live and loud: Tool head Down Un­der .......................

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - CONTENTS -

TOOL fans want to know one thing. When the bloody hell is the next record coming out? It was go­ing to be one of the first ques­tions we put to May­nard James Keenan, lead singer of the Cal­i­for­nian art-metal band and prin­ci­pal in the fourper­son school of Tool. Or is he?

An abrupt email ar­rives 20 min­utes be­fore our in­ter­view, stat­ing man­age­ment re­quests there are to be no ques­tions di­rected at Keenan re­gard­ing the fifth al­bum. Huh?

Drum­mer Danny Carey seemed happy to talk about it in an ear­lier in­ter­view but ap­par­ently May­nard is keep­ing mute. Hmmm.

We had to get to the bot­tom of this for you, cu­ri­ous reader, so let’s set the scene: ‘‘We’re work­ing on it ev­ery day, we’ve man­aged to make some good ideas great,’’ Carey says.

‘‘It de­pends how metic­u­lous we are. We have flashes of in­spi­ra­tion and sev­eral pieces fall into place and then a song is born.

‘‘Right now we’re work­ing on the grandiose, epic thing. All our al­bums have a 20-minute piece,’’ he says, ref­er­enc­ing Dis­gusti­pated, Pushit, Parabol/Par­a­bola and 10,000 Days (Wings, Pt. 2).

‘‘Usu­ally, once that is fin­ished, the rest falls into place pretty quickly. It US band Tool – (from left) May­nard James Keenan, Adam Jones, Danny Carey and Justin Chan­cel­lor – are head­ing back to Aus­tralia. seems like we’re over half­way.’’

And what say you, May­nard. What do you make of the next opus? ‘‘I haven’t heard it,’’ he says. So the other guys are work­ing on it and you come in at the end to do vo­cals? ‘‘They claim to be,’’ he says. ‘‘I keep re­quest­ing to be in­volved. So there you have it.’’

At this point, the op­er­a­tor jumps in, sound­ing rat­tled: ‘‘Um, we prob­a­bly need to wrap it up, Mikey, so if you can ask your last ques­tion . . . ’’

The op­er­a­tor is curtly in­formed we have an­other seven min­utes left. ‘‘Sure.’’ In­ter­est­ing rev­e­la­tion, that. Keenan is cer­tainly busy us­ing cre­ative juices with Pus­cifer and A Per­fect Cir­cle – the lat­ter have the Don­key Punch The Night re­lease out on Fe­bru­ary 19 – and cre­at­ing juices from crushed grapes, so that’s where we shall join him.

‘‘I’m in the bunker at my Ari­zona win­ery. I’ve just fin­ished up rack­ing and pre-fil­ter­ing some wine, en­joy­ing a cup of tea and get­ting ready for bed,’’ he says pleas­antly.

No vino be­fore bed, though. It would make him a lit­tle too ex­cited, no?

‘‘Yeah. That tends to be the prob­lem. You see a few bot­tles sit­ting there and start to go, ‘I won­der what that one tastes like?’ ’’ he says.

Keenan’s com­mit­ment to oth­er­worldly per­for­mances might mean, to the ca­sual observer, that he is overly aus­tere. Not so.

Carey sums up the early days of their bro-ship.

‘‘I would catch crick­ets for May­nard’s geckos,’’ he says.

‘‘He had a whole menagerie in his apart­ment in those days. He had birds fly­ing around and a wa­ter­fall in the cor­ner. It was pretty in­tense.

‘‘He’d sleep with all th­ese crea­tures (in the room) – I thought that was pretty ec­cen­tric. We’d help each other out all the time, fight­ing bums, keep­ing peo­ple from tak­ing a dump on our doorstep.

‘‘It was a rough LA neigh­bour­hood but we got through it to­gether and have been best of friends ever since. ‘‘I’d do Tool for my­self,’’ Carey says. ‘‘Lo and be­hold, that’s the one that pays the rent now.’’

And here they come again, do­ing it for the fans/fans’ money by coming out for an­other sta­dium tour. Keenan is pre­par­ing by be­ing ‘‘very hands-on at my win­ery’’. But it’s not enough that he would con­sider him­self match-fit.

‘‘No, I’m not. You see, there we have to go back to the wine part,’’ he says.

‘‘I’m not wear­ing stretchy juicy suits or any­thing but I’m only a cou­ple pounds away from that.’’

Luck­ily, his wife bought him a ‘‘fit­ness’’ book for Christ­mas.

‘‘It’s called Danc­ing With Je­sus, fea­tur­ing a host of mirac­u­lous dance moves,’’ he says.

Tool play the Bris­bane En­ter­tain­ment Cen­tre on May 6. Ticket go on sale on Fe­bru­ary 14.

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