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All About Tool

We always hope that we can change something for the better through our music, give someone else some inspiration. I believe that music is a force in itself. It is there and it needs an outlet, a medium. In a way, we are just the medium."
- Maynard James Keenan

Last Updated: 2010-11-29
Tool text title image
Tool formed in Los Angeles when vocalist/lyricist Maynard James Keenan, guitarist Adam Jones, bassist Paul D'amour, and drummer Danny Carey began performing together. The band's unique form of metallic art-rock, inspired by a broad range of artists including everything from King Crimson to Jane's Addiction, quickly won them many fans in the underground community.

In 1992, they released their debut EP "Opiate" which included several studio and live recordings from the bands early years. In 1993 they made their full-length debut with perhaps their angriest album, "Undertow" and it's resulting singles "Prison Sex" and "Sober". The production of Tool's first lot of singles, gave guitarist and art school graduate, Adam Jones the chance to work on Tool's videos, an interpretation of tool's music, utilising claymation and stop-motion techniques to produce some of the greatest music videos of all time (Jones's video expertise have lead him to work on such movies as "Jurassic Park" and  "Terminator 2").

After finishing the "Undertow" tour, Paul D'amour left the band, citing artistic differences. The band then hired Justin Chancellor of "Peach", as their newest member. The new lineup released their acclaimed album "Aenima" in 1996. Not a band to repeat past ideas, "Aenima" allowed them to explore new styles with epic songs, complex forms, and sludgy guitar riffs all brought together by Maynard's mastery of metaphorical and obscure lyrics.

In 1998 Tool went on hiatus, giving its members time to explore various other projects. Most notably, Keenan joined forces with Billy Howerdel to form A Perfect Circle. The band released their debut, "Mer De Noms", in 2000 and released the acclaimed single "Judith" preceding it. A year later, Tool came together and recorded their most ambitious work to date. "Lateralus" combined progressive song structures and atmospheric subtleties with the band's signature metallic edge. The album was a huge success, and their legions of fans proclaimed it Tool's best to date. The band toured extensively to support the album, going as far as New Zealand.

In 2003, Keenan went back to work with A Perfect Circle to record "Thirteenth Step", a concept album which revolves around drug addiction and the experiences of those in Maynard's life, who have had drug problems in the past. During this period, Danny Carey returned to his original band, Pygmy Love Circus and toured clubs all over America. In 2004, Tool united once again in a recording studio in LA.

Maynard James Keenan
Maynard James Keenan

Danny Carey
Danny Carey
Tool Band Members:
Maynard James Keenan (vocals/lyrics)
Adam Jones (Guitar)
Danny Carey (Drums)
Justin Chancellor (Bass)
Paul D'amour (Bass until 1995)

Guitars: Silverburst 1978 Gibson Les Paul , Seymour Duncan Jazz neck pickup in his guitars along with the SD JB bridge pickup.
Amps (Heads/Combos): A vintage Marshall head, a non-master volume bass amp from 1976, Mesa/Boogie Triple Rectifier, a Diezel VH-4 head amp.
Effects: Delay and EQ Effects Pedals An Epilady, a harmonizer, a Boss Metal Zone distortion pedal, a Boss effects processor or a Zoom 505, and a Boss Flanger.

Bass Guitar: Ernie Ball MusicMan,
Wall Cabinets: Mesa Boogie
Pre-amp: Demeter
Effects Pedals: Boss & Digitech

Drumset: Sonor Designer Series 8x14 bronze snare 14x14 floor tom 18x16 floor tom 18x24 bass drum 18x22 bass drum 8x8 tom 10x10 tom 14" RotoTom
Electronics: Simmons SDX pads Hardware: Sonor
Heads: Evan's heads, power center-snare, Hydraulic-toms, hydraulic & EQ3 on bassCabs
Pedals: Axis
Cymbals: 14" Paiste Dark Crisp hi-hats 22" Novo China 12" S.F. Flanger Bell 13" Sound Formula Mega Cup Chime 8" Paiste splash 18" Sound Formula Thin crash 18" Paiste Full crash 22" Paiste Dry Heavy ride 20 & 22" Paiste Thin China 20" Paiste Power crash 6" + 8" Signature Splash 14" Signature Sound Edge Hi Hat 18" Signature Mellow Crash, Power Crash 20" Signature Full Crash, Thin China 5" Bell Chime on top of an 8" 3000 Bell
Sticks: Trueline

