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dTunes 4


So...I am unfortunately coming to the end of my contribution to dTunes. Which is a shame because I love putting these articles together. But as RonBurgandy2010 has stated, it is always great to pass the baton onto somebody else to share their tastes in music with the rest of the community.

Since the end of the week approaches I figured I would dedicate this day to one of the most beloved gateway bands in the history of music. While it may not seem original to bring them into focus through dTunes, I believe it necessary. They are one of the very few that play the game collectively by their rules.

With little radio play, promotional marketing and over excessive press coverage, there is only one reason these four men have ascended in artistry as well as personal wealth; The creative spark of talented individuals fusing together to form a creation which many have tried to replicate to the same magnitude and failed.

Before I begin this article, just let it be known that the singles released to video are in no way the best material Tool has brought forth. If you want to have a really in depth look into the music they produce, be sure to check out tracks: Eulogy, H, Pushit, Third Eye, Lateralus, No Quater (Led Zeppelin cover), Swamp Song, Jambi and perhaps my absolute favorite tune of theirs; The Patient.

The Early Days

During the 1980s, each of the future members of Tool moved to Los Angeles. Both Paul D'Amour and Adam Jones wanted to enter the film industry, while Maynard James Keenan found employment remodeling pet stores after having studied visual arts in Michigan. Danny Carey performed as a drummer for Wild Blue Yonder, Green Jell˙ and Carole King, and played in the Los Angeles area with Pigmy Love Circus.

Keenan and Jones met through a common friend in 1989. After Keenan played a tape recording for Jones of his previous band project, Jones was so impressed by his voice that he eventually talked his friend into forming their own band. They started jamming together and were on the lookout for a drummer and a bass player. Danny Carey happened to live above Keenan and was introduced to Jones by Tom Morello (Guitarist from Rage Against the Machine), an old high school friend of Jones. Carey began playing in their sessions because he "felt kinda sorry for them", as other invited musicians were not showing up. Tool's lineup was completed when a friend of Jones introduced them to bassist D'Amour. Although Lachrymology was also explained to be an inspiration for the band's name, Keenan later explained their intentions differently: "Tool is exactly what it sounds like: It's a big dick. It's a wrench.... we are... your tool; use us as a catalyst in your process of finding out whatever it is you need to find out, or whatever it is you're trying to achieve."

After only a few gigs, the band was approached by record companies, and only three months into their career they signed a record deal with Zoo Entertainment. In March 1992, Zoo published the band's first effort, Opiate. The EP included the singles Hush and Opiate. The band's first music video, Hush, promoted their dissenting views about the then-prominent Parents Music Resource Center and its advocacy of the censorship of music. The band began touring with Rollins Band, Fishbone, and Rage Against the Machine to positive responses.

Tool - Prison Sex


The following year, at a time when alternative rock was at its height, Tool released their first full-length album, Undertow. It expressed more diverse dynamics than Opiate and included songs the band had chosen not to publish on their previous release, when they had opted for a heavier sound.

Tool later played several concerts during the Lollapalooza festival tour, and were moved from the second stage to the main stage by their manager and the festival co-founder Ted Gardner. At the last concert of Lollapalooza in Tool's hometown Los Angeles, comedian Bill Hicks introduced the band. Hicks had become a friend of the band members and an influence on them after being mentioned in Undertow's liner notes. He jokingly asked the audience of 60,000 people to stand still and help him look for a lost contact lens.

With the release of Tool's follow-up single Prison Sex, the band again became the target of censorship. The song's lyrics and video dealt with child abuse, which sparked controversial reactions; Keenan's lyrics begin with: "It took so long to remember just what happened. I was so young and vestal then, you know it hurt me, but I'm breathing so I guess I'm still alive." The video was created primarily by guitarist Adam Jones, who saw it as his surrealistic interpretation of the subject matter.

In September 1995, the band started writing and recording their second studio album. At that time Tool experienced its only lineup change to date, with bassist D'Amour leaving the band amicably to pursue other projects. Justin Chancellor, a member of former tourmates Peach, eventually replaced D'Amour, having been chosen over competitors such as Kyuss' Scott Reeder, Filter's Frank Cavanaugh, Pigmy Love Circus' E. Shepherd Stevenson and ZAUM's Marco Fox.

Tool - Sober


This was my gateway album to much of the music I appreciate now. I first listened to this album from start to finish when I was 16 years of age. From that point on it was difficult to see me studying without my diskman tuned into my ears, tapping my pens on the desk and sometimes shutting my eyes while swaying my head in a hypnotized-like state. While most people at the time were off listening to Eiffel 65 and Crazy Town, I was baptized to a new way of listening and in the long run and new way of thinking. This album did more than entertain me for a short period of time and drop off the charts; It literally opened my mind.

But it was long before my awakening on October 1, 1996, when Tool released their second full-length album, Ćnima in Compact Disc format and in vinyl format on October 15, 1996. The album was recorded and cut at Ocean Way, Hollywood, California and The Hook, North Hollywood, California from 1995 to 1996. It was certified triple platinum by the RIAA on March 4, 2003.

The title Ćnima (pronounced ON-ima but who really gives a shit how you say it?) is a combination of the words anima (Latin for 'soul' associated with the ideas of "life force" and a term often used by psychologist Carl Jung) and enema the medical procedure.

The album was dedicated to satirist Bill Hicks, who had died two and a half years earlier. The band intended to raise awareness about Hicks's material and ideas, because they felt that Tool and Hicks "were resonating similar concepts". In particular, Ćnima's final track Third Eye is preceded by a clip of Hicks' performances, and both the lenticular casing of the Ćnima album packaging as well as the chorus of the title track Ćnema make reference to a sketch from Hicks's Arizona Bay, in which he contemplates the idea of Los Angeles falling into the Pacific Ocean.

