Tool Songwriting Update

It’s been a while since we’ve had any solid answers on how songwriting is going with Tool, and today Blair has an update on Toolband for us:

TOOL MAKING HEADWAY WITH NEW MATERIAL

A couple of weeks ago I visited the Tool loft to try and get some kind of idea as to how things were progressing with the writing sessions now that the band was back hard at it. Well, I am happy to report that there has indeed been a lot of progress as far as new material goes, especially with the lengthy so-called “epic’ piece that the guys have been arranging for quite some time now.
Shortly after I arrived, before taking to their respective instruments, Adam suggested that everyone should first have a listen to what they had recorded during the previous session in order to make sure that all were in agreement with certain recently added sections. And listen they did. In fact, to give you some idea – my parking meter expired twice before they were done. And judging from the smiles on their faces, it seemed that, for the most part, Danny, Adam and Justin liked very much what they were hearing and that after some finishing touches, the ‘epic’ tune would be ready for Maynard to do his thing. (During some of the more melodic passages, I was trying to envision the vocals which, to me, brings it all together.)

After a bit of discussion about some rapid-fire triplets in one section, I asked Danny if he was going to be able to knock out the piece in one take when it came time to track it? His response was to smile and bury his head in his hands, which I will let the readers interpret for themselves. As for the song itself, without giving too much away, it features complex time signatures, interesting harmonic structure and expanding effects processing – similar to what fans of Tool have come to expect – only now, perhaps not surprisingly, the band has taken it to the next level.

Okay, having given you this bit of an update, please note that I am NOT suggesting in any way that the band is ready to go into the studio any time soon. I honestly have no idea as far as any recording timetables go. I am also not sure how many other songs are near completion at this point. Nor do I know at what stage the vocals might be at for ANY of the new material. All I am saying is that as far as this one particular song goes (albeit, a very lengthy one), it was a LOT closer to being finished (instrumentally, speaking) than the last time that I heard it, and that fans of Tool’s music will certainly not be disappointed.

Any update is a good update at this point in time, but considering it doesn’t appear clear that Maynard has contributed yet, it seems a little unlikely to me that the guys will be hitting the studio in 2013. Combined with a baby due in December, I think it’s almost safe to say we may not see an album until the end of 2014 at best.

Hopefully they can get this often promised “curvebull” out to tide us over…

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Alittlevil
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Alittlevil

Soon.

Ravenpig
Member
Ravenpig

Heh, the curve ball. I’d totally forgotten about it.

UndKeineEier
Member

That’s the curve ball.

emsazo
Member

I thought the curveball was the Opiate re-release?

UndKeineEier
Member

Nah, Blair’s teased it in a couple of newsletters since then.

bob
Member
bob

bah, the big epic piece last time around was Wings. its not bad but i dont get overly excited with Blairs commentary on stuff anymore. given the last album as well.

end of 2014 ? naah, it will be sooner then that.

elusivEuphoria
Member
elusivEuphoria

I hesitate to open this can of worms, but the fact that some people can’t enjoy Wings/Days has always seemed a little . . . disappointing(?) to me. Maybe that’s not the right word. It’s a beautiful song(s) that probably best showcases Tool’s attention to detail and their ability to strike at core emotions. Sadly, I’m sure many a Tool fan has lost a loved one since the release of 10,000 Days, and I wonder how many of them saw those songs in a different light after the fact. To my ear, every second of that piece is flawlessly put… Read more »

children
Member
children

Exactly!

It doesn’t make sense that a person can call themselves a fan of TOOL, or even a fan of music in general, and not see that Wings for Marie/10,000 Days is a stunning achievement and one of the most complex and emotionally powerful compositions ever written.

To me, once a person says that Wings/10kDays doesn’t “do it for them,” i immediately disregard their opinion and question their judgement because that person has just admitted that they have no taste and can’t appreciate true art.

JESUStool
Member
JESUStool

Wings was a large song, which is different from a long and epic one!(as LATERALUS or THE GRUDGE are!) and for me 10k days was a big disappointing in general. I hope they redeem themselves this time!

JESUStool
Member
JESUStool

totally agreed! Wings was a large song, which is different from a long and epic one!(as LATERALUS or THE GRUDGE are!) and for me 10k days was a big disappointing in general. I hope they redeem themselves this time!

Maynerd
Member
Maynerd

June/July 2014 give or take a month. They’ll be in the studio for two months at least. It takes about two months to manufacture the actual CDs after all audio/artwork is completed. They’ll wanna generate hype for a few months too, and one of the most telling things is that there’s been no announcement on who is recording/mixing/producing the album yet… If blaire’s post was accurate and they are still listening back to home=loft demo recordings they’ve been doing to check arrangements then this is really still early in the piece. It still wouldn’t surprise me if it doesn’t come… Read more »

elusivEuphoria
Member
elusivEuphoria

TBH, I think the reason we don’t know who will be doing the recording ( is engineering the right word? ) of the next album is because they still don’t know how the whole thing should sound yet. Thus they want to reserve the choice to select who would be best to capture the sounds and emotions of the album.

Z-Werewolf
Member
Z-Werewolf

Engineers and Producers.
Engineers usually turn into producers if they are really good.

