JUNE, 2002 E.A.
CONTROVERSY OVER LATERALUS NOMINATION FOR TEC AWARD
It seems that even the recent nomination of Tool's 'Lateralus' for a TEC (Technical Excellence & Creativity) award has not gone without its little share of controversy. According to my source (an insider at 'Mix' Magazine which will present the 18th annual award for excellence in audio this October), there was initially some hesitation by at least one member of the 'foundation' for what he described as a subliminal message involving "the vilest kind of ceremony that was ingeniously encoded on the CD." Supposedly this barely audible message, which was detected by certain methods known to recording engineers, refers to a type of ritual cannibalism that some of the band's more occult-oriented fans believe to be the underlying theme of Lateralus. (NOTE: These same people also believe that the most carefully-guarded secret of this rite, including the correct method of dissection, is openly displayed for those with eyes to see in the Alex Grey artwork for the CD. Similarly, they point to certain tee-shirt designs put out by the band; those with incriminating names like, 'Bone-Layer', 'Skinless', and 'Nerve Endings' as further proof of this macabre banquet.) The bone of contention was that the concealed message went far beyond the average "Hail to Satan" backward-masking on photograph records that caused a minor hysteria (and subsequent witch-hunt involving lawsuits) decades ago and was believed (by Xtian fundamentalists who propagated the rumors) to be responsible for everything from teen suicides to tearing the tags off of new mattresses. Even so, as is usually the case in the entertainment industry, many of those bands targeted as part of the satanic plot exploited the negative publicity for their own personal gain (such as Led Zepplin with their song 'Stairway to Heaven').
Although rumors of subliminal messages on Lateralus have been afloat on the Net for some time, the basis for such a dreadful thing came from an article that I wrote on Tool's 'Dissectional' site over a year ago about a rite involving magical cannibalism. Ever since then the 'buzz' has been circulating among the Tool faithful and will probably continue to do so, especially with the recent publication of an interview in 'Dagobert's Revenge' magazine (www.dagobertsrevenge.com) in which Danny Carey is quoted as saying " If people want to know something about the album title they should contemplate possible correlation's between the thalamus (Gr. for chamber) and the femur."
Despite this cryptic allusion to some kind of major arcanum, I can state with absolute certainty that there are no such intentional subliminal messages (with regards to magical cannibalism) on Lateralus. However, in light of the recent controversy, I can, perhaps, give you the skinny (pun intended) on the occult ceremony as I understand it to be.
Far from a gory 'Night of the Living Dead' type of feast, the rite itself is of an alchemical nature * involving certain residues of hormonal cascades and/or mysterious substances similar in composition to the Orbitally Rearranged Monatomic Elements (ORMEs) proposed several years ago by David Hudson. The first involves 'The Prismatic or Golden Tear of the Eye of Horus' (i.e. special secretions from the pineal-pituitary hypothalamic complex as illustrated by Tool's 'burning eye' design), with the latter having to do with noble metals (alchemically altered) that have mined themselves into the skull and bone structure of certain individuals. With this in mind, consider the legendary mines of King Solomon. As you can see, both their secret location, and their rich deposits now take on a whole new meaning.
* This will be one of the subjects dealt with in a book that I am about to publish in a very limited run - that is if my proof-reader will get off of her exquisite (nay, manniferous) ass and send me back the corrected sheets. Three weeks and all I've been told is that I repeatedly spelled the word 'lavender' wrong. As it turned out, she was mistaken - I had spelled it correctly. Now I don't want you to think that this girl's best qualifications are those that fit well into a pair of jeans. The girl is smart enough, although on occasions, mainly little squabbles on the phone, she as the tendency to bring checkers to a chess match.
