I am still having trouble believing that this actually happened – and that I was completely oblivious to the fact that such a person even exists! I guess that I shouldn’t have been – knowing about the others. But, they are necessary. With me, it’s not necessary!
Okay, let me explain a few things: For the past few days I have been under the weather. Some call it scriptophobia, while others call it somatization. Whatever the case, I was going to have to delay the OCTOBER TOOL NEWSLETTER for a couple of days. Imagine my shock then, when I turned on my computer, went directly to the ToolArmy website, and the October newsletter appeared! WTF! At first I thought that it must be from last October. Once I began reading it, I thought that it must have been written by Kat (Popovic), knowing that she still has access to the Admin controls. But, as I continued to read, it became obvious that someone was attempting to copy my style (and the subject matter of previous newsletters). Finally, I thought – Fuck, had Spartley hacked us, hoping to reveal certain information? No, that wouldn’t be possible…
After trying to figure it out, I made a few phone calls. Did some serious digging. Finally the band’s manager told me that it must have been written by my… DECOY-DOUBLE. WTF! I have a decoy? Why in the hell would I need a decoy, and why didn’t anyone inform me about him? Soon a photo arrived in my mail, and the resemblance was uncanny! (Looks like the decoy might dye his hair, though.)
Once I calmed down a bit, I read the newsletter again. I had to admit that the person did a fairly good job at imitating me (although the piece was a trifle overwritten – SYNTAX COUNTS!, and could have used a few more superfluous comas). HOWEVER, as for certain things that were claimed by the decoy… if anyone wants to believe that there is a loft in Kansas that the band uses to work on new material (with the loft in Hollywood serving as a decoy), and that the vintage Pepsi machine was taken there – well be my guest! Personally, I find the very idea to be ludicrous – about as crazy as those Rasberry ants he spoke of - and something that I would NEVER have written, myself. Oh, by the way – how did the Crazy Ants manage to survive the journey from Serpo back to the earth inside an electric IBM typewriter? Also, “THE PROBLEM ATE.” Nice try, fellow!
To be fair to my doppelganger, however, seeing that it is the HALLOWEEN EDITION NEWSLETTER, the contents should reflect the spirit of the occasion. Therefore, I forgive you, my unnecessary friend… Now that the cats out of the bag, and that it’s ALREADY NOVEMBER 1st, let’s get to the November newsletter proper… before the decoy-double jumps in… Jeez!
Ever since MY September newsletter about positive thoughts verses negative attitudes, I have received hundreds of e-mail from Tool fans wanting to support their favorite band. Feeling another bout of scriptophoba (or, is it somatization?) coming on, I thought that I would share a few examples of this in a month where some offer thanksgiving.
BUT, FIRST THIS E-MAIL:
“Blair, enough with the Tool news! For the next newsletter, given those pesky wet months are upon us, can you please detail your umbrella of choice and the how you came upon it? I don't want to get wet, Blair!”
I reside in Las Vegas where it doesn’t rain much, and when it does, no umbrella in the multiverse is going to help you. Not sure what this has to do about projecting positive energy and hoping for a clown free New Zealand, but I sense that you’re my kind of person.
“I tried to email email@example.com,but it bounced. I hope that you would be kind
enough to pass on my message to the members of Tool. I can only imagine that you and
they are inundated with email, but I'll give it a shot! Thank you either way. Gentlemen, In the hope that this is actually read Danny, Justin, Adam, or Maynard: I am more optimistic about the possibility of you releasing a new Tool album than ever. I have read the recent blog post from Blair that mentions negativity, and I just wanted to give you a little positivity. Hopefully, you have gotten more positive vibes than negative, overall.
I consider myself to be a very big fan, but likely not the biggest or most well
informed. I don't know all of your biographical information, likes, or turn-ons, but
I have watched and listened to most of your bootlegged content and I've also
purchased every album from you (some more than once and in different formats). I
have listened to your amazing art since 1993 (I discovered you a little late) and
have seen you perform 3 times in Baltimore, Corpus Christi, and San Antonio.
I just want you to know that your music is so important to me. It's intelligent,
moving, and thought provoking. You are a 4 person symphony. I have shared your music with my son, who's now 13, since he was an infant and I am excited about the possibility to take him to see you play live. I missed the chance to see you last January because of a work trip, and I had worried that it would have been the last chance. Until recently.
Your music has let me channel all of my emotions at one time or another. I truly
appreciate every beautiful note and each grating sound, with few exceptions. LAMC
and Faaip de Oiad give me a headache at full volume, but isn't that the point?
I'm really resisting the urge to be clever, and just want to be sincere when I say
that that I'm likely in the quiet majority of your fans who haven't given up hope
that you will continue to make new music and who aren't pissed off because you have
taken the time since 10,000 Days.
Because of you, I discovered Bill Hicks, Kyuss, The Melvins, Feersum Enjin (Paul
contributed good things musically during his tenure), and many other acts. I listen
to most of your associated bands. I really like them, but there is no band that is
as good a salve as Tool.
Absence sometimes does make a the heart grow fonder, and I hope you can shut out the
negativity from the web. I'm sure we could be getting trolled, but maybe the
feelings expressed in Blair's post are sincere. That's why I feel the need to write
my first fan letter in my 42 years of life.
I question my actions and evaluate them for hypocrisy and goodness better when I
listen to your music. I wish you all the best in your lives, and thank you again for your amazing music!" – Chris
“I just wanted to tell you guys something. You guys reach me on a higher plain. I am
embarrassed to say that I just started listening to you about this time last year. Since then I have lost about 200 pounds of fat from my body, and gained muscle like crazy, full on paleo diet, all that. I got to see you guys in Tulsa when you came around (the riot gear was so cool), and that show just kicked in my newfound positive lifestyle even more. I don't know what I'm trying to say, but you guys helped me find something incredible that was inside me just by listening to your tunes, hearing your words. They just make me think. You guys are great though - see you in Little Rock. Thanks Exciting news Blair.”
“Clowns have arrived where I live. Christchurch, New Zealand."
Do you mean the ones with multicolored wigs, painted faces and menacing smiles that toss Kiwi gut-bombs at small children? Don’t worry; I’m working on it… Right after I deal with the large Huntsman.
“Not sure if you even read these messages or not, but just wanted to reassure you
that there are those of us that appreciate the consistent monthly updates we get
from you. Just hearing the small tid bits of information about what's going on in
the lives of some of our favorite musicians is exciting and worth tuning in for
every month. The fans all know how much the band enjoys their privacy, so getting
information about their adventures (even outside of recording or news about the
album) is nice. It's sad that so many people react the way they do about some of the
news and updates, but I try not to pay attention to all the whining, and I know many
fellow fans feel the same. Opiate came out when I was in diapers and is a more
relevant album than ever to me along with all the other releases.
I can only imagine the lasting impact the next album will have whenever it is that it's released. I'm grateful that my favorite band takes the time to make music they love when they feel the creative inspiration, and don't release material for the sake of catering to
fans. It's what we all love, and the reason we keep coming back for more. Some of us
just have to realize that the reason for the delay is the reason we still want more. Hope this message resonates on some level. Looking forward to more newsletters and hope that the silent majority is heard.”
“So ironic. We have this trashy little neighborhood around the bend where not much
good happens, but randomly a "cairn", or stack of stones appeared one day until
someone knocked it down. The creators even put a sign out reading "don't touch" and
the hoodlums still knocked it down. Stand tall and someone will always be waiting to
knock you down I guess. Thanks for the update and real talk, but really I heard the
new box set polka compilation by Tool is coming soon. So excited The only thing that I, as a fan, can do is to say "thank you" for all your work. I could say it louder (THANK YOU), but that is not the point.”
