Tag Archives: Danny

Tool outline legal woes and update us on song-writing

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!

Blair uses capital letters to describe new album process

In an update from Blair just this morning he describes some progress on the next Tool album:

The other day an insider (and by “insider” I mean truly an insider!) told me that since getting back to working on material for the next record, things have been going VERY well. Now, don’t read more into this than it suggests – which is that there have been some good writing/arranging sessions as of late. Progress!.. We’ll take that any day!

I would guess the “insider” is likely to be Danny, and with all of the band members currently having clear calendars (from a public perspective at least anyway) I think we all hope that we can see some solid progress on the new album in the coming months.

Danny celebrates birthday in style at Cinquanta

The first reviews of Cinquanta (featuring Puscifer, A Perfect Circle, Failure and more) are dribbling in, but I won’t spoil it for those attending the second show. I will reveal the worst kept secret of the show, which is that Danny is playing in part of it. It’s a pretty special performance, that shouldn’t be missed – and here’s a video of part of it (SPOILER WARNING!).

Get along to the show if you’re able, I don’t think we’ll see anything like this again.

RIP “Big” Bob Carey

Sad news from the Tool camp today as Blair informs us that Danny’s father Bob passed away recently. According to Blair’s post:

Last night I received the sad news that Danny’s father had passed away. Big Bob, as we called him, died peacefully from an illness in his house in Kansas, and Danny was able to visit with him in his last moments.
Before suffering a stroke, Bob would attend quite a few Tool concerts – obviously being very proud of what his son had achieved in the music industry – and I know from reading email and comments on the various message forums that many fans of the band had talked to him at these shows and always had very positive things to say about his enthusiasm for what Tool represented.
Personally, I had many chances to ‘hang out’ with Big Bob over the years, but what I will always remember (and cherish) the most was a trip that several of us took to Rennes-le-Chateau in the South of France back in the 1990s. Bob was so fascinated by the place and its environs that he returned a couple of years later, probably once again shouting in his mid-western accent to some french chef that his steak needed “More fire!”
While staying at his house (with Danny) one weekend in the winter, Bob showed me the attic room where Danny learned to play the drums. When I asked him if he ever thought that Danny would enjoy the success that he has, he replied by saying that when he heard him playing perfectly along with an ELP album, he knew that drums and music were his calling.
As I’m sure Danny and his brothers Dale and David would agree, Bob can now select his shiny clubs and finally play all those higher-dimensional links in the great beyond.

Condolences from everyone here at Fourtheye.

Peter Grenader on Danny’s Toolbox Synth

I was lucky enough to receive an email from Peter Grenader from Electro-acoustic Research over the weekend, who offered to give Fourtheye readers some exclusive insight into the Toolbox Synth that he designed for Danny prior to the recent Australia/NZ/Japan Tool tour.

I met Danny Carey through Skinny Puppy’s cEvin Key, who I had partnered with on the reissue of two of our modules – the Model 15 VCO and Model 37 LFO via Subconscious Communication. I was originally brought to the Tool studio in Hollywood to give them both a quick run through of Danny’s Buchla 200, specifically the MARF module – a very rare contraption which I had programming experience with. This led Danny to contract me to repair some of his analog arsenal, which runs deep.

I hit it off with Danny immediately. I’ve been in the synth building business for over ten years and in the process I’ve had the good fortune of working with some famous musicians and I can say that Danny is a refreshing exception to any stereotype you may wish to apply to artists of this calibre. He does not take himself overly seriously, approaches his career with humility and looks down to no one, proving this by the sincere and gracious respect he grants to everyone he deals with. I just wanted to premise with this information, to verify that everything you’ve probably heard about him that backs up this confession is 100% true. He is a seriously stellar individual by every measure.

Along the way of doing these repairs, he mentioned that he had been buying up some of my Plan B/EAR analog synth modules as he found them on eBay and in that conversation he expressed interest in the possibility of putting a performance system together to replace the Synthi AKS Tool had been using live for years. This is where I employed the benefit of my own experience – I didn’t push him on it. I assumed if he was serious that I would hear about it again and felt that was the best way to handle it. A few weeks passed, and he indeed expressed his intention and that’s when we got serious – as we had to: the system would be required for their 2013 Australian/New Zealand/Japan tour which was 3 1/2 weeks away.

