C1. Who are the band members?
Maynard James Keenan, vocals and keyboards
Adam Jones, guitars
Danny Carey, drums, keyboards, and synths
Just Chancellor, bass (current)
Paul D’Amour, bass (former)
C2. When and how did the band form?
During the 1980s, each of the future members of Tool moved to Los Angeles. Both Paul D’Amour and Adam Jones wanted to enter the film industry, while Maynard James Keenan found employment remodeling pet stores after having studied visual arts in Michigan. Danny Carey and Keenan performed for Green Jellÿ, and Carey played with Carole King and Pigmy Love Circus.
Keenan and Jones met through a mutual friend in 1989. After Keenan played a tape recording for Jones of his previous band project, Jones was so impressed by his voice that he eventually talked his friend into forming their own band. They started jamming together and were on the lookout for a drummer and a bass player. Carey happened to live above Keenan and was introduced to Jones by Tom Morello, an old high school friend of Jones and former member of Electric Sheep. Carey began playing in their sessions because he “felt kinda sorry for them,” as other invited musicians were not showing up. TOOL’s lineup was completed when a friend of Jones introduced them to bassist D’Amour. (Livewire Magazine, February/March 1997)(Rolling Stone, 30 April 2004)(Circus Magazine, 31 May 1994)(A Perfect Union of Contrary Things, 1 October 2016)
C3. So, how did they pick Justin to replace Paul?
Adam Jones described the ensuing process of auditioning bassists as “entertaining” but nerve-wracking. Jones recalls an early affinity for Justin Chancellor, who was friendly with TOOL through his former band, Peach.
But Jones was also convinced he and bandmates, drummer Danny Carey and vocalist Maynard James Keenan were headed to blows over the vacancy.
“When it came down to pick, we were gonna have a meeting because I wanted someone and Danny and Maynard wanted someone else,” he said. “So we were gonna talk about it.”
He continued: “So what happened was Danny and Maynard wanted Justin, and they thought I wanted this other guy. And I thought Danny and Maynard wanted that guy, and I wanted Justin. So we got down to, like, you know, take swings at each other. And it was like, ‘Oh, we all want Justin! Great!’ It was really funny, and it worked out.” (iHeart Radio, iHeart.com, 22 August 2019)
According to Justin, he very nearly didn’t even join the band at all. Here’s an excerpt of what he had to say about it during a podcast interview with Evan Ball of Ernie Balls Strings:
“I basically got a call. I got told that there was a call at my flat. I think I was actually doing a gig with Peach. “You got to call the guys from Tool back.” … I called them back quite nervous. You know, I’m like, “What do they want?” It was Maynard, … “We’d like you to come out and audition to be in the band.” It was a little too much, really, to absorb and take in. I think right on that first call, I basically immediately just said, “Oh, I can’t do that. I can’t do that.” Out of total fear. Just intimidation. … So anyway, essentially I said, “Thanks very much. This is very nice of you, but I don’t think so. I’m way too busy here.” … My brother was friends with the guy that signed them, Matt Marshall. They met randomly in America years before, but they both ended up in the music industry working for record companies. When Matt signed Tool, we heard about Tool. Almost the first people in England got to get their demo tape. When they came over and did really well, we actually took them out to the pub and stuff, and hung out with them. That’s how we first met and became friends. … So yeah, I had turned it down at first. Basically, my brother … I told my brother, somehow, and he literally got in the tube and came over to my flat, and just started yelling at me. He was like, “Are you out of your mind?” I mean, a part of it was that I was very determined. I was writing music with this band. I’d left university to pursue this, to be in a band, and I was very committed to it as well. So that was part of the reason that I wasn’t going to just suddenly get up and leave. Almost for a moral reason, and just the integrity of what we were doing. … My brother said, “Look, this is crazy, man. You’ve got to take this. You’ve got to try it.” He’s like, “What does it matter? Even if you fail, what a great thing to be asked to do. You have to go and try it.” I didn’t, in any way, feel musically on a level with them, you know? … He sort of packed it in, and we ended up, me and Ben Durling, my guitar player who I was at school with, we ended up creating a new band called Sterling. We’d actually been offered a record deal by Beggars Banquet. It was quite exciting at the time. It was new. That was another quite intense thing, that we’d actually got somewhere and we’d been offered a deal. Now, I’d been offered this thing, so it was almost too easy just to say, “No, I can’t. I’ve got a deal.” But my brother really was like … because he knew how much it meant to me, and how much I liked the band. So I had the difficult thing of basically calling them back, and saying, “Would it be all right if I changed my mind?” I come out, which everybody will tell you is not something that would normally work. People would, “No, no, no, no. You made your choice.” They’d already have moved on, you know? … Anyway, they were really cool and they said yes. That’s pretty much how I ended up coming out.” (Ernie Ball; Striking a Chord: The Ernie Ball Podcast, Podcast #1: Justin Chancellor; 6 September 2019)
C4. What does “tool” even mean?
