Thir­teen years af­ter 10,000 Days, a new Tool record will see the light of day in 2019. So what the hell have they been do­ing in the mean­time?

Metal Hammer (UK) - - Tool - WORDS: MER­LIN ALDER­SLADE


On May 1, Tool re­lease 10,000 Days, the ea­gerly an­tic­i­pated fol­low-up to 2001’s Lat­er­alus. They will spend the next cou­ple of years tour­ing it heav­ily, be­fore play­ing spo­radic dates and smaller tours there­after, par­tic­u­larly across the US.


A blog post ap­pears quot­ing bassist Justin Chan­cel­lor, say­ing new ma­te­rial is al­ready on the ta­ble, and that: “pretty much ev­ery week there’s new stuff. There’ll be an­other al­bum, but I can’t say when.” He wasn’t kid­ding.

In Au­gust, Tool head­line the Manch­ester Apollo. They haven’t been back since, their head­line set at Down­load this June serv­ing as their first UK show in nearly 12 years.


Front­man May­nard James Keenan seem­ingly backs what Justin has al­ready sug­gested, telling MTV in Fe­bru­ary that they are gonna be writ­ing the next al­bum “right away”. “The mu­sic al­ways comes first,” he adds. Just not in any ac­tual race, it seems.


With var­i­ous mem­bers spend­ing time on other peo­ple’s mu­sic (rack­ing up ap­pear­ances on tracks by the likes of Isis, In­tro­naut, Ju­bilee and The Hu­man Ex­per­i­mente), it looks like no sig­nif­i­cant progress has been made on a new Tool record. There’s a glim­mer of hope in a news­let­ter post from the band in March, claim­ing that the rest of the band are work­ing on new ma­te­rial while May­nard is on tour with Pus­cifer.


De­spite a scat­ter­ing of shows in that time, two more years pass with lit­tle in the way of con­crete news, be­fore the band’s web­mas­ter claims in De­cem­ber that he’s heard new mu­sic, though it was “sans May­nard”. He also ad­mits that he “can­not say” how close the al­bum is to com­ple­tion. Yeah, no shit.


In a year many fans start to hope that we might ac­tu­ally see new Tool mu­sic, 2013 kicks off with the bizarre news that progress on the al­bum is de­layed be­cause of two sep­a­rate scooter ac­ci­dents. Fuck knows what’s go­ing on.

In Fe­bru­ary, May­nard tells a Chilean ra­dio sta­tion that there’ll be no new al­bum in 2013, but drum­mer Danny Carey seems to think oth­er­wise. He sug­gests to New Zealand’s The Rock FM that it’ll come “some­time this year… that’s all I can say”. Spoiler: it doesn’t. Danny later con­cedes that “early 2014” is more likely. On a pod­cast in Au­gust, May­nard says he’s about to start work... but the in­ter­view is from March.


“The fans are pissed at us,” ad­mits gui­tarist Adam Jones in July when he pro­vides the lat­est up­date, claim­ing that a big law­suit ow­ing to a dis­agree­ment over art­work is adding to its de­lay. Boooo! “The whole thing is re­ally de­press­ing,” adds Danny. You’re telling us, pal.


With their le­gal prob­lems out of the way come March, Adam says all fo­cus is now on the new al­bum. Woooo! “That fire that burned in us in our

20s isn’t there any more,” he adds, how­ever. “So we’re re­laxed and meet­ing oc­ca­sion­ally.” Boooo!

In Septem­ber, we head to May­nard’s Ari­zona vine­yard for a chat. “I’m re­luc­tant to say any­thing about Tool,” he tells us, be­fore bang­ing on about grapes. Help­ful.


May­nard ap­pears in more com­bat­ive mood in Oc­to­ber, re­ply­ing to Rolling Stone’s ques­tions about the new record with a flat: “Do I seem like a lazy per­son to you?” Still, the band be­gin air­ing part of a new song en­ti­tled De­scend­ing. There’s a glim­mer of hope!


In April, that help­ful web­mas­ter is back, claim­ing that there are “only a cou­ple” of songs left to fin­ish. Woooo!

Justin tells Bass Player in De­cem­ber that Tool are “deep into the writ­ing process”. Given they were well into the writ­ing process three years ago, this doesn’t feel very in­sight­ful.


Danny tells Loud­wire in De­cem­ber that we will “def­i­nitely” see a new Tool al­bum in 2018. Here we go! It’s fi­nally go­ing to turn up!


Nar­ra­tor voice: It doesn’t turn up. Danny says in Jan­uary that he hopes the al­bum will come be­fore May, but is con­tra­dicted by May­nard a few days later, who re­mains in A Per­fect Cir­cle mode and tweets the al­bum is “not com­ing out this sum­mer.”

In March, a cryp­tic In­sta­gram post from Danny sug­gests record­ing is due to start – backed by a state­ment on Tool’s web­site that reads: “the record­ing process is about to be­gin”.

May­nard wins the cov­eted Idol award at the Metal Ham­mer Golden God Awards in Lon­don, telling an ex­cited crowd: “You’re gonna see some new mu­sic next year.” We also dis­cover that 10,000 Days knob-twid­dler Joe Bar­resi will be in­volved on the pro­duc­tion side once again. In Oc­to­ber, the next chap­ter of Tool be­ing un­der­way is con­firmed with the an­nounce­ment of a flurry of 2019 dates – most sig­nif­i­cantly head­lin­ing the Sun­day night at Down­load. Tool! Back in the UK! Woooo!


As the New Year dawns, all signs point to new Tool mu­sic com­ing this side of sum­mer. Surely they won’t play Down­load with no new ma­te­rial to air, will they? Stranger things have hap­pened, but we’re pretty sure we will be knee-deep in spi­ralling, bol­lock-heavy riffs come June. We’re call­ing it: this is the year where we will

fi­nally, fi­nally, get a new al­bum.


this is what hap­pens when we’re left to use the same promo photo for five years run­ning

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