested in answering some questions from Fourtheye readers. The answer was yes!

So here’s what we’ll do – you guys will suggest questions you’d like answer, discuss them below (or in the Fourtheye forum) and then I’ll email them to Blair and see what he responds with. Bear in mind that we’re interviewing Blair, not Tool, so while I expect he can answer some questions about Tool, he may not be able to answer them all.

Fire away, but to help me collate the questions try and keep the smart arse comments to a mimimum!

Blair Blake and Danny Carey

Tool August 2015 Newsletter

Blair has posted the Tool August 2015 Newsletter this morning, and this time around it’s an interview with Tool video designer Breckinridge ‘Breck’ Haggerty. Here’s an excerpt:

BMB: What is the usual process of putting together the video clips and such for a Tool show or tour? The starting point and finishing touches? How much of the material used in the projections do you create, and do you get input from the band members? I’m guessing that Adam Jones is involved?

BRECK: Adam has always been very involved in the design, and all of the other band members contribute in different ways. Generally, Adam will give us the big picture, and Junior and I put the show together from there. The visuals are made up of small looped segments that I weave and layer through the show. There must be 2000 clips in the collection at this point, so there’s a lot to work with. The iconic images you remember from the shows are the works of far greater talent than my own. By name: Camella Grace is responsible for the psychedelic nudes and swimmers, Chet Czar creates the fish-skinned creatures of your nightmares, Meats Meier crafts the intricate mechanical/spiritual beings that populate the show, Matt Santoro, Kevin Willis, Robyn Breen Shinn, I could go on and on… My role is in the arrangement and mortar, and I build the abstract visuals that bind all these great artworks together as a whole.

BMB: What are the usual preparations for putting together and syncing up the video design for a Tool show or tour? How long does it normally take before you are good to go?

BRECK: The prep time depends on how much the show needs to change. When we made big leaps in design like with a new album, it can take months. If we’re just on to another leg with the same design, it may only take a day. This time around, we’re starting with a new overall concept from Adam, and we’re going to re-work the entire thing, so we’re starting to build the Halloween show now.

Seem like a lot of effort to go to just for one show…

Some of Brecks work with Tool

June newsletter updated to include “The Deal”?

Yodhehvauheh_ pointed out in the comments section of the page that the 2015 Tool June Newsletter has been updated finally. Part of it we already know, in that Puscifer are playing at the Monster Mash Festival in Arizona. The other part is something a little more cryptic.

From the June Newsletter:

THE DEAL

What should be of interest is the deal… I guess we’ll find out soon enough.

PUSCIFER ADDED TO MONSTER MASH FEST LINEUP

PUSCIFER has been added to the MONSTER MASH FEST LINEUP and is set to perform on SUNDAY, NOVEMBER, 1 on the WEST STAGE.

What is the Deal?” I hear you say? There have been some strong rumours about the place that there would be further Tool shows later this year. I had it suggested to me that LA (most likely the Staples Center) was likely to be one of these dates The Deal could be suggesting that the negotiation behind getting shows set up or almost done and the contracts close to being signed. This being the case I’d expect some kind of announcement in the coming weeks.

Of course it could mean something else…

Is a Tool show at the Staples Center part of The Deal?

Tool July 2015 Newsletter

Blair has published the Tool July 2015 Newsletter on Toolband this morning, and this time around it addresses Pluto, interviewing parking bollards, and hints at some further work being done on the new Tool album. It also gives Fourtheye a few plugs!

Okay, by now some of you might be thinking, “fuck this expansive mind-stuff! I’m going to go to the fourtheye site to see if there’s any real news?” Fine, but if you leave now, you won’t hear about my plan to personally interview one of the new parking bollards at the Tool loft/rehearsal space. That’s right! In keeping with my ‘leave no stone unturned, fine-tooth comb’ reporting style, I wasn’t going to let any identity-separation illusion get in my way of finding out what one of the highly-visible barriers thinks about Maynard’s new vocals, which I believe that the band members have heard in some stage of development on a particular track or two? No, sharing my mind with a non-conscious thing seemed like a no brainer…

At also hints that the name of the new album could start with a “P”. Parking Bollards? Pluto Rising? Potato? Puscifers? Any other suggestions from you guys?

Also, don’t forget to head on down to the Baked Potato for one of their fine spuds. My personal favorite is the Chicken Parmesan Potato, washed down with at least two beers.

A Parking Bollard

Tool January Newsletter

Blair released the Tool January Newletter today, despite the fact it’s February.  It talks about, and includes a picture of a bug found in a readers Vicarious DVD, and includes a vision, which may or may not mean something.  Not sure what to make of it, but the reference to various Toolarmy Ranks and so on could have some meaning.  Change coming to the website soon perhaps?

There’s also a picture of Danny at the recent NBA All-Stars game.  Looks like he could only get a seat in the nosebleed section!

Volto! gig, Pigmy pictures, ‘Busy” band members

Blair posted several updates to Toolband/Army today.  The first lot where a bunch of pictures from the recent Pigmy Love Circus gig.  Some nice work there with several shots take by Danny‘s girlfriend RynneToolarmy members get a close up of Danny in action.

Also mentioned is that there is a Volto! gig coming up on Friday the 6th of March at the Knitting Factory in Hollywood.  Blair mentions it will be the last Volto! gig for a while:

as certain band members might be busy with other projects in the months ahead.

Read into that what you will…

Adam in Guitar World?

According to Blair there is a rumour going around that Adam is going to be featured in the magazine Guitar World.  I haven’t heard this rumour before, so perhaps Blair is starting it – who knows!  Apparently Blair will get back to use as to whether this is true or not.

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