Symbolism of a deeply-esoteric nature has often been misunderstood by the uninitiated. For example, when Aleister Crowley claimed in 'Magick in Theory and Practice' that he sacrificed over two-thousand children of perfect innocence (150 a year between 1912-1928), many of his Victorian detractors took it quite literally. How these Brits could have any faith in Scotland Yard after 2,400 children were sacrificed by a single individual without an arrest or even a slap on the wrist is something I'll never understand! Obviously these people were totally ignorant of the Great Beast's erotomagical explorations. What is even more incredible is that even today there are numerous postings on the Internet by people who still think the purple priest actually sacrificed thousands of children, and that there are others out there who are now following in his footsteps. If you don't believe me, check out 'The Search for Sarah' for just one example of this almost unbelievable stupidity.
But rather than take my word for it, let's find out how many of you out there have put down the headphones after listening to the disc and suddenly found yourself with the urge to go desecrate Merovingian catacombs? Hmmm, about two of you. That's what I thought. First of all, if the underlying theme of Lateralus did involve such an esoteric rite, any hidden nuances* would be far more cryptic than some occult mutterings perceptible at a subliminal level. Why? Simply put, because there's not enough preserved bodies on the earth of this particular genetic strain to go around . These mummified remains of 'Le Serpent Rouge' are, and always have been, reserved for an elite priesthood.
* There is, however, a barely audible message on Tool's cover of Led Zepplin's 'No Quarter.'
So, now that we've dispelled the rumors of secret messages designed to sink into the subconscious minds of its listeners, I would like to congratulate those for whom it is a very prestigious honor just to be nominated for a TEC. Especially my friend David Bottrill. This almost makes up for all those fancy Spago lunches and expensive red wines he had delivered to the studio on the band's dime. Also, I just wanted to say to David that I guess that the gong wasn't too loud after all. I have a fond memory of sitting at the mixing console while David was working on a particular track for Lateralus. After an eternity of playbacks, Danny looked up at his beleaguered producer and said "the gong definitely needs to be louder." Noticing the annoyed look on David's face, I asked if a gong could ever be too loud? "Every gong since 1973 has been too loud" he mumbled as he pushed the faders up a notch. I just hope he doesn't lose the award because Danny wanted to out bash Carl Palmer. When the winner is announced we'll post it on the site, unless, of course, a CD other than Lateralus takes the honors.
L.A. POLICE OFFICER THREATENS TO KILL TOOL PRODUCER
One summer night a few years ago, four of us were seated at the bar in the Loft (Tool's rehearsal space) having a few beers while debating the pros and cons of gun control in America. Londoners David Bottrill and Justin were taking the anti-gun view while Mid-Westerners Danny and myself took the pro-gun stance. As we calmly and rationally discussed the issue, one of L.A.'s finest walked into the room and padded up silently to David who had his back to the officer. Sensing a presence, David was about turn around when the officer whipped out his piece and placed the barrel against the Tool producer's freshly-shaved head: "Open me a f***ing beer before a blow off your f***ing bald head!" the officer screamed. Seeing that David was visibly shaken, and knowing that the man in uniform was a good friend of Danny's and mine, we couldn't keep a straight face. Although our police officer friend was only joking, we knew that his actions had just lost our pro-gun argument. It really was no laughing matter though. There were only three beers left in the fridge (and as I mentioned, Danny, Justin, and I were there).
KYLIE TURNS DOWN TOOL BASSIST
While playing in London on the recent tour of Europe, Justin had a chance to attend a party that was thrown for pop diva Kylie Minogue. As I have been told the story, Justin asked the Aussie beauty for a dance, but was turned down due to something about her having on the wrong type of dress or something of that nature. Anyway, because of this minor rebuff, I cannot confirm nor deny the reality of her much-rumored bum-implants.