“You guys have still a huge amount of people supporting you, don't let those haters
and negative-thinking bigots take a relevant place and get more attention among the rest of us. There is no point in "demanding" a new album, how dare they...? You are the artist, so you do it whenever the fuck you want to and whenever you think is good enough for you. As a patient, well adjusted, generally agreeable and positive Tool fan, I sometimes worry that I'm in the minority. All I seem to read about online are cranky, entitled trolls. As Tool's "front line", you probably get the brunt of them. No need for a reply, but picking up on the theme of your last newsletter, I thought I would take the time to say that I still dig the site, I still love your weird newsletters, and I'm happy to wait as long as it takes for the band to write the album they want to. Keep it up. Take your time. Blair and Co.”
The check is in the mail, my friend.
“I just wanted to drop a line and say 'thank you' for putting into print what has been on my mind every time I see a Tool-related post. I, too, watch and anticipate the new music, and this excitement is only preempted by the enduring negativity of some "fans." I know that the band is intent on delivering a musical experience, and not a product. Stay positive, and know there is a silent majority, those who are not douche bags, waiting patiently and positively for what is to come!”
“Dear Blair, Thank you for making "positive thoughts" the focus of the September newsletter. We all need to be reminded of the power that lies in a positive mindset. As I write this I'm prepping for a 4-week hospital stay at University of Chicago beginning this Wednesday. I'll be receiving an allogeneic stem cell transplant to put my non-Hodgkins Lymphoma in remission for good. (I've been struggling with it for 17 years...since I was 20). I'll receive high-dose chemo for five days, which will effectively wipe out my entire immune system. Then, the stem cells from a healthy 28-year old European will be infused and, hopefully, will multiply and create a new, cancer-free environment in my body.
I whole-heartedly believe that negativity/bad juju causes so many of the ailments that are far more common in Western civilization. My type of cancer cannot be screened for and there are no preventative measures to be taken to avoid it. It just sort of shows up. There is a significantly high mortality rate with this procedure. So, minimizing my own fear and negativity will be hard but necessary to a successful transplant.
That being said, both negativity and positivity are contagious. So, thank you again for asking for overall positive thoughts from your readers. I hope your words act as a butterfly effect and make everyone think twice before using negativity as a crutch. In closing, thank you for all you do. Brian”
Hopefully this puts things into perspective.
“Is there any info that we can get about the new album other than "It's Coming". Doyou have a time frame that we could expect? Because it's been "Coming" for 10 years."
Sometime before our parent star runs out of fuel, I would imagine. No, I’m just kidding - much sooner than that!
“This most likely won't be read and/or answered, but here I go. First of all, nice text dude! Changed a lot my perception (and hype) on the new album. As a new (I'm aware of their existance for only 2 years) and distant (I livein Brazil) Tool fan, that kind of communication helps a lot. Dealing with a band that has a different way to treat their fans, I find myself with two point of views (some kind of cognitive dissonance): On one side, I understand (and support) their discretion, to keep their lives theirs, so they can work at their own pace and true to their emotions, not outside stress. On the other side, my greatest wish is that they played in Brazil at least once. I don't know if they have here a huge fan base (if they have, is hidden, since most of my friends have never heard of Tool). Maybe a small show (like the early years of Tool)? You see, on one side I understand them, and on the other I find myself begging to my selfish desire become true. Just wanted to express myself in some way, guess this will have to do it.”
Of course it will be read.
“Thanks, peace and light. the astrophysical geospace one encounters is free of right angles. who of the abiding realm eating fiber one with honey and soymilk
once was visited by a hyperdimensional realspace violin playing cherubim whilst the
lifebreath became earthsmoke as the being suffered the tremendous death negating the intake of breath upon the visit. the wrath of his majesty was realized upon awakening from the visit. the vow has been kept not to ascertain the depressants or the earthsmokes lest his wrathfulness visit me again. grieving mother stood weeping as the sword passed through.”
“20 years since I first heard Tool! Ænima went in to my stereo...still there… Patiently waiting for their next MASTERPIECE!...In the meanwhile just enjoying life. Sending positivity your way;)
Regards, Rune (the lucky guy from Norway;)) I'm sure we all know the four guys will take the time they need to create their masterpiece! I know it will be well worth the wait!! In the meanwhile lets just enjoy....well...LIFE..:)”
Rune was one of the Opiate “Golden Ticket” winners. Even so, he still has a positive attitude!