Tool is an American rock band, formed in 1990 in Los Angeles, California when drummer Danny Carey joined the rehearsal of his neighbour, singer Maynard James Keenan, guitarist Adam Jones and bassist Paul d'Amour when nobody else would show up.
Recalls Danny Carey: "I met Adam through Tom Morello of Rage (Against The Machine). And I was living beside Maynard. I never auditioned for them. I felt kind of sorry for them, because they would invite people over to play, and they wouldn't show up, so I'd fill in." Carey's decision proved to be a stroke of luck when the band turned out to become one of the most profound rock acts of their time, "introducing dark, vaguely underground metal to the preening pretentiousness of art rock" most notably due to their influential sophomore effort Ænima (1996).
Tool have gained appreciation and critical praise for a complex and ever-evolving sound, that ranges from "slam and bang" heavy metal on their first release to more progressive influenced songwriting on Lateralus (2001) which "is as far removed from what's considered musically popular these days as you can get."
Their overall sound has been described as "grinding, post-Jane's Addiction heavy metal" as well as "a primal sound as distinct as it is disturbing" most simplified categorizations of the band's genre are often dismissed (see: Arguments About Genre & Categorization). They are known for addressing philosophical and spiritual issues in their lyrics, such as evolution ("Forty-Six & 2"), religion ("Opiate") and transcendence ("Lateralus"), as well as for songs that feature "complex rhythm changes, haunting vocals, and an onslaught of changes in dynamics" which often result in a greater-than-average track length. Additionally, most of their music videos feature stop-motion animation created by Jones, in a style similar to the Brothers Quay "strange puzzle-like four minute movies" which tend to perpetuate the perception of Tool as a "dark, disturbing" band.
Their music has been influenced by King Crimson, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Rush, and early Yes, among several others. In turn, the "list of bands that have been inspired by [Tool] is long and prestigious."
Tool has recently finished recording and mastering their fourth full-length studio album titled 10,000 Days, "set to be released on May 2nd, 2006.". The new album title announcement was posted on both the official Tool website and Toolarmy.com on March 3, 2006; however, the same day, this announcement was removed from the official site and left only to the fanclub exclusive area at Toolarmy.com.
Why it was posted non-exclusively and then removed remains a mystery, but since then, the title has been reposted on the main website. Additionally, the web site toolshed.down.net has an article confirming the name stating its source is reliable. There have been many rumors about the newest release, including potential stylistic changes, possible titles and a slew of release dates. Since the members of Tool avoid press and rarely grant interviews, there was little evidence to support any of these claims.
Nevertheless, well accepted facts are that the new record was completed on January 29, 2006, was mastered on January 31 and it has in fact been confirmed that the album is to see US release on May 2nd, 2006. Tourmates Fantômas and Meshuggah have been cited as recent influences. Tool has released a tracklist, but it remains to be seen if it is merely more disinformation propogated by the band.
Mike Bordin (Faith No More, Ozzy Osbourne), Dale Crover (The Melvins), Aloke Dutta, Tomas Haake (Meshuggah), Dave Lombardo (Slayer), and Pat Mastelotto (King Crimson) have all joined Tool on stage.