Z-Werewolf
Member
Z-Werewolf

Further clarification… if someone is producing an album they usually have engineers helping them get everything set up for recording. Mic-ing equipment, patch bay work, tape head work, some I/O channel work etc…

Z-Werewolf
Member
Z-Werewolf

The producer will usually dictate what mic’s to use, what room to record something in, tries to elicit emotion from the artist(s) to get them to put down good tracks. Also helps with some of arrangments of songs sometimes, “you know maybe that part should go four more times and why don’t you skip that ride cymbal because it’s cluttering the whole sound and we want it to sound more clean…” that sort of business…

JESUStool
Member
JESUStool

I hope they use the same guy from LATERALUS

JESUStool
Member
JESUStool

let’s make a bet : I say April 2.014…

ajreeb
Member
ajreeb

I thought Blair mentioned/hinted that David Bottrill was going to produce it. Engineered by Vince De Franco and mastered (as always) at Gateway. No?

Z-Werewolf
Member
Z-Werewolf

I don’t recall reading that anywhere but my hope is that they go with Bottrill again. He has the best chemistry with them. Their best albums are produced by Bottrill.

JESUStool
Member
JESUStool

I do.

ziggy23
Member
ziggy23

u r wrong

bob
Member
bob

wow! i think “Childrens” point of view is rather up his/her own ass on the Wings thing! dont get your panties in a knot just cause someone doesnt like that tune as much as other tool songs. pretty arrogant! you must be american!

Maynerd
Member
Maynerd

I agree with you. But you’re probably Australian like me. A clear advantage 🙂

Maynerd
Member
Maynerd

I thought ‘Wings for Marie (Pt 1) was just so boring and honestly, terrible. That ghastly blast of shit power chords and stupid bashing away on drums at 4:12 was just so pointless and poorly arranged.
But ‘10,000 days (Pt 2)’ was brilliant, inspired, amazing…

elusivEuphoria
Member
elusivEuphoria

Matter of perspective. I, too, thought that burst of power chords in pt 1 seemed “out of place” at first. Then shortly after the release of the album I lost someone very close to me that had brought me comfort during the roughest part of my formative years. I found myself in states of subdued sadness that were punctuated by moments where I’d furiously shout and throw something across the room. That moment of irrational anger is often a part of peoples’ grieving process. I have since felt like that moment in Wings pt1 is exquisitely perfect. I wouldn’t ever… Read more »

Maynerd
Member
Maynerd

Where can I find the modified version? There’s no link to audio on that URL…

elusivEuphoria
Member
elusivEuphoria

Perhaps you have something on your browser blocking the media. The page has a player at the top right playing wings/days. Perhaps it’s a flash based player.

:/

Maynerd
Member
Maynerd

Thanks dude. I’m on an ipad. I’ll go to the pc and check it.

doors
Member
doors

‘Lazy Bones’ Jones should stop going to WWF. Somebody remind him the whole thing is staged. Sad cunt wasting time…

doors
Member
doors

I meant WWE. Whatever. See my disinterest.

truthseeker5
Member
truthseeker5

Wow ‘Bob’! Americans are ignorant?! How about this? You can ‘Bob’ up and down on this and all of Tool’s ignorant American dicks. By the way, we are s melting pot. So if we are ALL ignorant, so are all the countries we get citizens from. And wings is amazing! Especially if you have lost someone close to you. Generalizing a country like that is on par with racist bullshit. Don’t judge us because of our government or reality TV nonsense. If I hated people of another country because of their government… I would like no one!

Z-Werewolf
Member
Z-Werewolf

Bob actually said “arrogant” but you’re right… he’s treading that line of a mild form of racism. Comedians do it all the time but they are actually going to make you laugh. Bob is just trying to elicit the type of response you gave him. However, I do agree with Bob that Children’s points of view on Wings and 10,000 days are a bit arrogant. American or not his comment was over the top as some of us here can agree that wings and 10,000 days aren’t really the masterpieces that he paints the picture of. I’ve never lost anyone… Read more »

Z-Werewolf
Member
Z-Werewolf

Sorry, meant Wings 1&2 and Viginti Tres as the “hidden track” suggests…

elusivEuphoria
Member
elusivEuphoria

Can of worms, opened.

Z-Werewolf
Member
Z-Werewolf

What can of worms would that be?

Z-Werewolf
Member
Z-Werewolf

Ah, read your previous post RE: “can of worms”…. meh… it’s not heated enough to argue about. I’m fairly neutral on a lot of 10K Days… It’s not anything to get worked up about really. I don’t see Wings 1&2 as any sort of real accomplishment but that’s just my opinion. I’m happy to give it another shot though to see if I can hear what you may be hearing… I don’t dislike music without giving it a chance… I don’t even really dislike Wings 1&2… it’s just not THE shining star to me especially in comparison to anything from… Read more »

elusivEuphoria
Member
elusivEuphoria

Cheers.

Z-Werewolf
Member
Z-Werewolf

Cheers!
Gave it another listen last night while I was working out. I certainly don’t hate it! 🙂
Definitely got stuck in my head… I think I’ll learn the bass parts as that’s what sticks out to me the most.