Adam speaks with Rolling Stone about Tour and New Album

Adam Jones from Tool has recently talked with Rolling Stone about the Tool tour coming up in January, and progress on the new album. It’s a great interview, and while it doesn’t give us any real indication on how far away the album actually is, it does seem very positive. Interestingly it doesn’t seem to mention the Opiate video, which may or may not be out later this year.

Here are a couple of excerpts:

Speaking of, you played a new song called “Descending” in Tempe.
Yeah, it’s a working title. We have a song that’s probably about 13 or 14 minutes long, so what we’ve done with it is … I don’t want to call it a “best of,” but it’s a shortened, different approach to it. It is a new song. It’s like a vague movie trailer to the real movie [laughs]. Sometimes we do jamming between songs or some kind of segues, and it’s usually involved in some kind of new material. But that one’s just a little taste of things to come.


Has Maynard heard the music?
Yeah. We have an FTP and a Dropbox and we’re in communication. He’s got other stuff he does, so we keep him in the loop, and he has written lyrics, but he’s still working on that and he’ll commit. The best thing for all of us is when the song is done. I don’t write leads until the song is done. You want to get a vibe. And Maynard can work on lyrics, but until the song’s done and he knows how the end is, he’s still figuring out the flow.

The thing with Tool is you have four critical thinkers who like different stuff, so our process is not an easy one but it’s a very rewarding one. So yes, he is exposed to new music. It’s always been this way and it probably will always be this way and it’s just how people work.

He goes on to add that Maynard is probably joking around when talking about not having any music from Tool.

Amnplify interview with Maynard about Puscifer and Money Shot

A nice interview with Maynard James Keenan popped up on my Facebook feed this morning. It’s an interview by Australian site Amnplify (that’s not a typo!), and as a more Aussie twist on the usual Puscifer and Money Shot questions. An good interview and interesting read. An excerpt is below!

Are you planning on bringing Puscifer to Australia in 2016?

Well it all depends on financing. It’s a full on project, it’s a theatrical presentation so we have a lot of moving parts, a lot of props. It would be more about somehow getting it paid for, because it would be very expensive to bring it in its full incarnation down to Australia and we’re not just a band. We have bands, I have other bands that are just bands, but this is a far larger project to present. And with the music industry these days, people not actually paying for music, it puts a dent in our budget for travelling outside of the country.

Anyone looking to buy a copy of Money Shot (or any other Puscifer release) from within Australia would do well to take a look at the range at Nerve Gas. I’ve used them in the past and they been quite reliable and well priced.

Amnplify interview with Maynard

Maynard answers 11 Questions

Maynard James Keenan has answered 11 Questions with the AV Club recently, which gives us an interesting insight into his personality. There’s no real news of note contained within, but it is an intriguing read for Maynard completionists. Here’s one of the 11 questions:

7. What have you done so far today?
MJK: I processed three-and-a-half tons of fruit today for a rosé. It’ll be a Grenache-Syrah-Mourvedre Rosé which is probably going into the Merkin Vineyards wines. I actually racked off some Sangiovese Cabernet from the Marzo block here, so that’ll be a Caduceus wine. That was about two tons of wine. It was already fermented and is now pressed. I rearranged all the barrels, and in the morning I’ll be getting up around 6:30 to barrel down stuff that’s been pressed, so there’s been a lot of Tetris today with logistics. All of that to the sound of Joni Mitchell. Almost her whole catalog. Yesterday was The Chemical Brothers. There’s so much we had to deal with today, and it’s basically just me and my friend in the cellar doing all this, so we have to pick a soundtrack based on what we consider our puzzle level. If there’s a lot of logistics involved with moving the pumps back and forth and just trying not to get in our way or do things out of order which will just cause us more delays, we sometimes just put on Joni to keep us on track.

AVC: Is your work maintaining and operating your vineyards and making your wine something you find to be the most personally fulfilling creative outlet for you now?

