MARCH 2015, E.V.

In an exclusive interview granted by Adam to Yahoo Music this month, we learned how a major lawsuit had for years been negatively affecting the creative process when it came to writing material for the band’s next record. With the litigation finally settled and these distractions now behind them, it would appear that things are back on track. We also found out recently that Maynard has been working on adding vocals to the new arrangements from a special section in the loft that was constructed for this very purpose. As welcome as this news is, as of late, there is even a bigger reason for optimism, especially when it comes to getting one’s creative juices flowing. This something new and exciting in the world of Tool comes as a great relief to anyone connected with the band, and I anticipate it will enable things to proceed without further hindrance.

When I first saw this a week ago, I just stood there dumbfounded, trying to imagine what those who first saw it all those years ago must have thought. For them, the mere sight of such a thing must have resulted in sheer confusion – a kind of pathetic bewilderment as they struggled for some rational explanation. Here they were, high-ranking military officers, the country’s greatest scientists, and top government officials – the privileged few – gathered in some secret installation where it had been spirited away to as part of an even greater technological marvel. And now here it was at the Tool loft, having been recently added as part of an on-going face-lift.

Well, not actually IT, but an almost identical copy of IT that was reverse engineered with all its compact, streamlined features and advanced capabilities until some day when its fantastic realism could be shared with an unsuspecting public. Where there had previously been (for over 25 years, no less) a decrepit, rust-tinged commode in a tiny bathroom, whose dingy walls were covered with piss-bespattered platinum record award plaques, now appeared in all its undefiled magnificence an immaculate, defectiveless reminder of human shortcomings. While examining the striking lineaments before me, a pleasing voice introduced itself as NUMI. With the illuminated panes of its futuristic contours shifting tranquilly through a spectrum of soft pastel colors, it was hard not to think about blasting a dookie…

As impressed (or is intimidated the correct word?) as I initially was by Kohler’s most advanced toilet with integrated variable Bidet, when its motion-activated cover silently lifted, beckoning me forward like some siren’s song, I was informed by a band member that this particular unit was actually a modified version of the standard K-3901-0 model (list price: $6,338.50). Besides the various stock features, including Bidet functionality (temperature and pressure control), integrated air dryer, select deodorizer, self-sanitizing fixtures (meaning no ass gaskets needed!), heated seat/foot warmer, multiple flush modes and wireless Bluetooth – all activated by touch screen presets on a state-of-the-art remote digital display – its complex instrumentations had been fine tuned to meet personal preferences. Among the custom features, it offered the band members the ability to hear music playbacks - in this case, recent Tool jam sessions - so that little if no time is wasted when it comes to writing/arranging sessions.

Not only that, but having been programmed with the entire Tool oeuvre, NUMI’s ARTifical intelligence circuitry even offers suggestions as to any new arrangement – changes which, of course, the band members can either accept or reject. In fact, this aspect of NUMI is still a touchy subject, as no one wants to become dependent on what is essentially a toilet when it comes to making decisions about a particular musical arrangement. Personally, when it comes to writing songs (country, hip-hop, and pop withstanding), I would still choose the data storage abilities of the human brain over any advanced computer algorithm.

Looking down at NUMI’s “choosy cheeks prefer” flawless design, I was further informed that the ambient colored lights were programmed by the band’s lighting director, Junior, and that this included certain visual effects displayed on its elongated piezo-porcelain bowl.

But there was even more. While the silent whirlpool of sewer pickles goes virtually unnoticed, NUMI can offer informed advice on investing in the stock market (following the latest trends), suggest what sports teams to bet on, give reviews of what’s currently playing on the Pacific Cinerama Dome widescreens, make reservations at your favorite bistro, engage in philosophical ponderings or just offer a sympathetic ear (again, features designed to save precious time).

“Can NUMI tell my fortune?” I jokingly asked. The quick reply was that it actually can by using a high-tech stool analyzer that gives vital feedback on a color-coded graph with regards to one’s digestive system. If you’ve been eating too many greasy Tommy’s burgers and not enough fresh leafy greens, it lets you know, along with things like nutrient absorption (without using a freakin’ popcicle stick and magnifying glass), and how your body is reacting to the foods that you’ve been consuming. Fluoroscopic examinations aside, the digestive tract analysis features are quite impressive. Say you ate spaghetti for dinner last night. NUMI can tell if it was BOA or a can of Chef Boyardee!

As if all this wasn’t amazing enough, I was told that NUMI is fluent in 12 different languages. When I asked (in all seriousness) if this included its native Zeta Reticulan tongue, it was hinted at that this ‘throne of the gods’ didn’t really come from some crash/retrieval in the southwest desert, but, rather, from a secret exchange program.

Along with the addition of the customized Kohler K-3901-0, further improvements were also made to the back room in the Tool Loft as part of a series of renovations. This included new shelves and countertops (is that birdseye maple!). However, one thing that was not touched was the vintage Pepsi cooler that rattled against the far wall while keeping beers properly chilled as it has been doing so for over a quarter of a century. As an enduring feature of the Loft, and the not-so-silent witness to every Tool song ever written, hopefully it shall never be replaced. But getting back to NUMI. With its comfort and cleansing features, along with personal preferences all controlled by the touch of a screen, for the members of Tool, it’s now time to take care of business…



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