NEW TOOL CD IN JEOPARDY
Members of the band are seriously debating whether or not to record any new material in the future due to recent revelations concerning the close approach of a mysterious celestial object. The invader, which some maverick astronomers believe to be a brown dwarf (failed sun) and others the tenth planet of our solar system (ALA Sitchin's planet X which the ancient Sumerians called Nibiru), could be responsible for perturbations in the orbits of Uranus, Neptune as well as tipped over Pluto (and also puzzles regarding their moons, rings, etc.). It's existence and close approach to earth in 2003 e.a., if a reality, would have profound gravitational effects resulting in, among other things, a magnetic pole shift and/or possible earth-crust displacement. All this spells the prophesied "End Times" (and all just because someone was praying for a tidal wave). Although the band members all have underground shelters with adequate provisions to survive such a catastrophic event (for the richest bands of 2002 see 'Rolling Stone' magazine), without an audience to perform for there would be no motivation to record any new material. (NOTE: Please understand that I'm not saying Nibiru is coming. It is a bit suspicious, however, that observatories in many states are suddenly closed for "remodeling.")
* Or so I've gathered from recent construction projects going on around the clock on each band member's property. In addition to all the digging and pouring of concrete, I've also noticed that shipments of red wine are being trucked by moonlight to 'Arizona Bay', a further indication that someone is well aware that something heavy is about to go down. In case you're wondering, yes, bats have been dripping on my boxes of supplies hidden in an abandoned silver mine in Nevada for almost a year now.
ROMAN CHURCH BELIEVES ROBOT PRIESTS MAY BE THE ANSWER
I read this in a tabloid while being gouged by some boca choda for a six-pack of Corona at the local 7-11. Finally, I say, the Church is catching up with the times. First of all, most Catholic priests are already biological robots programmed to sell their unholy lies to the masses, so there would be little difference there. Second: Besides solving any sexual issues, other benefits would include not having to train new priests every time the ceiling of a church collapses, killing both priest and parishioners (more proof, in my opinion at least, in the existence of God).
MORE MIBS SPOTTED IN BURGER KING
As a way dealing with jet-lag after returning from Europe I would often go for walks along Ventura Boulevard. While on one such jaunt, while pursuing magazines at a news stand on Laurel Canyon I picked up a copy of the latest issue of UFO Magazine (which featured an article about the new MIB film). Imagine my surprise when in one of the photos, the Men In Black were eating in a Burger King! Another damned coincidence! Anyway, I promise to finish the real story behind 'Faaip De Oiad' very soon.
ALOKE DUTTA DEMANDS HIS OWN WEBSITE
That's right! Aloke has so much news now that he needed his own site. So go check it out at www.alokedutta.com. What next, Aloke, personalized license plates for your flying carpet? Maybe a shiny gold case for those Bengali bongos of yours?
THE PROBLEM WITH JONES
And finally, before I let Victor take center stage, a personal note. Seeing how for over two years now I have labored to bring you Tool-related news without ever thinking to write about things that interest me, I would like to share a little story with you. Recently, I lost something very special to me. This was a streak. You see, up until a week ago, I have never eaten a piece of pie. I'm talking about pies with baked fruit here, whether apple, pumpkin, or of the cherry variety - this has nothing to do with juvenile slang terminology. However, as I've been frequenting Jones' restaurant on Santa Monica lately, a temptress with a salon dye-job and lightning fast fork has forced me to take a bite of their famous apple pie. In fact, several bites. The heathen vegan's streak was over. Now all I have as my claim to fame is the fact that I've never seen an entire episode of Star Trek (this much to AJs horror). And when I say never, I'm talking about the original series in the 1960s as well as the current spin-offs. And NO ONE is going to get me to break this streak. But, getting back to the apple pie. To make things worse, when I later sought sanctuary in the Lodge (remember what Fred told Wilma about the Lodge), Danny and the boys were drinking a concoction that tasted exactly like apple pie. This was made with a Polish vodka called Zubrowka (not my favorite product of Poland) that is flavored with an extract of buffalo grass. On that night, how I longed for the good old days when we'd end up meetings by drinking a twelve pack before taking our potato canon (a hair-spray and flint affair)out into the parking lot where we'd launch spuds and blast out the windows of the neighboring building where Adam and his crew were shooting a new Tool video, just barely escaping the bucket of piss hurled from the upper floor in retaliation. Drinks that taste like apple pie. Maybe it's for the best that Nibiru is coming.