A to Z 2017: TOOL

This entry had been planned from the beginning, but last week when working on my Rage Against the Machine post, I decided to change from Trent Reznor to Tool. It's obvious how much I like Trent Reznor's work (being mentioned in Filter, How to Destroy Angels, and NIN) and he has had a flourishing solo career, but I'm hoping I can tackle some of that in different ways on the site.

Tool has four full-length albums, so I'll feature one song from each. "Sober" was the first single I remember hearing. I already loved their sound, but after seeing their music videos — as creepy/trippy as they may be — I liked them even more:

"Prison Sex" was another popular single from their debut album, Undertow. Have to restrict myself to four videos, though, so if you happen to like what you hear (and see) in these you may want to check that one out.

I was extremely excited for their next release, Aenima, which released in 1996. This is the CD I listened to the most, over and over again. I had a lot of trouble picking which song to feature from the album, since I like the whole thing, but in the end "Aenema" won:

There were a handful of songs I played more continuously than the others and "Aenema" was one of them. I remember singing along to this song and attempting to write down the lyrics for it and other tracks on the CD. I guess they decided to stop putting the lyrics in he CD jackets (but they did feature Bill Hicks in their bizarre art design). Suffice it to say, I didn't get all of them right, but I got pretty close!

Just listening to these are really making me wonder why I was never as hardcore with Tool beyond that point. There were so many great singles from this album alone — "Stinkfist", "Eulogy","Forty Six & Two". I've heard singles from their next two releases, but I know I never bought them, which is a shame.

Tool's third studio album, Lateralus, came out five years later and "Parabola" was one of its singles:

They definitely kept up with their interestingly odd videos throughout their career!

It was during the period around Lateralus's release that frontman, Maynard James Keenan branched out with a side project, A Perfect Circle, another band I love and almost featured in my "A" post. Maybe I just shifted to his alternate band instead of keeping up with Tool? However, Puscifer is another band of Maynard's that's been active since the mid-90's and one I like but am very less familiar with. I don't know, I don't know! All I do know is Maynard gets around? Okay, okay, I'm just a bit jealous of his voice.

Anyhow, Tool's fourth and final album, 10,000 Days, dropped in 2006 and churned out hit singles "The Pot" and "Vicarious". The latter was also featured on Guitar Hero World Tour and continued their visually stunning videos:

Much to the dismay of fans, the band went on hiatus after touring for 10,000 Days. They have, however, continued playing together for additional tours and/or events.

Tool, and Maynard especially, have been incredibly prominent in the music industry. Each of their albums have been commercially and critically successful. There have been rumors and conflicting reports about new material being produced. It's possible Maynard is back in the studio for a new album, so hopefully we are about to hear some new Tool! I'll make sure to keep up on the project this time...

Have you heard of Tool? If so, do you like their music? Do you have a favorite song/album? Have you ever seen them live? If so, how was the performance? Are you a fan of Maynard's other bands, A Perfect Circle and/or Puscifer? If new to Tool, what did you think about some of the music videos shared? Are they an artist you think you'd like to hear more of?