ETA May 2012
What they’re saying:
It’s been six long years since Tool released the Grammy Award-winning 10,000 Days, which means proggers, grungers and metallers all around the world are currently dribbling over the prospect of a new record approaching from the famously-reclusive quartet. Which is why there was plenty of surprise back in May 2011 when a bizarre message appeared on Tool’s website, that happened to contain at least one piece of un-cryptic information:
“All right, moving forward. No matter how many new TOOL tunes are currently complete, I will personally guarantee that the new CD will be released on MAY 22, 2012 (or MAY 15, 2012)”
But we know how much Tool just love messing with us, so it was no surprise that when Loudwire interviewed frontman Maynard James Keenan regarding his Puscifer side-project later in October, he was elusive as ever regarding his main band:
“I’m allowing them their space to do what they do, so we’re still in that mode. Even if they told me how close they are to being done, I couldn’t tell you because if I say 60 percent people will start counting down. When it’s done everyone will know. But I haven’t done anything yet. They write forever and then we go in and knock it all out. We’re writing. We’re writing vocals. But nothing’s solid. With Puscifer, there’s ideas and then we’ll record stuff. Then we’ll go back and change stuff and fix stuff and record new stuff before we finally put it all together. But with Tool, we practice jams, but there’s no actual recording going on until it’s time to record.”
Listen to Tool’s set at last year’s Big Day Out in Perth:
Thrash Hits verdict:
We bumped into Adam Jones, Tool’s guitarist, in a Mexican restaurant once. No matter how many burritos we tried to bribe him with, he wouldn’t tell us anything about the new Tool album. That’s how good Tool are at keeping secrets about their music – and this new record appears to be no exception. We’re taking this as a good sign though.
Maynard James Keenan is another impenetrable enigma as far as predicting Tool’s plans go. After Tool’s North American Winter Tour, he’s heading out with Puscifer from February onwards. After that, he’s said it’s his intention to go back to making (and drinking) his own Caduceus wine – how much time does that leave to focus on recording? Not much. Then again, Tool have always been careful to allow their music to come out naturally, which basically means they won’t be in a rush to get this one out. If any band understand the importance of quality over quantity, then it’s Tool. 10,000 Days may not have met the critical acclaim of its predecessor, Lateralus, but it was still better than pretty much anything else released that year. If Tool finally do end up releasing the follow-up in 2012, you can bet your bottom-dollar that it will be dominating the end of year shortlists.
Guitar solo potential: 2/6
We had Ruth Booth dig around to find out what Tool have been up to rather than releasing a new album. You can read all of her findings here.