Tool Webmaster on New Album: ‘They Are Trying Their Hardest to Outdo Themselves’
While Tool remain hard at work on their long-awaited successor to 2006's 10,000 Days, fans are anxiously sitting by with clenched teeth ready for any update on the band's progress or, sometimes, lack of progress. Tool webmaster Blair McKenzie Blake has one of the closest ties with the progressive luminaries and has offered some insight on the new album by answering fan questions.
It is known Tool have had ideas in the works for quite some time now, but how close those songs are to completion remains a mystery. When asked how much new material he has heard, Blair responded, "Over the years I have mostly heard sections of what I believe will be the longest track on the album. Last spring, after Danny [Carey, drums] and Rynne’s wonderful baby shower, a few of us got to listen to parts of other arrangements in various stages of development. (Note: some of the time signatures are completely off the chart!) So, I would say that I’ve heard about 30 minutes of music altogether."
He goes on to state he could make a push to hear more, "but I would actually prefer to wait until the vocals are added because, for me, at least, that’s when everything really comes together. As I’ve said many times, the individual contributions of each band member is essential to creating the distinctive Tool sound. Therefore, it really doesn’t matter how much music I’ve heard thus far."
Another fan questioned the band's collective motivation considering the financial success of Tool's mini-tours and suggested they could just be coasting and riding the wave on their name alone. The webmaster shunned this notion, stating, "If it were just about money, it would be easy for Tool to crank out a mediocre album (that many fans would be happy with; some even considering it to be a great accomplishment!) and tour with it for years. Instead of just riding a wave, as you suggest, I would like to think that – even if they don’t have as much energy as they did when they were much younger (?) - they are trying their hardest to outdo themselves, wanting each new album to be better than the last one."
Citing examples of Tool's dedication to their craft, Blare continued, "If this wasn’t the case, it wouldn’t make sense for a couple of members to sit for hours in soul-crushing L.A. traffic four days a week in order to get to the loft where they work tirelessly writing/arranging new music. Why subject themselves to this – for years (plus having to listen to all the groaning) - unless they want their new album (which is the priority) to be the absolute best than it can possibly be?"
Earlier this year in March, frontman Maynard James Keenan stated in an interview with the Press Enterprise, “We’ve found a common ground. We just can’t seem to move forward," regarding the new Tool record. For now, keep waiting, Tool fans.
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