Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Tool (band)

Tool was formed in 1989 by vocalist Maynard James Keenan, guitarist Adam Jones, bassist Paul D'Amour, and drummer Danny Carey. They are a contemporary American rock band whose music includes elements of heavy metal and art rock.

Indicative of their varied and far-reaching influences (chiefly King Crimson), their music features complex harmonic structures, unconventional time signatures, and borderline New Age subject matter. They may be the only popular musical group to have recorded songs about the mutation of DNA and geometric plane curves. D'Amour left the band in 1995 and was replaced by Justin Chancellor of the UK band Peach in time for Tool's 1995 album Ænima.

Tool has long clashed with conventional television and radio due to their dark musical content and dry disposition: their first single from Ænima was at first shortened for radio play by broadcasting companies until overwhelming fan response compelled them to play the track uncut. The music video for that single, "Stinkfist," was consequently renamed because of the title's suggestive nature to "Track #1." Though their Ænima singles received heavy radio play, their 2001 release Lateralus featured songs that averaged six and a half minutes in length, unwieldy for even the most pioneering of commercial radio disc jockeys. Additionally, the length of their most recent music video for the song "Parabola" clocked in at an unheard of ten and a half minutes, almost condemning it from being aired on mainstream music channels. Compounded with their aversion to appearing in their own music videos, these aspects of their collective personality makes the band's popularity especially peculiar.


Year Title Label
1992 Opiate EP Zoo/BMG/Volcano: US
1993 Undertow Zoo/BMG/Volcano: US
1996 Ænima Zoo/Volcano/BMG: US
2000 Salival (CD, VHS & DVD set) Volcano II/Tool Dissectional: US
2001 Lateralus Volcano II/Tool Dissectional: US

The band's singles and accompanying videos: including "Sober" from Undertow, "Stinkfist" and "Ænema" from Ænima, and "Schism" and "Parabola" from Lateralus.

Tool's drummer, Danny Carey, uses one of the largest drum sets in modern music - containing approximately 25 different percussive instruments. Guitarist Adam Jones is trained in special effects and movie makeup and directs all of Tool's videos.

In the midst of a legal battle with Tool's record label Volcano, Keenan (with Billy Howerdel) formed A Perfect Circle in 2000. Keenan has stated the band represents his feminine side.

Henry Rollins appears briefy on Undertow, reciting a spoken word piece during the song Bottom.

Vocalist Maynard James Keenan appeared briefly in the Rage Against the Machine song "Know Your Enemy", as well as on The Deftones' album White Pony, in the song "Passenger".

Samples of Bill Hicks' comedy appear in the song "Third Eye", and both "Third Eye" and "Ænima" are based on his philosophy.

Tricky appears, uncredited, in the video for "Parabola".

The String Tribute to Tool: Third Eye Open is a tribute album released in 2001. The tracks are entirely interpreted by string instruments (violins, viola, cello and a double bass) with at least three musicians , the lack of the percussion being sometimes replaced by rapid clinks with the bow, overall the Tool's songs musicality makes this album a very interesting experience.

External links

An unofficial archive of Tool-related material is at: