Danny Carey is the drummer for the progressive metal band Tool who formed in 1989. He also has an interest in the occult, and performs with geometric symbols on his drums. Carey's popularity among drummers and non-drummers stems from the diversity of his sound; his drum kit contains nearly thirty pieces, one of the largest drum kits in modern music.
Born as Daniel Edwin Carey, Danny grows up in a very typical, middle-class American house in Paola, Kansas. His father is a manager for a large insurance company. His mother is a school teacher.
Danny Carey has one older and one younger brother. Danny's earliest musical memory is when his father took him into the music library at the University of Kansas and played The Planets by Gustov Holst.
On his own webpages, Danny reveils:
"At the age of 10 I joined the school band and started taking private lessons on snare drum with Keith Murray. Bryan Ayers was my first drum set teacher I studied with 2 years later. They both had the illustrious reputations of being the best drummers in Paola Ks. Through junior high and into high school I continued private instruction with John Whitney to prepare for a college music education. During my senior year in high school, I also studied jazz with Allen Carter who was a student of Joe Morello."
All the practising pays out: Danny receives a scholarship in High School to go to the Conservatory of Music in Kansas City.
Danny studies music for over three years at the University of Missouri. He has a couple of offers to play basketball at small colleges, but knows he isn't good enough to play major college basketball or to go pro.
Danny spens years working on his rudiments and playing in drum corpses. He loves Billy Cobham and Buddy Rich because no matter how fast they play, you can hear every note.
During college he gets a lot of classical training, doing recitals for three and a half years. He could have earned a degree if he stuck it out a while longer, but Danny just wants to play drums, so he leaves school
when an opportunity comes to go on the road with a band.
In 1986 Danny moves to Los Angeles, and spents four years there before anything special happenes.
However, at that time he is heavily into electronic drums. He is playing an electronic kit with real cymbals, and plays in clubs.
Then he gets more into real drums again, and attributes that to finally finding a quality set that sounds good.
In that period Danny also works as a session player for Green Jello, Pygmy Love Circus, and Carole King.
Danny's day job in LA is working in a tape duplication house. One day he meets Adam Jones through Tom Morello of Rage Against The Machine. Danny is also living beside Maynard. He never auditioned for them
(Keenan and Jones). He felt sorry for them, because they would invite people over to play, and they wouldn't show up, so he would fill in.
Danny still loves playing jazz when he gets the chance. He is also working on a side project called ZAUM, which works in an electronic medium. Danny has also been involved in other side projects, including a TV sitcom called "Sibs".