Novus Opiate Seclorum

Section E: “72826

Released 21 December 1991.

Track Listing:

Cold and Ugly


Part of Me

Crawl Away



E1. I’ve never heard of this release. What is it?

72826 is the very first demo that the band ever released.

E2. Great! How come I can’t find a copy?

That’s because it is extremely rare. There have never been any official numbers about how many they made, however it is estimated that somewhere around 1,500 copies were produced. The only way you could get it, at the time, was through the mail for $5, or at their live shows where the band themselves passed them out.

Confirmation! According to Richard Keenan, the world’s foremost TOOL collector (and band acquaintance), made a Facebook post about an original box that the demos came in from the manufacturer: “For many years there has been NO solid information out there as to how many DEMO tapes existed.. Through this FB page I met someone who worked at a Richman Brothers pressing plant about 7 years ago who worked there at the time of the production of this cassette and he told me 1500. There was 50 boxes ordered and there were 30 tapes in each box; 2 rows of 15 = 1500. 11 boxes went to each band member to give away to who they wanted too just to spread the word on the streets about them. They did eventually sell them in the snail mail for $5…” (Richard Keenan, Facebook post; 18 May 2020)

E3. I heard something about Johnny Depp being on it?

No, Mr. Depp is not on it. But, according to Maynard, he did give Mr. Depp the very first copy of it.

E4.  What is with the… logo?

It is a… tool. Get it?

E5. I heard something about a release called “Toolshed,” what’s up with that?

Apparently, when the band were discussing what they wanted to call themselves, and this demo, that was one of the suggestions.

E6. Okay, so where did “72826” come from?

On an old school phone, it spells out “SATAN”. But, the thing is, they didn’t even have that in mind when they recorded it. When they hired the Richman Brothers to record it for them, they needed a catalogue number for warehousing purposes, so Maynard came up with the now-infamous numbers. The rest, as they say, is history. (Richard Keenan, Facebook post; 18 May 2020)

Interesting side note: 72826 is the zip code for Blue Mountain, Arkansas.

E7. Hey! “Sober” is on here!

Yes, yes it is. You can think of it as an early “work in progress” version. 

E8. Okay, why is it on here but not on Opiate?

That was one of the very first songs Maynard wrote, dating back to his C.A.D. days. If you get on YouTube, you can find a video of it with him and his former band. 

As to why its on here, the band has said that when they signed a record contract, the label told them they needed some “heavier” songs, which is why they left it off Opiate.

E9. So, when did they record this demo?

It was recorded between 28 August and 5 September 1991 in TOOL’s rehearsal room. It was recorded by the band’s friend, and former Minor Threat bassist, Steve Hangsen using his Fostex 280 4-track and the band’s DAT recorder.