"Making better Scrabble players since June, 2006"
Here's an assortment of TOOL-related email questions that I've attempted to answer:
SUBJECT: VICARIOUS MUSIC VIDEO:
Q: "Greetings from the Northlands. I heard talk somewhere on the Internet of the "Vicarious" video being worked on by Sir Jones. However, since the second single "The Pot" is already getting airplay, I was wondering if the video will still be birthed?"
A: Yes, it is nearly finished (and, in fact, might be wrapped as I type this). As soon as I receive any information (stuff that the band wants mentioned, that is) I'll post it in the news section on the sites.
SUBJECT: CONCERING 10,000 DAYS AND NEWSLETTERS
Q: "In one Newsletter a while back you talked about the band being in the recording studio working late one night and told us about how Adam didn't want to quit for the night until they had finished the song they were currently working on because it was in his opinion one of the best songs they've ever wrote. I was wondering which song that was. I can only guess that it was Rosetta Stoned but I don't know for sure and was just curious as to the song he thought was one of their best."
A: It was "Wings For Marie" and "10,000 Days (Wings Pt. 2)" which at the time, I believe, had the tentative (working) title of "Lost Keys" without the "Blame Hofmann" part. The keys that were lost in this instance were Justin's car keys, which he had misplaced at the rehearsal space one day as they were writing and arranging the lengthy piece.
SUBJECT: DOCTOR WATSON, I PRESUME
Q: "Who does the voice of Doctor Watson and who's the nurse on Lost Keys (Blame Hofmann)?"
A: All I can tell you is that the dialogue is not from a film clip as many have claimed, and that the two people doing the voice over are well known to readers of this site.
SUBJECT: POMEGRANATE FILLED SKULL
Q: "I couldn't help but notice in the November, 2004 TOOLARMY Newsletter, a picture that looked very familiar. A picture of a brass (?) skull filled with what looked like squashed pomegranate, next to a picture of your book, Ijynx. I immediately though of the skull that Danny is taking the lid off of in his picture from the '10,000 Days' packaging. I was just wondering if it is the same skull, or just a replica of some kind. And what is the significance of the skull? Who does it belong to? What would be the easiest way to describe exactly what is coming out of the skull in Danny's CD Picture?"
A: It is the same real human skull in the photo of my lengthy article on www.dannycarey.org entitled "Feasting with the King's Shadow: Towards a solution in the Mystery of Berenger Sauniere and Rennes-le-Chateau." It is actually a ritualistic implement called a kapala - being a human skull-cup (also known as a jewel bowl) that is used in left hand path magickal workings by the more radical (i.e. more initiated) tantric sects such as the Kapalikas and Aghori. As for the precise nature of these tantric/alchemical procedures, I'd rather not comment at this point except to say that, aside from using the kapala from which to ingest the elusive alchemical "ruby elixir", some of these adepts have been known to beg for food with bowls made from the cranium of human skulls, a hint, perhaps, to the Jewel of Sacred Cannibalism also known as "The Residuum of Paradise", "The Dream of the Dreamless", and "The Glitter of the Sleepers." (NOTE: For more info, see "Ijynx.") As for the last question, the easiest way to describe what is coming out of the skull would be to say that it's a visual effect created by a camera shooting technique using a light painting device such as a common flashlight beam pointed in an artistic manner by someone (maybe Adam Jones in this case) not seen in the photo. Although that would be the easiest way to describe it, it's not what happened. Quite obviously, what we're dealing with here is a major paranormal event of some kind, and most likely the result of a specific energy released from the ritual object (the kapala). I don't know what else to say except that Doctor Phil looks a lot like Mister Potato Head.
SUBJECT: CUBA TRIP
Q: "Blair, you mentioned on your trip to Cuba that Adam had played one of the new Tool songs on an acoustic while you guys were hanging out one night. Do you remember which song it was? Just curious."
A: I'm tempted to say "Viginti Tres", but it was, of course, "Vicarious." Adam was playing it for a Cuban guitarist on the porch of a Casa Particular where members of the Unitarian Church were partying... I mean working with some Cuban friends. (NOTE: If anyone has the entire March 2004 newsletter, please send me an email)
SUBJECT: SONG SELECTION
Q: "Tool hasn't yet performed "Wings For Marie" or "10,000 Days (Wings Pt. 2)" on their tour. Will they work them into their sets eventually?"
A: My guess would be yes. Probably once they're played on the radio as the band's third single off the new CD.
Q: "I'm not looking for some mind shattering revelation here, I'm just looking for a yes or No answer, so here goes. I was watching Pee Wee playhouses on cartoon networks adult swim, and realized the Genie in the box is named Jambi. JAMBI? Jambi? So that's where we get the title Jambi? Hilarious. "
SUBJECT: 3:40 OF JAMBI
Q: "On listening to Jambi, I was perplexed with the counting of the (sort of) transitional part of the song that occurs at 3:40. After mapping out the rhythm and trying to make sense of it, I noticed that it writes out '3, 2, 1' twice in Morse code. Is this just a coincidence, or a sweet find by me?"
