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Tool July 2018 Newsletter

Another month goes by, and we have another newsletter with even Blair admitting there’s not much to share at the moment:

Well… I haven’t heard a peep pertaining to studio updates so make of that what you want.  I know that it’s pretty typical in the ‘Tool world’ to be kept in the dark when projects such as recording sessions are ongoing, so what can I say?  I’ve tried to get something… anything.  I even checked out Hellboy’s fourtheye website to see if he managed to get wind of anything via the Net, but evidently he hasn’t.  Keep checking, though (www.fourtheye.net).  With that mind, I guess I’ll go have a couple of beers while playing video poker.  Should Danny decide to pay me a visit (which he threatened to do a few weeks ago during my visit to Los Angeles), I’ll see if there’s anything that he can say on the record…about the record?

Maybe Danny should pay me a visit as well?

Being an optimist, I think that no news is good news.  The band are busy doing their thing, and it seems at the moment that Danny & Justin have done their parts, and Adam is working on his.  I suspect he shouldn’t be too far off done.  The A Perfect Circle tour is done for now, and Maynard back in Arizona, getting ready to kick off the harvest.  I don’t know how/when he’s planning to record, but interviews around the time of Eat The Elephant‘s release suggest he records from home these days.  I expect once the instrumental work is done, Evil Joe will fly over and kick off the process.

Studio updates and Maynard’s Metal Icon Award

Tool seem to be back working hard in the studio, with an update from Justin showing up his rig in the studio, as well as a quick Instagram post from Adam:

Justin sent me this photo with a caption: “Bass… How low can you go?”  In speaking with him, he told me that he was making great progress in “a great studio.”  He also told me how much fun he had at the recent Tool clinics and how impressed he was by many of the questions and comments from the band’s knowledgeable fans.

🤘🏽The Storm #FearIsTheMindKiller @eviljoebarresi

A post shared by Adam Jones (@adamjones_tv) on

In other exciting news, Maynard James Keenan was recently given a Icon Award at the Metal Hammer Golden God Awards:

Maynard James Keenan received the Icon Award at last night’s Metal Hammer Golden Gods’ ceremony.

The award was presented to Keenan by Daniel P. Carter, host of BBC Radio 1’s Rock Show, recognizing a lifetime of contributions to heavy music, with past lifetime achievement winners including Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Lemmy and Alice in Chains. Keenan was celebrated for his work with his trio of bands: A Perfect Circle, Puscifer and Tool.

A much deserved award.  Of interest to fans of the great man, he was quoted during his acceptance speech as saying “a lot of works being done, a lot of works been done. I’ll go on record now as saying you’re going to see some new music next year“.  It seems somewhat clear to me he’s referring to Tool, but maybe some new Puscifer material could be on the cards.  We’ll see in 2019!

Tool Newsletter May 2018

Tool newsletters are finally back, and in this May 2018 edition Blair tells us in his usual roundabout way about his thoughts on the recent Music Clinic Tour.  He even laments a few unasked questions:

What I wanted to hear was how the guys answered certain questions – such as: How hard is it to tune a nano Silverburst guitar?  How many salmon on average does Justin catch while fishing in Alaska from his Boxing Day gift Sikorsky S-76C helicopter?  What’s the number of stops on the pipe organ inside the replica Nautilus submarime anchored in Maynard’s swimming pool, and does Danny still feel the mystical vibes from the Knights Templar artifact that was melted down to be included in his Jeff Ocheltree Custom Craft set? Incredibly, no one asked about these things. I would have thought for sure that there would be questions about the advantages of parking bollards at the new loft, or if there were any updates on the new refrigeration system for the vintage Pepsi machine. But, no, instead, fans were asking really odd things like “How’s it going with the recording process?” Is it me – or does that seems kind of silly?  Oh, well, you had your chance…

All valid points I thought!  Not really a bunch of news in the newsletter, but it is great to have Blair back doing his thing!

 

Tool 2018 Festival and Music Clinic Wrap-up

Tool have completed their short run of shows (two festivals in fact) as well as a run of Music Clinics.  Many of you would have seen posts about these here in the forum, as well as places like Reddit.  For those that haven’t, or just want a handy summary, here are some of the key points I’ve gathered from the internet.

The two live shows had the same setlist.  The went more or less how you’d expect – same as last year but with the welcome addition of Sober:

  • The Grudge
  • Parabol
  • Parabola
  • Schism
  • Opiate
  • Ænema
  • Jambi
  • Sober
  • Forty-Six & 2
  • Sweat
  • Descending
  • Stinkfist

The shows were pretty well received – there didn’t appear to be any obvious visual additions to the sets from what I could see on Youtube videos.  The band sounded to be in decent touch for one that has presumably focused more on new material recently than their old.  Maynard in particular sounded pretty good to my ears.