Tool - Stinkfist

The break between albums and lawsuits

A legal battle that began the same year of the album opening, interfered with the band's working on another release. Volcano Entertainment—the successor of Tool's by-then defunct label Zoo Entertainment—alleged contract violations by Tool and filed suit. According to Volcano, Tool had violated their contract when the band looked at offers from other record labels. After Tool filed a countersuit stating that Volcano had failed to use a renewal option in their contract, the parties settled out of court.

During this time, Keenan joined the band A Perfect Circle which was founded by long-time Tool guitar tech Billy Howerdel, while Jones joined The Melvins' Buzz Osborne and Carey drummed with Dead Kennedys' Jello Biafra on other side projects. Although there were rumors that Tool were breaking up, Chancellor, Jones, and Carey were working on new material while waiting for Keenan to return. In 2000, the Salival box set was released, effectively putting an end to the rumors. The CD contained one new original track, a cover of Led Zeppelin's No Quarter, a live version of Peach's You Lied, and revised versions of old songs.

Tool - Ćnema


This release has been set at the top of my all time favorite albums of all time for quite some time now but it wasn't always so. All the winning elements of classic, gritty and evolutionary artistry from previous Tool efforts flowed into the creation of this 13 track eye opening device but there was so much more beneath the surface that I was unknown to until later on down the track.

In January 2001 just at the peak of my mind alterations from their previous release, Tool announced a new album, Systema Encéphale, along with a 12-song tracklist containing titles such as Riverchrist, Numbereft, Encephatalis, Musick, and Coeliacus. At the time, Tool members were outspokenly critical of file-sharing networks in general due to the negative impact on artists that are dependent on success in record sales to continue their career. Keenan had this to say during an interview with NY Rock, "I think there are a lot of other industries out there that might deserve being destroyed. The ones who get hurt by MP3s are not so much companies or the business, but the artists, people who are trying to write songs."

A month later, the band revealed that the new album was actually titled Lateralus. Rolling Stone wrote in an attempt to summarize the album that "Drums, bass and guitars move in jarring cycles of hyperhowl and near-silent death march... The prolonged running times of most of Lateralus' thirteen tracks are misleading; the entire album rolls and stomps with suitelike purpose."

Tool - Schism

Drummer Danny Carey sampled himself breathing through a tube to simulate the chanting of Buddhist monks for Parabol, and banged piano strings for samples on Reflection.

Disposition, Reflection, and Triad form a sequence that has been performed in succession live with occasional help from various tourmates such as Mike Patton, Buzz Osborne, Tricky, and members of Isis, Meshuggah, and King Crimson.

The title track, Lateralus, incorporates the Fibonacci Sequence. For example, the syllables of the lyrics follow the Fibonacci pattern, and the time signature of the chorus rotates between 9/8, 8/8, and 7/8 time, referring to the 17th Fibonacci number, 987. The theme of the song describes the desire of humans to explore and to expand for more knowledge and a deeper understanding of everything. The lyric "spiral out," which is sung repeatedly throughout the song, refers to this desire and also to the Fibonacci Spiral, which is formed by creating and arranging rectangles for each number in the sequence's 1,1,2,3,5,8,... pattern, and drawing a curve that connects to two corners of each rectangle. This forms a never-ending and infinitely-expanding spiral.

Tool - Parabola

10,000 Days & The Future

The album opener, Vicarious, premiered on U.S. radio stations on April 17. The record followed on May 2, 2006 in the U.S. and debuted at the top spots of various international charts. 10,000 Days sold 564,000 copies in its opening week in the U.S. and was number one on the Billboard 200 charts, doubling the sales of Pearl Jam's self-titled album, its closest competitor. However, 10,000 Days was received less favorably by critics than its predecessor Lateralus had been.

In an interview conducted in May 2007, Justin Chancellor stated that the band would probably continue their tour until early 2008 and then "take some time off". He qualified this statement by adding that the band has already written new material and would surely release another album at some point down the road. A possible project until a next album is to make a band movie, a possibility the band has reportedly considered for a long time. The ideas range from a narrative story in a surreal fashion with as much money and special effects as possible to pockets of all of that or something that's live or the band playing.

On hiatus since early 2008, Tool is expected to begin writing a new album sometime this year, according to Keenan, but no details on a possible release date.

TOOL is:

* Maynard James Keenanvocals
* Adam Jonesguitars
* Justin Chancellorbass guitar
* Danny Careydrums

Former members

* Paul D'Amourbass guitar

Check out their official site (and their hilarious biographies) here.
Support creative artists and buy there albums here.

I recommend checking out:

Tool - Vicarious

Much love Destructoid, I hope I pleased your ear pussies.
Mr Dillinger

P.S - Thank Wikipedia for a lot of the information posted on here. Although I cut it down significantly, applied HTML and reworded some of it. They provided the brunt of the information I fed into you today.

P.P.S - Doubtful that the band will ever read this, but on the off chance that they do, I'd just like to thank em for everything. And when I say everything, they know what I mean.
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About Samuel Dillingerone of us since 1:58 AM on 06.24.2008

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I am a proud member of the Refused Classification panel also consisting of Destructoid members Puppy Licks and DanMazkin, which brings to the plate a fortnightly Destructoid only podcast and soon to be video content which will also be featuring guest appearances from gaming celebs such as the Masterchief.

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