Bass Guitar: Ernie Ball MusicMan and Rickenbacker 4000 series
Cabinets: Mesa/Boogie
1. Opiate (EP) - 1992
Tool's humble beginnings. Very interesting to see how each member has grown as a musician and Maynard's voice is very androgenous on this EP. A far cry from the fury of "Undertow" or "Aenima"

2. Undertow - 1993
Maynard begins to show some of the fury which will later become his hallmark. Carey's drumming also improves dramatically from his previous efforts on "Opiate". Guitar work is sludgy and driving, but lacks the palpable atmosphere which Jones achieves with the later albums.

3. Ænima - 1996
Tool's "singles album" with quite a few radio friendly tracks and two resulting singles, "Aenema" and "Stinkfist", which gave Adam Jones an opportunity to produce 2 of the most impressive music videos of all time. The guitar and bass work also takes on it's trademark atmosphere while Danny Carey reaches his pinnacle in terms of speed, timing and precision.

4. Lateralus - 2001
Tool's latest album and another step up from "Aenima". A concept album of the highest order. Driving yet atmospheric songs are joined together by atmospheric "filler" tracks. The opening track "The Grudge" shows Maynard at his best, with an amazi ng scream in the middle and a sharp yet sweet tongue which belts forth some of the most inspired and metaphorical lyrics on record.


5. Salival - 2000
This CD/DVD set is an essential piece of any Tool collection. The video portion includes several of the band's acclaimed music videos. The audio portion includes a few fantastic live recordings, highlighted by an extended version of 'Pushit'. Other highlights include 'You Lied' (originally by Justin Chancellor's band, Peach), the Danny Carey showcase 'Merkaba', and a powerful cover of Led Zeppelin's 'No Quarter', which, arguably outdoes the original version.
Opiate album cover

Undertow album cover

Aenima album cover

Lateralus album cover

Salival album cover
Part Of Me
Cold And Ugly

Prison Sex
Crawl Away
Swamp Song

Useful Idiot
Forty Six And Two
Message to Harry Manback
Hooker With A Penis
Die Eier Von Satan
Cesaro Summability
[-] Ions
Third Eye

The Grudge
Eon Blue Apocalypse
The Patient
Ticks & Leeches
Faaip de Oaid

Third Eye
Part Of Me
Message To Harry Manback II
You Lied
No Quarter
I.A Municipal Court
Maynard's Dick

Progressive Rock
Heavy Metal
Art Rock
Side Projects:
A Perfect Circle (Maynard James Keenan)
Pygmy Love Circus (Danny Carey)
Peach (Justin Chancellor)
Top 10 Tool Songs:
1. Ænema
2. Schism
3. Lateralus
4. Forty-Six and Two
5. The Grudge
6. Ticks and Leeches
7. Third Eye
8. Stinkfist
9. 10,000 Days
10. Sober
Quotes: (All by Maynard James Keenan)
"Music is about listening, the more you play, the more the magic spreads."

"We always hope that we can change something for the better through our music,
  give someone else some inspiration. I believe that music is a force in itself. It is
  there and it needs an outlet, a medium. In a way, we are just the medium."

"I always believed that music should speak for itself, that people shouldn't see us as
  heroes, that our fans shouldn't concentrate on us, that they shouldn't try to feed our
  egos. Once your ego gets in the way, it is much more difficult to feel music."

"I just hope that our fans are people who are inspired by music, and just use our
  music as a background or inspiration for whatever it is they do. I hope they would
  be our fellow artists, rather than trying to emulate or idolize clowns like us."
PLACEMENT ON DDD LISTS (as of 01/2005):
Artists Of The 21st Century - #17
Rock Artists Of The 90's - #21
Rock Songs Of The 90's - Aenima #2
Rock Drummers - Danny Carey #7
Rock Vocalists - Maynard James Keenan #24
'Studio' Rock Drum Performances - 10 performances on this list. Highest is "Ticks And Leeches" at #2
'Live' Rock Drum Performances - Third Eye #7
Rock Guitarists - Adam Jones #84
Rock Guitar Riffs - 5 riffs on this list. Highest is "Aenima" at #67
Vocal Performances - 5 performances on this list. Highest is "Pushit" at #19
Lyrical Performances - 4 performances on this list. Highest is "Third Eye" at #78

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