Metal Hammer (UK)


The most anticipate­d release since Chinese Democracy was finally unveiled to rave reviews


After 13 years, Tool finally released their fifth album, Fear Inoculum. Not only did it bag them the No.1 slot on the US Billboard Charts, it knocked off Taylor Swift’s Lover album, much to the chagrin of her fans. Cries of, ‘Who the fuck is Tool?’ echoed across Twitter, as metal fans rubbed their hands with glee. Metal Hammer celebrated Fear Inoculum with a cover, and the band explained how they’d finally managed to put out some music.

For Fear Inoculum, you’d write songs then dump the whole lot. How many times did you go through that process?


Justin chancellor

Justin Chancellor: “We can only make an album if literally all four of us are on board with the whole piece of music. So there were times when we’d just like be butting heads about one thing, and it’d be a roadblock in the process. So I don’t know how many times… I mean, it’s impossible to quantify.”

Were there any moments when you were ready to walk?

“Loads. But only just ‘pull your hair out’ moments, you know what I mean. If there was one person calling all the shots, in control of the whole thing, it’d be different. You’d go ‘Alright, OK, let’s do it this way.’ But we’re not that band. We’re four equal members, four equal inputs. It’s such a balance. But that comes with its problems. There can be very intense conflicts of interest. For creative, sensitive people, that can be quite resounding, like there can be some shutdowns along the way.”

What was the most challengin­g moment?

“I tell you what, for me… I decided… ha ha ha… I was like, ‘Come on, we’ve gotta just go in the studio.’ So we’re like, ‘Alright, we’re gonna hire [producer] Joe Barresi, and go in these expensive studios and record our album.’ That’s a big step if you’re not quite ready. It was quite a challengin­g time. Just trying to get everybody to go… like, ‘Alright, let’s do it, let’s start paying for the studio, let’s start recording these songs,’ you know? And it was cool. But maybe if I’d waited a few months, we wouldn’t have spent the year in the studio…”

What was the best thing about it?

“We played in Europe. And just seeing each other every day, and having each other’s families around, and working together in quite an intense environmen­t, being on the road, and you’re working every other night, and having to be really profession­al in a way, pull it off - and it was just so wonderful for us all to realise that we kept going, and we get to do this again, and the crowd have grown. Know what I mean? It’s genius. So we’re looking forward to the future. Thank God the record’s done, that’s all I can say.”

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