A: The whole "Morse code" thing before the album was released was a certain time signature used in "Jambi." I hope this helps.
SUBJECT: JAMBI, LAMBIC METER
Q: "So, it seems that at least the first verse of the song is in Iambic meter. It is used almost exactly a typical Finnish Iambic meter:
The first verse seems to follow this formula, except all of the lines end with an unstressed syllable and are equal in length. So, the funny side of the thing is that in Finnish Iamb is called "jambi". How intentional is this?"
A: Finally! Very intentional.
Q: "Ok, so as I was searching through the 10,000 Days booklet I noticed that in the Flipbook 3D picture of Maynard, there so happens to be not one, but 2 Tele's on his desk. Is there some sort of hidden reason for this?"
A: No hidden reason. One of them is a prop with the other being MJK's home phone which he brought to the photo shoot so as not to miss any important calls. Honestly, I would have thought that he had a cell phone by now, maybe an orichalcum razor or something, but I guess not.
Q: "And When Combining Wings, and Viginti Tres, their time combined matches that of 10,000 Days (Wings PT. 2), is there any particular reason for this?"
A: It's either just a coincidence or the clue to a super 'hidden' track.
Q: "I've always wondered where Danny uses his gong. At around 6:55 during "Jambi", is that a gong hit transitioning into the next part are have my ears deceived me."
A: And can a gong ever be too loud?
SUBJECT: DRUMS AND THE GOLDEN RATIO
Q: "In an interview with Modern Drummer, Danny credits you with helping him set up his kit using things like the golden section. I'm curious to get a better idea of the specific ways in which you applied this formula to Danny's kit. Any advice you can offer on the subject of kit set-ups would be greatly appreciated."
A: That was a long time ago (February 97 issue). Sorry, but due to the ravages of age and insobriety, I really don't remember ($$$$). Besides the golden section, I think it had something to do with Danny's physical proportions. He's 6'5'', so it might have involved the 'harmony' of the secret union of the pentagram and hexagram. What ever it was ($$$$), I'm certain Danny would have been just as great of a drummer without it...
SUBJECT: FLOWERS IN 10,000 DAYS PHOTO OF DANNY
Q: "What kind of flowers are those in the photo of Danny?"
A: Orchids. And because I know that your next question is going to be: "What did the members of the band have for lunch during the photo shoot?", I'll tell you that it was 60 French Dip sandwiches from "Philippe's Ð the Original (who is believed to have accidentally invented the French Dip sandwich here in L.A.). Just so you know, I wanted to go to "The Dip" but Kevin Willis thought otherwise and sent a runner to the place near Union Station. Pretty good except that someone almost got Cheetos dust on one of my Crowley first editions that were used as props. And NO, it wasn't Saddam.
SUBJECT: EVIL JOE BARRESI
Q: "So why is the engineer of 10,000 Days "Evil Joe Barresi?"
A: I believe that it might have something to do with a copy of a prank phone call that was played for the band members. This involves a kid from the suburbs who put an ad in the local paper looking for a guitarist for his black metal band, (black as in dark and evil) who got more than he bargained for with one prospective guitarist who called him about the "leads." I thought I might have heard parts of this at CoacHELLa, but I could be mistaken (was that the real devil?)
SUBJECT: DANNY'S SHIRT
Q: "Where did Danny get that awesome shirt in the Modern Drummer article?"
A: He probably got it from the laundry hamper. I'm only kidding. He got it from his shiny Miele dryer.
SUBJECT: NEGLECTED ALBUM
Q: "Hi, my name is David. I understand that Tool doesn't like to release the lyrics to their albums immediately upon release because they want listeners to feel the album before they analyze it, but '10,000 Days' seems to be getting totally neglected. It been months and there are no audio samplers and no lyrics, it's as if the album doesn't exist. My patience is wearing extremely thin because I don't even know if I like the album because I don't know the lyrics. You should get a copy of those from the band and post it in the lyrics section, because I really want to know if the album other than Vicarious, Jambi, and The Pot is any good. And while I'm on the topic of lyrics, how long has Lateralus been out? (That's rhetorical) Finish the lyrics for 'Reflection' already. They are easy to understand, but how lazy do you have to be to not type in those few words. Very irritating. That's all my ranting for now, but get those lyrics up buddy."
A: I know exactly what you mean, especially with instrumentals which I have no way of knowing if I like the piece or not. The few times I wrote the particular bands that composed the music, suggesting that they add lyrics and vocals so I could decide if I liked the stuff, I never received so much as a single reply! But to answer your question, I didn't add it to the album section because I though it was just a decoy record. I now know that it is not, so I'll see what I can do. As for the lyrics to "Reflection", if they're so "easy to understand", remind me why you need them posted?
Photos by Duncan Blake