I immediately blocked off this time and set off to create an instrument which not only complimented Tool’s unique timbral legacy but offered integration possibilities for both electronic and acoustic drums. This began with a tasteful yet heaping swath of bling – the case – and for that I contracted my long time friend and unquestionable genius composer/sculptor/instrument designer Chas Smith, who conceptualized what would become this masterpiece of aluminum and stainless steel three weeks later. He opted for Danny’s favorite color (Laker purple) for the primary finish and embellished it with a unique polished 1/4 inch thick plasma cut aluminum Tool logo gracing it’s back. The 3/8 inch aluminum plates which make up it’s body are held together by 124 inset stainless steel socket bolts – much more than necessary, but what you come to expect when an artist conjures a box. Further modelling came with the 1/2 inch grooves routed into the body plates. Nine groves per side, commensurate with Tool’s nonogon (nine sided) logo arranged in a 1, 2, 3, 2, 1 pattern with obvious numerology attached.

Concurrent to that, I had a hell of a lot of work on my end and this is where working with Danny paid dividends as he placed his complete trust in me and stayed out of my way except when needed, which is exactly what I require when faced with these sorts of challenges. I’m not necessarily proud of this personality trait, I have however come to realize it’s a rather indelible marking. I knew I could call him with little warning and he would make himself available, which he did on countless occasions at all quadrants of the clock.

Along with my preparing my own modules, a challenge as some of them had not been produced in years, I knew that we would need more than I had to offer and the final result in this co-op manifested – one row of the four consisted of instruments by friends and fellow manufactures Malekko Heavy Industry, Make Noise, Doepfer and Intelligel. Within my own gear, a few were new and had never been built before – namely the Model 7 ELF Panner, The Model 12 Mark II Dual filter and Model 11/13 Mark II Evil Twin Filter, which were handmade SMT protoptypes using production grade printed circuit boards as I could not risk the complications of point to point perfboards facing the abuse of baggage handlers and Customs inspection.

Long story shortened, we made it. I received the case on time from Chas and the module preparation completed, I had three days before their departure to Australia for the gargantuan task of wiring the chassis for power, testing and conducting a brief summary with Danny on it’s operation at the Tool man cave before we packed it into it’s matching purple road case – literally 90 minutes before he left for the airport. Being thorough, Danny videotaped the entire three hour session which he reviewed extensively on the plane trip over the pond.

Job done and challenge met, any hope of relaxation after this three week ordeal vanished when I received news from Danny a few days after he and it shipped off that the instrument was held up at Australian Customs and when finally released days later, ferried to the wrong city. After awakening from the coma that proceeded this email (kidding, but just) it was Carey’s long time friend cEvin Key who sent me an image of Danny with the instrument in the green room of the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne. It had arrived just an hour before their soundcheck for the evening’s performance. What echoed through the world then was not the synth, but the sound of my other shoe dropping.

It was an amazing experience, with an amazing set of partners, the apex being one of the most legendary drummers we have known. A true gentleman who I am both humbled and honored to call a friend. I think I speak for the world when I say I cannot wait to hear where his mind takes this 50 pound pile of aluminum, stainless steel and silicon.

Peter also included a photo taken from the Tool Loft which includes a number of synths (from left to right: Serge Modular, Moog Mrk II Modular, Buchla 200, The Toolbox Synth, Dakota (my dog – on couch), Roland Modular, Buchla/Oberhiem OBMX, Waldorf Q, Buchla Marimba Lumina (barely showing next to left KRK monitor0 API mixing console once belonging to Rick James, EMS Synthi 100):

Click to enlarge

Incitare Deluxe Bundle now available

Kat messaged me this morning to let me know that the new Volto! album Incitare is now available for order as part of a Deluxe Bundle. According to the site the bundle includes:

  • Exclusive, limited edition, 180 gram audiophile Vinyl edition of the album Incitare featuring the limited edition album artwork, an etching of the VOLTO! “Shock Rat” (same design as the T-shirt) on Side D, designed by Adam Jones of Tool and embossed logo. Autographed by the band and limited to 1,000 total units.
  • Limited edition, hand-made screen print of the Rick Griffin artwork on HOLOGRAPHIC paper – the image to the left is only a SAMPLE because we can’t digitally capture how cool this print looks in-person. Each print is hand pulled on cover-weight paper and crafted by Triple Stamp Press. Limited Edition of 1,000 units.
  • A VOLTO! “Shock Rat” T-shirt designed by Adam Jones of Tool. Extra-soft 50/50 T-shirt hand-printed, using a special Discharge Ink process which creates the image on the shirt by removing dye, leaving the feel of no ink at all while maintaining a high-quality print image.
  • A CD Copy of the album
  • High quality Instant Digital Download of the full album (.wav format)

The website has converted the cost to Australia Dollars for me ($119) and I presume it’s a little different in whatever country you live in. It’s not a bad deal, around the price I expected though it does include a little more than I anticipated. Considering it’s autographed and comes with a shirt and print I don’t think it’s bad value.

I don’t think this will sell out especially quickly, but if you’re keen to get one I wouldn’t procrastinate too long…

You can order the bundle here.