A few bits of banter during the shows, including Maynard discussing his riot gear, bananas, and the need for the other three to hurry up.  Some media outlets were pretty quick to jump on this so called “rant” as some kind of division between the band, though I imagine it’s nothing more than Maynard joking around.

The Music Clinics were where most of the interesting insights have come from, with many attendees posting their thoughts online.  The clinics took a common format, a Q&A session, followed by a couple of songs – The Grudge and Eulogy.  Some more questions followed, as did renditions of Descending, Jambi and Aenema.  Also played was a new synth heavy drum solo type song, which Danny described as a segue on the new album.  They also appeared to play some sections of Rosetta Stoned.  There was also a screening of 2/3rds of the new Opiate video.

Following the Q&A and mini-concert, there was time for fans to mingle with the band members in attendance, as well as view a range of props and other Tool memorabilia.  There was of course t-shirts, posters and drum skins for sale as well, for those that had some change left over after the $500 entry fee.

Q&A details found online seem to suggest that fans asked similar things most night – typically things like “how is the new album going” and “what are you listening to at the moment”.  Here’s a collection of tidbits I’ve collected from around the place:

  • The band are obviously very excited about the new album, and feel like it’s some of their best work.
  • When asked what song that we’ve heard took the longest to write, at first Justin answered “Third Eye”, but then after a quick exchange with Adam he replaced that with Wings(1&2). Adam commented further that sometimes one of them might have a riff that they really love but it’s just not working the context of any arrangement. It might be several years later when someone else comes in with another and they have some eureka moment when suddenly that old riff the other guy had stashed away suddenly works. He then said (if i recall correctly) “This time there’s like seven of those.” Which I assumed meant tracks on the new album; roughly insinuating that that type of occurrence happened a lot during this writing phase.
  • In regards to live recordings, they appear to have recorded pretty much every show for quite a while, but don’t really want to share it with the record companies.
  • There was some discussion towards their record label in general, including confirmation this album would be the last of their contract.  Reading between the lines it almost appears like they are saving things like the Live DVD to be released independently after the contract is completed.
  • All members of the band met about 12 months ago to discuss the progress on the album and plan how to finish it.
  • Danny has finished his recording parts on the new album, and Justin is mostly finished.  Adadm and Maynard still to do their parts.
  • Maynard composes his parts by vocalising over the top of the music, humming melodies and such, and then fills in the details with lyrics afterward.  The songs don’t change during this process, Maynard works with what the rest of the band give him.
  • Money earned by the band is split equally between the four members. This includes income from the VIP tours, which typically don’t involve Maynard.
  • The band confirmed that every song on the album is over 10 minutes long, and there appear to be 7 of them.  Not sure if that 10 minutes includes some form of segue, but it certainly appears it might be a struggle to fit all those tracks + segues onto one CD.

Most reviews of these Music Clinic shows have been pretty positive.  The only comment I would make is that they sound pretty similar to the VIP experience given on previous tours.  It was nice to see the band (sans Maynard) do their thing in an intimate setting, I gotta say I was expecting there might be a little bit more to these sessions.

References:

Weekly Update 14-May-2018

Another quick weekly update for the Fourtheye faithful!  If you’re one of those lucky enough to go to a Tool show/clinic in the next week and want to avoid spoilers, you should stop reading!

In this weeks edition:

  • Billy & Maynard Wig shopping
  • Setlists and Q&A from Tool Music Clinics
  • New music- Wrong, Skinless, Rivers of Nihil, Sleep

Billy & Maynard Wig shopping

Maynard James Keenan and Billy Howerdel from A Perfect Circle have filmed a short, somewhat funny video for Revolver where they joke around in a wig shop.  It’s not really champagne comedy, but worth a watch.

Setlists and Q&A from Tool Music Clinics

There’s a bunch of posts on Reddit which goes into detail what happened at the recent Tool Music Clinics.  For the most part they sound like a cross between the standard Tool VIP experience, and an intimate instrumental only show.  There’s a pretty cool Mega Thread happening on Reddit which covers and range of questions asked at the first clinic.  Some interesting snippets of info!

At the Northern Invasion Tool show last night, the setlist was more or less the same as we’ve seen the last few years, with a nice addition of Sober.  No doubt a range of videos will pop up on Youtube over the coming days.  Adi Granov provided the artwork for the show.  I’d wager that the show next weekend will have the same artwork

Here’s a few links worth checking out:

New music worth checking out!

  • Do you like Helmet? Wrong sound a lot like an old, angry version of that band, and their albums strays very close to out right copying them at times. They have a new album called Feel Great, and great it is!

  • Skinless are a pretty hard hitting death metal band.  Brutal even.  Their latest album Savagery is a great listen for fans of the genre

  • Also in the Death Metal genre are Rivers of Nihil, though they have a bit more of a prog metal thing going.  Their latest Where Owls Know My Name is well worth a listen!