Early on, the band fabricated the story that they formed because of the pseudophilosophy “lachrymology”. Although “lachrymology” was also cited as an inspiration for the band’s name, Keenan later explained their intentions differently: “TOOL is exactly what it sounds like: It’s a big dick. It’s a wrench. … we are … your tool; use us as a catalyst in your process of finding out whatever it is you need to find out, or whatever it is you’re trying to achieve.”(Blair McKenzie Blake; TOOL Newsletter, archived; 11 March 2012)(RayGun Magazine; April 1994)
C5. I’ve heard that they were considering the name “toolshed” before settling on “TOOL”?
That was only one of the names they were considering, though they were never really called that. Supposedly, it was in the context of the discussion over naming their original demo that “Toolshed” were brought up.
C6. What is “lachrymology”?
One of the wild and elaborate tales TOOL made up in order to keep us, or more accurately, them entertained. “Lachrymology,” the science of crying as a therapy, was nothing more than a ruse.
“One of the unifying forces in the band is the philosophy/religion known as Lachrymology, founded in the 1940’s by Ronald P. Vincent. Lachrymology translates literally to “the study of crying” The basic tenet, evident in the band’s music, is that the greatest road to advancement is through pain – emotional and physical. Hence the band’s name.” (Carleton Univ. Newspaper, 16 February 1994)
Vincent supposedly, according to the band, wrote a book in 1949 called “The Joyful Guide to Lachrymology” which was the band’s original inspiration. Vincent suggested that people can only advance themselves by exploring and understanding their physical and emotional pain.
C7. Okay, so where can I find this book?
Look up the term “red herring” and you will find what you seek.
C8. “Undertow” features a lot of Army references. Why?
Inspired by Bill Murray’s performance in the 1981 movie Stripes, Maynard joined the United States Army with the intention of having the G.I. Bill fund his dream of attending art school. He initially served in the Army as a forward observer before studying at West Point Prep School from 1983 to 1984. He was distinguished in basic and advanced training, but ultimately declined an appointment to West Point. (Loudwire, 9 December 2013)(The San Diego Union-Tribune, 19 January 2008)(The Press-Enterprise, 19 January 2008)(A Perfect Union of Contrary Things, 1 October 2016)
C9. Do any of the band members use drugs?
They all have definitely dabbled, and they’ve even briefly mentioned using psychedelics, but as to who has done what and when, or if any of them still do, we may never know for sure.
C10. What equipment do they use?
