“THIS WILL BE AN EVOLUTION OF TOOL”
TWELVE YEARS IN THE MAKING, THE NEW TOOL ALBUM WILL FINALLY ARRIVE IN 2018! SO SAYS DRUMMER DANNY CAREY, ANYHOW, AS HE UNVEILS HIS NEW SUPERGROUP, THE MYSTERIOUS LEGEND OF THE SEAGULLMEN…
COULD 2018 be the year we see an end to the agonising wait for new music from Tool? According to drummer Danny Carey, the American art-rockers will finally be releasing their fifth studio album at some point over the next 12 months, ending the 12-year wait we’ve endured since 2006’s 10,000 Days.
It’s not all the acclaimed sticksman has been keeping busy with, either, with the launch of new supergroup Legend Of The Seagullmen on New Year’s Eve ahead of next month’s self-titled debut album.with a line-up that includes Mastodon’s Brent Hinds, Jonah Hex/ Horton Hears A Who! director Jimmy Hayward, Dethklok bassist Pete Griffin and a frontman who calls himself ‘The Doctor’, they’re on a mission to drown the world with watery tales of tragic shipwrecks, mutant squids and unabashed maritime anarchy. Best let Danny and Jimmy explain all, eh…
AHOY THERE, SEAGULLMEN! WHAT INITIALLY ATTRACTED YOU TO PENNING ODES TO THE DEEP SEA, DANNY?
DANNY CAREY (DRUMS): “The great thing about the sea is, if you run out of inspiration, you
just keep going deeper! No-one knows what’s down there in the ocean; we know more about the moon than the bottom of the ocean… for real!” JIMMY HAYWARD (GUITAR): “Though I was a musician first – that’s how me and Danny met – I’ve mainly worked in the movie business. I’m known as a director or writer or film-maker, so naturally we really care about that visual element. Everything is carefully crafted, because we’re artists in different ways.when I was a kid growing up, I loved album art. I would sit there – and I still do to this day as if I was eight years old – looking at the covers like Iron Maiden’s The Number Of The Beast and listening to the music. Danny would bring over things he loved, like Genesis and Yes, these heavy concept things, and I would stare at the art for ages. I feel like this band has to be like a record cover – I love that singular image that captures everything perfectly. Look at Meat Loaf’s Bat Out Of Hell: I saw the cover and thought it would be the most ripping album ever.then it came on and I turned it off. A great record cover can even over-deliver. In this band, we all seem to have a disparate, broad selection of musical tastes.we all dig nerdy prog stuff, jazz stuff, heavy shit – Danny went to the ballet the other day. I grew up watching symphonies all the time. It was actually our singer, David ‘The Doctor’ Dreyer, who had this wild vision for our nautical theme…”
TELL US MORE ABOUT THE DOCTOR…
DANNY: “We could probably tell you about him, but then we’d have to kill you. He’s kinda mysterious – he’s the one that comes up with the lore and weirdness to our songs. Most of the world thinks everyone down south is a redneck weirdo, but then you meet a guy like him where you think,‘this could only happen down there!’ He’s a freak, man.a special enigma.you just have to nurture him and feed him whatever it takes, sour beans and stuff like that.and Brent’s a wild bird – all I can say is he’s an outlaw. When we had Mastodon open up for Tool, our guitar player Adam [Jones] went up to Brent to ask him how he did all that chicken-pickin’ shit.” JIMMY: “The Doctor brought this to me and Brent, we got all the guys together.we refined it together musically and from a story standpoint. The Doctor’s a really wild dude; he’s like a big, burly moustachioed unicorn. He lived with Brent in Atlanta back in the day, he comes from production design doing videos and shit, but he’s been doing art-rock shit with his brother going way back. He was in a band called Heinous Bienfang from Atlanta, who would throw raw fish at the audience, wrap themselves up in cling film, or fling bags of flour at the crowd. He comes from a very art-rock background and he’s a very heavy cat.”
IS THERE A SONG ON THE ALBUM THAT CARRIES THE MOST MEANING? IT’S ALL PRETTY, UM, SEAGULLY…
JIMMY: “The Orca – I’ve lived my entire life right on the Pacific Ocean, and the same goes for The Doctor.there was a place nearby called Sealand who captured an orca back when people used to go and see captive whales, before they realised how fucked up it was.there was a girl who worked for her dad at Sealand – one day she was feeding it and ran out of fish.that thing grabbed her into the pool, pressed her against the bottom and killed her.the whale was then sold to Seaworld. I wrote that music and presented it to The Doctor right before [2013 documentary] Blackfish came out.we connected on the idea of an orca in captivity, lyrics about diving from stands and feeding on fans – this whale that could never sleep, went crazy and sent this sonar to all the other whales around the world, who come together, take over the world and destroy everything. It becomes a fantastical extrapolation of a story that’s super-connected to us in this crazy nautical way.”