MJK: I feel like with music there’s so much ego rooted in expressing your thoughts on the thing and your experiences with it. I feel like there’s no real innovation in having some music. It’s more just unique personalities and unique expressions, and you being able to tell your story, and I think I’ve done very well with that. I’ve done it three times where I’ve actually been able to change my perspective and come up with three completely different versions of me. With the wine it’s far more about getting out of the way and letting this place express itself, and I’ve done that well enough to where it’s changed the economic landscape for the state. So all the weird shit we hear coming out of Arizona, I hope what we’re doing is essentially changing a lot of that with our dollars and our votes, our economic impact, and our dissecting of how politics is done in Arizona. The art part of it, being able to express a place and establish something that over time will be passed on through generations, kind of takes it outside of the woe is me dude sitting in his corner boo-hoo lyrics. It’s less about me than it is about this area and that reconnection with food and shelter and clothing and things that matter and transcend time and ego.

Don’t forget that Puscifer are touring right now, playing tonight in Texas I think. You can find all the Puscifer tour dates here!

Maynard James Keenan AV Club

Maynard upsets humourless Tool fans

There’s a new interview with Maynard on the Phoenix New Times this morning, mostly related to Puscifer, Money Shot and Winemaking, but as is usually the case, offers a few thoughts from Maynard on Tool. Before I give you my opinion on what I think it’s all about, here’s the text from the article related to Tool:

You’d think Keenan hates Tool. In fact, his reputation as a recluse comes largely from his stubborn refusal to answer questions about Tool, including the undying question: “When’s the next Tool album coming out?” New Times pointed out to him that he seems freer to express his less serious side in Puscifer, as critics and fans tend to view his other projects more seriously.

“It’s weird. It shouldn’t be,” Keenan says. “I mean, this one’s named dick, this one’s named vagina. That’s the start there, okay?”

He acknowledges that there was indeed humor in the Tool albums. But as with any time he’s asked about Tool, his answers quickly become curt. A hint of exasperation creeps into his voice and he exhales heavily through his nose.

“Yeah, it’s there,” he says. “But people miss it because they’re so focused on the other bullshit.”

He shakes his head.

“It’s lost. Insufferable people . . . It’s just ridiculous, retards. I’m sorry. Can’t help them. Way too serious. Too much. Lighten up.”

Did he have to corral the other band members to play this one show in 2015?

“No, they had to con me into it.”

Deftones is also playing the festival. Are we going to hear “Passenger,” the Deftones song featuring Keenan guesting on vocals? Keenan hasn’t performed it live in more than a decade.

He shakes his head vigorously.

Then the million-dollar question: When’s the next Tool album coming out?

“There’s nothing to say,” he says. “I can’t.”

For insufferable, humourless Tool fans, this seems like it’s a simple kick in the nuts. I think it’s not quite what it seems. The problem with interviews published on websites is that some much of the nuances of communication are lost as they are transcribed from sound to text. Maynard tells fans to “lighten up” and then in the next sentence says he was conned into playing with Tool. Everyone seems to immediately assume he’s being serious – personally, I’m not so sure. Maybe I’m just naive.

Reading reactions from Tool fans here on Fourtheye, Facebook, Reddit and all over the net, it’s almost like a self fulfilling prophecy. Maynard says Tool fans are insufferable, overly serious people, and the next minute the internet is full of them complaining about Maynard’s attitude to Tool. Maynard has a history of being dismissive of Tool fans, so today’s revelations should really be no surprise to any of us.

The full interview can be found on the Phoenix New Times website. It’s a shame that what is a good interview is going to only be discussed because of the small section dedicated to Tool.

Is Maynard in Tool jail?

Maynard speaks with AZ Central

In the leadup to the release of Money Shot (now streaming on Pandora in case you missed it) Maynard James Keenan has had an interview with AZ Central about Puscifer and the the making of the new album. Nothing especially revealing in the interview, but is a good read regardless (the website is a bit shit though). Here’s a cut:

Question: How do you know when it’s time to start putting an album together?

Answer: (Lead guitarist) Mat (Mitchell) and I are always kind of throwing around ideas. We always have stuff up our sleeves. A lot of it comes down to scheduling. What’s going on with other projects? What’s going on with harvest? When we hit critical mass with ideas, we just want to pull the trigger and get ‘em done.

Q: Do you and Mat get together sometimes and play music just to mess around and songs come out of that?

