There’s a new Adam Jones interview from Revolver today, where he reflects on the creative process behind the Tool album Lateralus. Here’s a snippet regarding the composition of Schism:
“Justin is a riff-writing machine, and I love him for it,” he says, recalling how the bassist started off that cut. “One of us brings in a riff, and it gets kind of pulled apart, tugged at, in our process. Dan will start drumming to it. I work simple and then get a little more complex, but Dan and Justin will go complex and then fine-tune to something simple. That’s why it clicks.”
The most difficult part is actual composition — sifting through these seeds and structuring them into coherent songs. But sonic breakthroughs inevitably lead them somewhere new: A good example in “Schism” is the clean, atmospheric riff that bubbles up around the four-minute mark.
“That middle thing: It’s just something you feel,” Jones says. “Do you want to write a three-minute song, or do you want to write a seven-minute song that has another feel in it? We do this verse-chorus/verse-chorus, and a lot of times we’ll do some kind of jam. Then it just needs to take a breath. That middle riff — it’s almost like giving birth to something and watching it grow again to the end. We like to play! We don’t want to stop. That’s the curse of TOOL.” He laughs. “It’s hard to write a three-minute song. It’s hard to write a four-minute song. It starts, and it ends, and that’s the time. We never go, ‘It’s too long, or it needs to be longer.’ It’s just what the song needs.”https://www.revolvermag.com/music/curse-tool-adam-jones-looks-back-pivotal-album-lateralus
Head on over to the Revolver site for the full interview