  • Stoner metal legends Sleep surprised us with an album about the same time as A Perfect Circle released theirs.  You can stream The Sciences here.

Tool Drum Tracking and Newsletters

A couple of good news items from the Tool camp today.  Firstly news that drum tracking is complete on the new album, with a celebratory photo from Kevin Mills:

Here’s a photo taken by KEVIN MILLS (Evil Joe’s assistant) to celebrate the drum tracking being completed (other than a segue, I believe).  Thanks to Justin for sending!

Other news in the last week is that the Newsletter Archive is back on Toolband.  The most recent Newsletters are longer posts that Blair has made recently (such as his thoughts on the Music Clinics) but I’m hoping that from this point forward his regular style of newsletter will be back!

Tool tease demo version of Descending in Music Clinic promo

Tool have released a video promo for their upcoming Music Clinic tour, and in a pleasant surprise it features a recording (presumably some form of demo) of the track Descending frequently played live over the last half a dozen years.

Adam also offered a few thoughts on the clinics via Instagram:

Very excited about the upcoming #ToolMisicClinic ‘s. The concept originated from fans wanting to connect & interact with us personally.
An evening to Hang & Learn about what makes Tool tick. 🤔💭 We did this production in Tempe Az and it was really great! We will play and talk and mingle. Exclusive VIP commemorative merch is included and special #Tool memorabilia will be on display. & Don’t let the venue size fool you. *These are SMALL & intimate events (sectioned off to one part of the building). Much better than a room at a Convention Center… #VIP gatherings are limited to just a few hundred guest ONLY. 🙌🏼 ❤ Toolband.com

Tool add two more Music Clinics

Tool have snuck in a couple of extra Music Clinics while I wasn’t paying attention – one in Pittsburgh and the other Philadelphia.

Blair also added a few thoughts on Toolband as to what these clinics could contain.  It sounds like a little more that just the Adam Jones VIP thing seen on previous tours:

First of all, KUDOS to those Tool enthusiasts who realize the unique opportunity of the upcoming music clinics and have secured their spot for the experience.  As you might imagine, there has been a great response to these intimate forums and the limited number of tickets available to ToolArmy members went really fast.  As of my writing this, there are still a small number of tickets for sale to the general public and these can be purchased via the links below.  Again, I urge you to act fast so as not to miss out – the clinics also include a damn near personal performance of songs followed by the dissections of the tunes by its composers!

From email that I’ve received, it appears that some of you aren’t sure what exactly these clinics entail, and have been comparing them with the Meet and Greets hosted by Adam Jones in the past.  As special as those events were, rest assured that the clinics are designed to be on an entirely different level.  As advertised, “A rare immersive dissection and performance with DANNY CAREY, JUSTIN CHANCELLOR & ADAM JONES,” here’s your chance to gain insight as to how the Tool machine works.  Just about everything’s on the table:  methods and processes behind the writing and arranging of their critically acclaimed albums, individual vision that goes into the overall mix of things, artistic and philosophical concepts behind their distinctive stage projections, videos, etc., as well as their thoughts on the current recording process. But, you’ve got the green light to change things up – questions need not be of a technical nature; ask about their personal musical preferences and other subjects of interest. Believe me, they are varied!

So, while you are there – seize the moment.  Connect.  Interact.  Whether you’re an aspiring or seasoned musician… or just someone who appreciates the band members and wants to know what makes them tick.  Ask that one question that you never thought you’ve have the chance to.  Intermingle like you’re backstage.  Chat with Tool about anything now that you will be among the very few people that ever have the opportunity to do so

This is also your chance to view up-close rare Tool memorabilia and receive exclusive commemorative merch that only you are privy to.

Ticket details for these clinics are on Toolband.

Weekly Update 12-April-2018

Time for another not so weekly update!  In this issue:

  • Mike Patton talks Tool
  • Legend of the Seagullmen gig
  • Tom Morello comments on Tool album again (in Italian)
  • Off the Grid!
  • Albums worth listening too!

Mike Patton talks Tool

Faith No More singer Mike Patton is a well respected member of the music industry, and seems to be somewhat of a Tool fan according to a recent chat with Revolver:

WHAT HAS IT BEEN LIKE TOURING WITH TOOL?
Honestly, it has been great! Tool always pays us fairly and treats us very well. I admire that they do whatever they want. They don’t take orders from record labels or “industry types.” My hat is off to them.

HOW HAVE TOOL’S FANS RESPONDED TO YOUR BANDS?
Weeeeeeell. During the Fantômas run, I collected a lot of spare change from the stage after each show. I can’t complain though — if I paid $60 to see my favorite band and a bunch of noisy weirdos took the stage, I’d be violent, too!