A: Not really jamming so much as reading articles online, watching films, “Adult Swim,” listening to music, playing a song you really like, and trying to put together juxtaposed things. I might say, “I really like this show ‘The Newsroom’ and some of the speeches on that. And I also really like this Helmet song. Or this Joni Mitchell song.” So we’ll start sticking that in our brain and letting it rattle around until something comes out. Or a book. Or an article. Or a view. Just elements.

Q: Did “The Newsroom” actually inspire a song?

A: Oh yeah, that crazy speech in the first season is pretty much the song “Money Shot.” Loosely related. But similar energy as far as we can do better.

Speaking of Puscifer related stuff, I read the other day on Instagram that there will be a sale happening at the Puscifer store in Jerome over the Halloween weekend. Sale items include a range of rare and signed posters from various MJK related acts, including Tool and A Perfect Circle.

Maynard speaks about Puscifer with Metal Hammer

In an interview with British metal magazine Metal Hammer, Maynard James Keenan speaks mostly about his distinctly unmetal project: Puscifer and the coming album Money Shot. It’s an interesting read, though doesn’t really cover any ground that wasn’t done so in the recent Rolling Stone interview. It features an almost identical response to the inevitable Tool question as well.

What it does have going for it are some cool new photo’s with Travis Shinn, and a list of his favorite wins for all you wine buffs out there, and a relatively unknown winery Ochota Barrels from out my way in the Adelaide Hills seems to have come out on top!

Maynard James Keenan’s favourite wine Dons.

1. Ochota Barrels

(Adelaide Hills, Australia)

“Taras Ochota is doing things differently and, oddly enough, it’s what I’ve been doing here in Arizona – picking earlier, and putting less fruit on the vine to begin with, so that everything ripens evenly and all the acid is in balance so you can have Italian-style wines. Ochota Barrels wines are fantastic.”

2. Azienda Agricola Le Ragnaie

(Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy)

“Riccardo Campinoti is doing fantastic work with high-elevation wines.”

3. Azienda Agricola Edoardo Sobrino

(Cuneo, Piedmont, Italy)

“Edoardo Sobrino [makes] a pretty badass Barolo [a type of red wine made in northwest Italy].”

4. Azienda Agricola San Polino

(Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy)

“Luigi and his wife, if you go to their home, you see that it’s all built from the ground up. All this ‘local movement’ stuff, its funny – you have to put a name on it, you have to put out a pamphlet. I get that we have to do that to retune people to what’s happening. But you go to places in Europe, and it just kind of is and has been, for generations.”

5. Dos Cabezas Wineworks

(Sonoita, Arizona, USA)

“It’s family-run and operated, again, from the ground up, with kids running around. It’s fantastic wine.”

Maynard James Keenan by Travis Shinn

Maynard James Keenan by Travis Shinn

Maynard James Keenan by Travis Shinn

Maynard James Keenan by Travis Shinn

Maynard discusses Biography with Rolling Stone

There’s a new interview with Maynard James Keenan today, this time with Rolling Stone who speak to him regarding the biography coming out next year. It’s an interesting read, here’s a snippet:

Can you give me the backstory on this book? How did it come about?
One of my best friends in high school, we’re still close, his sister’s a writer, she’s 10 years older than we are; she’s kind of been around for a while, of course, seeing everything that went on pre–high school, high school, etc. So I approached her, because she’s a writer, to see if she was interested in helping me work on a semi-autobiography. Because I didn’t really want to write it as an autobiography, first-person — I’d rather have it be more in story form, like you’re kind of along for the journey, with sidebars by me throughout, in my voice, kind of expanding on particular instances or anecdotes. But for the most part, it’s just she and I on the phone a couple times a week, just going over timelines, going over stories, etc.

He also chats briefly about Tool, giving out the usual canned answer regarding the apparent lack of progress:

So there was a conversation you had a couple weeks back with one of our writers, and he asked about the progress of the new Tool album, and you mentioned that there was no music to work with. And last year, another Rolling Stone writer talked to Danny and Adam, and they said that there was some new material. Can you help us get to the bottom of where you’re at with the new record?
Do I seem like a lazy person to you?

Of course not.
OK — that’s all I can really say.

So …
They’re working hard in their own way; I’m working hard in my own way, and I’ve got nothin’ for ya.

So there we go!

Maynard James Keenan

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

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

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