A new video came across my desk this morning – Red, White and Black by punk band OFF! The video features cameos from Danny Carey, as well as Dale Crover (Melvins) and David Yow (The Jesus Lizard) and possibly a few others. Check it out:
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.
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):
Blair posted the Tool Newsletter for the month of September. Not really much to report except that Danny & Justin have been fishing, and that perhaps I should too. As much as I love the great outdoors, there is no time for fishing, as I have a Tool Top 10 to complete!
We’re back! Turns out my porno stash was getting out of hand and the disk was full!
While we were offline Danny lost and found his dog, over 100 people emailed me about some kids playing 46&2, and zero progress on the new Tool album was made!
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.
Volto! have released a video today for the track Tocino from their album Incitare. Featuring Danny, Blair are presumably some other cameos, here it is:
Loudwire has a chat with Danny recently, mainly about Volto! (that part of the interview is yet to be released) however they did canvass him about the next Tool album, and the chances of it coming out in 2013:
“It’s still the three of us right now and four of us it will be soon, you know, just working on all our parts and working on our compositions together,” Carey says, referring to Keenan’s current absence from the recording sessions. “Stylistically, we’re trying to push things in different ways, but it always comes out sounding like Tool no matter what we’re trying to do. We’re working everyday on it and it’s going really well, so I’m hoping we’ll get into the studio by the end of the year.”
When we asked about a possible 2013 release date for the album, Carey responded, “I doubt it. Right now, since we haven’t started tracking stuff at this point, it’ll be hard. We could have the record finished by the end of the year — that’s a possibility, but the logistics of getting it manufactured and getting the record company in line and all this stuff, I doubt we’ll be able to get it out before Christmas. We’ll see how it goes. Most likely, it’ll be early 2014.”
I think most of us knew by now 2013 was always going to be a long shot, so no real surprises there. Positive for me is that statement where Danny says “four of us it will be soon”. That suggests to me that with Maynard soon to join proceedings, this length songwriting saga is finally approaching completion. While I’m not 100% confident they’ll record this year, this is a step in the right direction.
Thanks to all those who emailed me the news!
Volto! have published a series of dates on their Facebook page, which I presume are tour dates as they celebrate the release of their new album Incitare. Without further fanfare:
- Sat Aug 3 Yestival Camden NJ
- Sun Aug 4 Highline Ballroom NYC
- Mon Aug 5 The Synclair Boston MA
- Tue Aug 6 Waiting Room Buffalo NY
- Wed Aug 7 Magic Bag Detroit MI
- Thur Aug 8 The Grog Shop Cleveland OH
- Fri Aug 9 The Deluxe Indianapolis IN
- Sat Aug 10 Lincoln Hall Chicago IL
Wouldn’t surprise me if there were further dates to come for other parts of the US (and perhaps Canada). Happy ID4!
I discovered today that the Volto! website now seems to be up and running, and featured on it is a piece written by Blair where he discusses Danny, Volto! and Synthesizers, in particular the Minimoog he sold Danny. The piece also contains a few answers to the recent quiz posted in the June Tool Newsletter:
Over the many years since Danny purchased the Minimoog, its distinctive control panel has, for the most part, merely collected dust after having been placed on a shelf among the more impressive-looking modular big boys in his collection. However, its dormant analog circuitry might have secretly blinked a moment of life (expressed, perhaps, as a flash of the overload light of its external input volume) when, while attending a concert during “Yes’s” 40th anniversary tour, VOLTO! guitarist John Ziegler commented to Danny and I how cool he thought Wakeman’s (Rick’s son, Oliver, in this case) Minimoogs sounded. As I recall, in the same breath almost, John said to Danny that VOLTO! should record an album. Thinking about it now, I can’t help but wonder if John (or even Danny) truly imagined that it wouldn’t be that long after this that they not only recorded their debut album “Incitare” but, that they would also soon be on the same bill as “Yes” during a much anticipated summer prog-festival?
Blair haters may want to stay clear, but I enjoyed the article personally.