Adam Jones: as far as guitars, he has 3 Gibson Les Paul Custom Silverbursts, a Gibson SG Standard Electric, a Gibson Les Paul Classic, a Gibson Les Paul Classic Custom, and a Gibson Les Paul Classic Les Paul Custom Ebony. For effects and pedals, he uses a Dunlop Heil HT1 Talkbox, a Boss DD-3 Digital Delay, a Boss BF-2 Flanger, a MXR Dyna Comp Compressor M102, a DOD FX40B Equalizer Pedal, an MXR M133 Micro Amp, a Peterson VS-S StroboStomp Tuner, a Boss PSM-5 Power supply & master switch, a Dunlop 535Q Cry Baby Multi-Wah, a Gig-Fx Chopper, a Line 6 DL4 Delay Modeler, a Korg DTR-1 Digital Tuner, a Goodrich 120 Volume Pedal, a Moog Taurus I, a Boss DD-5 Digital Delay, a Xotic Effects RC Booster, MXR CSP233 Micro Amp Plus, a MXR Ten Band EQ M108S, a Dunlop BB535 Wah, a Foxx Tone Machine Octave Fuzz Pedal, a Gamechanger Audio Plasma Pedal. He has 1 Fender Precision Bass guitar. He also uses a Roland PK5 Dynamic MIDI Pedal and a Roland VK-8M Module. He also has a Alessandro Custom Military-Spec Carbon Custom Taper Potentiometer. He uses Dunlop .73 and .88 mm picks. For strings he uses Ernie Ball Skinny Top Heavy Bottom Nickel wound electric guitar strings. And he also uses Access Virus A Synthesizer Module, Access Virus Indigo Synthesizer, and a Roland VK-8 Combo Organ. For amps he uses a 1976 Marshall Super Bass, a Mesa Boogie 2×15 cabinet, and a Diezel VH4.
Justin: as far a bass guitars, he uses a Music Man Stingray Bass, Wal 4 String Fretless Bass, a Wal Mark III Bass, a Gibson Thunderbird IV Bass, a Wal Mk 2, a Warwick Streamer Stage II, a Warwick RB Streamer LX 4 with Red Metallic High Polish, and a Rickenbacker 4001CS. He uses a Gallien-Krueger 2001RB Amplifier Head, a Mesa Boogie M-2000 Head, a Mesa Boogie Cabinet 8×10, a Mesa Boogie 4×12 Bass Cabinet, and a Mesa Boogie M-Pulse. For effects and pedals, he uses a Foxx Fuzz Wah Down Machine, a Guyatone BR2 Bottom Wah Rocker Pedal, a Prescription Electronics Overdriver, a Boss DD-3 Digital Delay, a Guyatone Vintage Tremolo, a Boss TU-2 Chromatic Tuner, a Tone Bender Fuzz, a Boss BF-2 Flanger, a MXR M82 Bass Envelope Filter, aBoss CE-5 Chorus Ensemble, a Tech 21 SansAmp GT2 Tube Amp Emulator, a DigiTech Bass Whammy, a Boss GEB-7 Bass Equalizer Effects Pedal, a Pro Co TurboRAT Pedal, a Red Witch Titan Delay Guitar Effects Pedal, a Red Witch Pentavocal Tremolo Pedal, a MXR M288 Bass Octave Deluxe Effects Pedal, a Demeter Amplification VTBP-201S Bass Preamp, a Colorsound Tonebender, a TEch 21 SansAmp Bass Driver DI, a Line 6 FM4 Filter Modeler Guitar Effects Pedal, a Lovetone Ring Stinger, a Lovetone Wobulator, a Lovetone Brown Source, a Lovetone Meatball, a Crowther Audio Prunes & Custard, a KHDK Abyss Bass Overdrive, a MXR M287 Sub Octave Bass Fuzz, a Digitech Whammy II Guitar Effects Pedal, and a Dunlop Cry Baby 105Q Bass Wah Pedal. He also has a Radial Engineering JD7 Injector Guitar Signal Distribution System. He uses Dunlop Tortex Triangle 1.0mm guitar picks. For strings he uses Ernie Ball 2833 Hybrid Slinky Round Wound Bass guitar and Ernie Ball Slinky Cobalt Bass strings.
Danny: For drums DC uses Sonor Bubinga Limited Edition Signature series drums, Korg Wave drum, Sonor Danny Carey 14×8” Signature Bronze Snare, a Paiste Danny Carey Custom Bronze Drum Kit, a Paiste 7.5” 2002 Cup Chime, a Paiste 20” 2002 Novo China, a Paiste 6” 2002 Accent, a Paiste 8” 2002 Cup Chime, a Paiste 8” Signature Bell, a Paiste 8” Signature Dark Energy Splash Mark 1, a Paiste 10” Dark Energy Splash Mark 1, a Paiste 18” Signature Full Crash, Paiste 13” Signature Sound Edge Hi-Hats, a Paiste 19” Signature Power Crash, a Paiste 21” Signature Dry Heavy Ride, a Paiste 20” Signature Thin China, a Paiste 20” Signature Power Crash, a Paiste 5” 2002 Cup Chime, a Paiste 11” Noise Works Dark Buzz China, a Paiste 40” Symphonic Gong Tai Loi, and a Paiste 22” Monad Danny Carey Signature Dry Heavy Ride. For sticks he only uses Vic Firth Danny Carey Signature drumsticks. He also uses a Roland Jupiter-8 Synthesizer and a Moog Memoryboard Synthesizer. He also uses electronic Mandala drums.
