They're a prog-metal band that's not missing the point. They don't try to make a song fit a plan. It's not a task. It's not equations. It's not a miracle of symmetry.
"Sometimes you do tend to start at one point and end up somewhere completely different. And sometimes you end up completely scrapping that, and go back. I find when we go back and try from the same point each time, it almost has the same consequences, if it doesn't work it doesn't work. I think it's more the case that we keep going until we end up in this completely different place. Then you don't even need to go look back. It's almost obligatory that you have to be completely selfless about it. And allow everyone else to take your idea and tear it apart. And experiment with that, and the end result is normally you do end up with something you never thought existed. But your idea that you were so precious about actually became something better than you could hope."
They understand how important contrast is, in their albums, in their songs, and in their life. Justin sails. Adam animates. Danny loves basketball. Maynard grows grapes, shows up in dumb comedies, and is in a pop band. You wouldn't catch any other prog singers dead in a pop band.
"Once we finished our last tour, we went our separate ways. Obviously getting out of each other's hair for a year. We did other things. Played with other people, travel. I learned how to sail, went on a few trips. The personal interactions with everything you do is probably the most influential thing in your music."
They write albums, not songs.
"You know, we'd like you to download the entire album and the artwork, and somehow make that work so that somehow you are presenting what you want to present in the right way, instead of kids picking and choosing bits of the album and missing the point of why it's all been put together. We'll have to deal with that content, but we aren't just going to dive in and do it the way everyone else is doing it, we want it to be right for us, then it will be worthwhile doing."
They don't care if you get it. You can't talk someone into liking tool. You can only listen them into it. It's like a test: if they're a cool enough person, they will like tool.
They have a sense of humor. For example: who would win in a fight to the death between a silverback gorilla and a kodak grizzly bear? "Silverback Gorilla. Yeah!"
They have amazing lyrics. Most songs you hear on the radio, you dread to learn the lyrics. You spend your whole life being disappointed by lyrics. In tool, the lyrics make the songs better.
"We start adapting, once we start to hear the lyrics as well, there'll be little highlights in little areas, whether you change what you're doing just to accent what he's added to it. This album is, the writing is, much more involved with all four of us there most of the time. Lateralus is more the case that we did a bunch of music then Maynard came in and added his thing on top of that. This one is a little more integrated this time. It sounds better to me. It sounds like everything communicating with each other."
They're like the Rumplestiltskin of Badass. They weave prog-metal nonsense into badassity.
They spend a long time writing their songs, just like every other prog band in their class, but for different reasons. They take themselves to an emotional place, and take you there with them. They take exactly what you feel, and make poetry out of it. And it's not just the lyrics. The musical parts are like a symphony. Even if you don't know what he's singing, and don't have the musical ear to distinguish between the four completely different pieces of music they're playing at the same time, it still hits you like your life just changed.
"So it started out that way, it was really complicated, it got really complicated, we spent months like, turn again try here, get the old blackboard out. You know trying to figure it out; we got stuck, to be honest in the middle of it. We put it aside and working on something else, then one day someone had a clue and we tried it and it worked and we found we were nearly at the end of it. It was a pretty, that was a hard one to pull off, but it came out really good."