YOU PLAYED YOUR FIRST SHOW ON NEW YEAR’S EVE SUPPORTING PRIMUS IN OAKLAND – WHAT CAN PEOPLE EXPECT FROM THE SEAGULLMEN LIVE EXPERIENCE?
JIMMY: “Primus have been doing this huge New Year’s Eve show in the Bay Area for many years – it’s sort of a traditional thing and sells out every time. Danny’s actually played that with them one year when he was filling in while [Primus drummer] Herb was sick. Some of us are from the Bay Area, and it
“WE ALL DIG NERDY PROG STUFF, JAZZ STUFF, HEAVY SHIT…” DANNY CAREY
seemed like a natural fit.” DANNY: “Moving forwards it will be whenever time permits, man! We’re all busy people – Jimmy’s making movies, Brent’s in Mastodon, I have Tool.we have these windows that we’ll take advantage of in whatever way we can… because we believe in our band. But NYE is how we planned to break our band in.and it’s actually how we broke in Justin [Chancellor,tool bassist] when he joined Tool. His first gig was opening up for Primus on New Year’s Eve! A bass player’s debut show opening up for [Primus virtuoso leader/bassist] Les Claypool… he was fucking horrified!”
SPEAKING OF TOOL, HOW’S THAT NEW ALBUM SHAPING UP? YOU’VE BEEN QUOTED AS SAYING IT WILL DEFINITELY COME OUT IN 2018?
DANNY: “2019? Is that what I said? Oh, 2018 (laughs)… Yeah, it’ll be out at some point in 2018.”
THE LAST TIME K! SPOKE TO ADAM, HE TOLD US THERE WERE A LOT OF ODD TIME SIGNATURES BASED AROUND SEVEN, AND MOMENTS SIMILAR TO THE MID-SECTION OF ROSETTA STONED… DANNY: “Well, whatever those guys play is how
they express themselves.adam and Justin aren’t musically educated, so they just come up with the weirdest shit. I just try to anchor it down and make it simple.the cool thing is every time I think I’ve simplified it as much as I can, we’ll give it to Maynard [James Keenan, vocals] and he’ll do something even more simplified – to the point where practically anyone can sing it! It’s simple shit and it’s coming out, man.the tracks are long… too long! Definitely too long for the radio (laughs)!
ARE YOU ABLE TO GIVE US ANY CLUES AS TO WHAT KIND OF CONCEPT AND TITLES YOU ARE WORKING WITH?
DANNY: “It’s all still a work in progress.we don’t even go there until the record is done. It needs to have a voice of its own – just like this new Legend Of The Seagullmen record.you don’t think about that until the project’s finished and it all comes together and connects. Everything has its own voice. It’s funny how people understand it all when it comes to concepts. I know from Pink Floyd, Yes, all these bands – there was no fucking concept. Those guys would just go in there and do it until it was done… and that’s when it takes shape.at that point, it will tell you what to do, just like any piece of art ever made.”
ARE THERE ANY NEW ELEMENTS ON THE RECORD THAT MAY SURPRISE FANS OR MARK A FIRST FOR TOOL?
DANNY: “All I can say is when you listen to [1992 EP] Opiate, Undertow, Aenima, Lateralus and 10,000 Days, to me they all sound like Tool records.we hope we’re getting better at what we do – it’s all an extension. [The new material] definitely sounds like Tool, but it’s an evolution. It’s one of those things that I leave to the journalists for when we release it – they’ll say it’s this or that. When people ask me what’s my favourite song or Tool record, I’m always like,‘dude, it’s all the fuckin’ same to me!’ The old ones are just from a different moment in time. But none of the songs would be on there unless I thought they were all equally badass.and it’s the same with Legend Of The Seagullmen. I’m not going to play on no bullshit – I don’t have to do that anymore (laughs).you get to a point as an artist where you try to refine your craft and get better at what you do. I choose to be as open as possible, increasing my vocabulary to do justice to each musical moment. But it’s a Tool record and therefore exactly the same thing – me, Adam and Justin are all meeting up in a new place. There’s no preconceived thing about it. It will be another Tool record, just like this is a Seagull record. We’ll probably make more Seagull records by the end (laughs).you have to wait and hear it. I can’t judge it, I’m too far inside! Hopefully it will be a mindmelter… otherwise I better quit!”
No wonder this Tool album’s taken so long
Legend Of The Seagullmen: winning band promo pics since 2018
A Seagullmen album sleeve/skull (not anatomically correct, FYI)