WHAT INFLUENCE, IF ANY, HAVE TOOL HAD ON YOU AND YOUR OWN WORK?
They give me hope that not all huge bands are pompous, clueless, drug-addled morons. That, and I steal lots of fashion ideas from Maynard’s stage wear.

Legend of the Seagullmen gig

There’s a gig happening for Legend of the Seagullmen this weekend at the Roxy Theater in LA.  Brett Hinds seems to be on board this time, so if you’re in town it’ll be a good chance to check out this bands first headline set, as well as with Brett on board.  Tickets here!

Tom Morello comments on Tool album again (in Italian)

Rolling Stone Italy have an interview with Tom Morello, who talks about the new Tool music that he heard a while back.  My Italian is pretty rough, but I believe he says something along the lines of hearing all long and distinctly Tool.  Here’s a sample:

Un’ultima domanda: so che hai ascoltato il disco dei Tool. Ci fai uno spoiler? Non lo diciamo a nessuno. 
Ho sentito la versione strumentale del disco, non facciamo confusione. Maynard non aveva ancora registrato nulla. Suona alla grande, posso dire che vale la pena aspettare così tanto. I Tool sono una band che presta grandissima attenzione alla composizione, curano tutto nei minimi dettagli. Ho ascoltato 7 o 8 canzoni: sono lunghe, eleganti, brutali… sono i Tool.

Off the Grid

This one is more of a housekeeping item – I’ll be off to the Nullarbor Plains here in Australia over the next two weeks, and will be mostly off the grid.  Kittaan will be holding down the fort over that time, posting any interesting Tool news that might come up, as well as the best of recent A Perfect Circle promo work as Eat The Elephant gets released while I’m away.

Albums worth listening too!

Plenty of great new albums at the moment – here’s a few suggestions:

  • Cosmic Psycho’s – Loudmouth Soup Classic Aussie Punk rock band release one of their best albums in some time. Some of you Aussie Tool fans may remember that these guys supported Tool back on the first Lateralus tour in 2001.
  • Front End Loader – Neutral Evil Another one of my favorite Aussie rock bands, not content with aging gracefully have elected to put out another album, with a release schedule that somewhat resembles Tool.  They don’t sound like Tool though.
  • Dr Octagon – Moosebumps: an exploration into modern day horripilation Kool Keith is back with Dan the Automator and Kid Koala with what I think is a pretty cool hip hop album.
  • Earthless – Black Heaven I always thought this band was an instrumental one, but turns out they sing sometimes too, like on this album.  It’s pretty good!
  • Conjurer – Mire These guys are a great hardcore doomy style metal band from the UK.  Check it out on Bandcamp.

Tool announce Music Clinic tour

Without a full tour to support them, it seems Tool are taking their VIP show on the road.  Tickets go on sale to the public on Friday the 13th, with a Toolarmy pre-sale kicking off on the 11th.  Rumour is that tickets are $500, which I expect will raise a few eyebrows.

Here are the details:

TOOL MUSIC CLINIC: A RARE IMMERSIVE DISSECTION AND PERFORMANCE WITH DANNY CAREY, JUSTIN CHANCELLOR AND ADAM JONES

A SERIES OF INTIMATE DISCUSSIONS TAKE FANS BEHIND-THE-SCENES INTO THE INNER WORKINGS OF ONE OF ROCK MUSIC’S MOST MYSTERIOUS BANDS

April 9, 2018, LOS ANGELES – Tool, one of rock music’s most mysterious and speculated about bands, give fans a rare glimpse behind-the-scenes via a series of intimate music clinics.

The discussions include drummer Danny Carey, bass player Justin Chancellor and guitar player Adam Jones walking attendees through a handful of the band’s songs, from the process of writing them to playing them live. Audience members are encouraged to ask questions via an open discussion, as well as mingle with the band following the session.

Ticket holders will receive commemorative merchandise, exclusive to the series of events and limited to the number of people in attendance. An accompanying, traveling exhibit will be on display at each event, featuring unique items from Tool’s history.

May 11  St. Paul, MN  Myth Live Event Center

May 14  Chicago, IL  The Vic Theatre

May 15  Indianapolis, IN  Egyptian Room at Old National

May 16  Royal Oak (Detroit), MI  Royal Oak Music Theatre

May 17  Columbus, OH  Express Live! Indoor Pavilion

May 19  Cleveland, OH  Agora Theatre

Tickets are on-sale this Friday, April 13 at 10 am local via (links). A limited number of tickets have been set aside for Tool Army members, which will be available on Wednesday, April 11 at 10 am pacific via the band’s webstore (http://www.toolband.com/store/music-clinics).

PLEASE NOTE: Due to the limited number of tickets that will be available for the pre-sale, TOOL ARMY MEMBERS who are interested in attending the clinic are urged to act quickly  (On WEDNESDAY, APRIL, 11 at 10:00 am PDT) to secure a spot for this unique Tool experience.

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