Maynard: for microphones, he uses a AKG C 100, a Shure Beta 57A Vocal mic, a Shure Beta 87A Condenser Vocal mic, a Blue Bottle Mic, and a Audix OM6 Vocal Mic. For mic accessories, he uses a Aston Halo and a a Blue The Ringer mic holder. He also has used a RadioShack Powerhorn. He also uses a Empirical Labs EL8 Distressor, a Lexicon PCM 80, a Yamaha SPX990, a BSS DPR-901 Dynamic Equalizer Compressor, and a Eventide H3000 D/SE Ultra Harmonizer.
Paul: for bass guitars he used a Rickenbacker 4001, a Ibanez ATK300, a OVation Magnum, a Ernie Ball Music Man Stingray, and a Fender American Elite Jazz Bass. For amps he used a Mesa Boogie Bass 400+ Amp Head, a Mesa Boogie 2×15 Diesel Cabinet, and a Gallien Krueger 800RB Bass Amp Head. For effect and pedal he used a Darkglass Electronics Microtubes B3K CMOS Bass Overdrive, a DigiTech Whammy Pitch-Shifting Pedal, and a Marshall ShredMaster.
All equipment information gathered from equipboard.com, except Adam’s amps which was found at mixdown.com
[ Note: If any equipment information listed here is wrong, or if there is anything left off, or has been added that shouldn’t have been, please let me know. – SWL ]
C11. Are any of them married?
Maynard is married to Lei Li. Adam was married to Camella Grace, but has since been remarried to Kirin Faught. Justin is married to Shelee Dykman Chancellor. Danny isn’t yet married, but has been with Rynne Stump for quite a while.
C12. Do any of them have children?
Maynard, Danny, and Adam all have children. It is unknown at this time as to whether or not Justin has any. And no, their names will not be mentioned here.
C13. I’ve heard they once had a bongo player?
They once had a man named Aloke Dutta play with them at several live shows. His playing is even featured on the live version of “Pushit” on the box set, Salival.
C14. Have TOOL played with any other people?
TOOL has had many guests appear onstage with them over the years. They’ve had relatively unknowns, such as the aforementioned Mr. Dutta, to superstars like Kirk Hammet of Metallica join them.
Their guests have been (so far):
Heitham Al-Sayed / vocals / “Bottom”, “Pushit, “Opiate”
Mike Bordin / drums / “Triad”
King Buzzo / guitar / “Stinkfist”, “Stranglehold”, “You Lied”, “Spasm”
Dale Crover / drums / “Opiate”, “Triad”
John Dolmayan / drums / “Triad”, “Lateralus”
Aloke Dutta / tabla / “Pushit”
Robert Fripp / guitar / “Soundscapes”
Tomas Haake / drums / “Triad”
Kirk Hammett / guitar / “Sober”, “Lateralus”
Hawkman / vocals / “Reflection”
Dave Lombardo / drums / “Triad”
Herman Li / guitar / “Lateralus”
Pat Mastelotto / drums / “Triad”
Perry Melius / percussions / “Triad”
Tom Morello / guitar / “Lateralus”
Scott Reeder / bass / “Demon Cleaner”
Zack de la Rocha / vocals / “Bottom”
Chris Pitman / vocals / “Bottom”
Layne Staley / vocals / “Opiate”
John Stanier / drums / “Triad”
Statik / machines / “Triad”
Phil Campbell / guitar / “Sober”
Brann Dailor / drums / “Lateralus”
Mike Patton / vocals / “Angel Eyes”
Mike Patton / drms / “Triad”
Brent Hinds / guitar / “Lateralus”
Troy Sanders / bass / “Lateralus”
Serj Tankian / vocals / “Sober”
Trey Gunn / bass / “Lateralus”
Pat Mastelotto / drums / “Lateralus”
Terry Bozzio / drums / “Lateralus”
Sebastian Thomson / drums / “Lateralus”
Jello Biafra / vocals / “Holiday in Cambodia”
Tim Alexander / drums / “Opiate”, “Lateralus”
Till Lindemann / pyrotechnics / “Lateralus”
Christoph Schneider / drums / “Lateralus”
Angelo Moore / vocals / “Bottom”
Jason Reece / percussion / “Lateralus”
Aaron Ford / percussion / “Lateralus”
Brent Woods / guitar / “Jambi”
Richie Faulkner / guitar / “Jambi”
Pat Mastelotto / drums / “Chocolate Chip Trip/Drum Duel”
C15. Why does Maynard wear costumes?
When asked about it during an interview with Revolver, he explained, “Well, it’s a performance — you want them to talk. That’s what you’re there for, right? You’re there to entertain and you’re there to inspire, so of course they’re gonna talk about the clown. The clown is there for you to talk about. If it inspires you in a good or a bad way, that’s not really up to me. But it helps to put on your clown nose and your floppy shoes and go out … It allows me to let the clown be there, but it allows me, behind the clown, to focus on the music and to make sure we’re delivering those emotional landscapes the best we can each night.” (J Bennet; Revolver; 19 August 2019)
C16. I heard that Adam used to work on movies?
Adam used to work in the Special Effects department for Stan Winston Studios. He had worked on Jurassic Park, Batman Returns, and Terminator 2: Judgement Day, just to name a few. Go to https://imdb.com to see his entire filmography credits.
C17. Is it true that Maynard used to work in a pet store?
Yes. Check out his book, A Perfect Union of Contrary Things to see what he had to say about it.
C18. I heard that TOOL was into the occult?
This question could probably use a FAQ by itself. But, in a nutshell, yes.
C19. And what about conspiracy theories?
They are undoubtedly amused by some of them, but as to whether or not any of them truly believe any, we may never know for sure as they haven’t said one way or another.
C20. What’s this lawsuit I heard about?
In late 1997, their then-label, Volcano Records, filed suit against the band, claiming they had violated their contract by seeking and entertaining offers from other labels. TOOL filed a countersuit against Volcano, stating that the label had failed to exercise a renewal option in their contract, and because of this they were free look elsewhere. The apparent deadlock lasted for over a year, until both parties agreed to terms, which included a new three-record deal.
In 2000, the band fired manager Ted Gardner, who ran Larrikin Management, who also managed Jane’s Addiction. He filed suit against the band, essentially claiming they owed him money. According to court documents, the case was thrown out because TOOL, the respondent in this case, had “no enforceable rights” under the contract due to the statute of limitations. In other words, if they did owe Mr. Gardner money, he sued them too late.
On 5 September 2007, an insurance company the band hired to protect them from frivolous lawsuits filed suit over “technicalities.” This ended up being a “multi-level” lawsuit. According to Rolling Stone, one of Adam’s friends, presumably Chet Zar, who did some artwork for the Ænima LP, sued the band after claiming they did not give him credit for artwork he created for their 10,000 Days LP. Following this, the band hired said insurance company to defend them against such frivolous lawsuits. Confused yet? The band ended up filing a counter-suit to, again, defend themselves. In the end, TOOL ended up winning over everything in this complicated case.
**C21. So, why did Paul leave the band?
In Paul’s own words: “I wish it had been a better vehicle for me to create in, but it just wasn’t. Their creative process is excruciating and tedious, and I guess I never felt the desire to play a riff 500 times before I can confirm that it’s good; that’s why it takes them eight years to write an album.
I always wanted to do other things, and it felt like I was too much in a box with that band. They’re set up where the bass player does the bass part and the guitar player does the guitar part and so on. I couldn’t be stuck in that paradigm– it’s too stifling. I’m not just a bass player; I’m a creator, I wanted to have a bigger role, and it just wasn’t happening in that situation. In the end, I knew leaving was the right decision.” (Guitar World, Jon D’Aria, 8 January 2020)