In over 20 years long career, Tool has proven itself as one of the most crucial and influential bands of the 21st century. Never following trends and always focusing on creativity and art has become somewhat of a trademark for these guys, so it's no wonder they have some of the most devoted fans in the world.
The fact that they've only released 4 albums in 23 years goes to show that Tool always strives to perfection and never rushes things when it comes to music. Their new studio album is probably one of the most anticipated releases at the moment, but it is still unknown whether it will come out in 2013 all.
But apart from their fans, Tool is also praised by some of the most prominent rock and metal musicians of today. So in an exclusive Artist Direct column, the likes of Tom Morello, Robert Trujillo, Bill Kelliher and Devin Townsend shared their opinions on the band, unanimously praising their work.
When asked to share their thoughts on Tool, first time they heard them and tell us what does Tool mean to them, here is what they had to say.
Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine): "I saw Tool at their very first show. There was a band called Green Jello, who later changed its name to Green Jelly, and Danny Carey was the drummer. Maynard sometimes worked with them and lived in this loft where a lot of musicians lived in Los Angeles. Tool actually had their first show in that loft! A couple of the other guys from Rage Against the Machine were at the gig too, when we had just started writing songs. Maynard had been my roommate for a while, and I had grown up with Adam. I'll be frank. We did not have the highest expectations for what was going to occur at that loft gig and we went kind of as 'friend rock' [Laughs]. They were devastatingly awesome from the very first show though. There's no other way to say it. They were just awesome. It was unbelievable."
Robert Trujillo: "My little boy loves Tool! When I take him to school, we're playing Tool all the time, so I definitely connect with them. There's a lot of bass in that group, which is nice. They're a great band for a bass player to listen to. So believe it or not, my son and I are going through a big Tool phase! It includes every record too."
James "Munky" Shaffer (Korn): "There are so many great elements that Tool has. I like that they'll sit and simmer on one or two riffs for a while. It makes your imagination start to grow like a bacteria. It takes you to these dark places, and you start to visualize a lot. I think Adam Jones syncs up with what he's seeing visually. I always loved that they kept everything quiet. There aren't very many interviews. It's really hard to find any press on them. We toured with them on Lollapalooza 1997. I got really sick with Meningitis, and we had to drop off the tour. Each night they'd go on, Maynard would quiet the whole crowd down to send me some positive energy to get me better. That was really nice. When I heard about that, I started to feel better. My favorite record would probably 10,000 Days. The have a way of putting the visual and the audio together and making exciting records. The packaging was incredible with the stereoscopic lens."
Bill Kelliher (Mastodon): "I had never really seen them live until we started touring with them. When I was a kid and they first came around, there was a lot of hype in the underground about them. There was no information on them though. They didn't do any interviews. I was like, 'These guys are so secretive!' It reminded me of the old days when I used to listen to Dead Kennedys a lot. Obviously back then, there was no Internet and none of that shit to follow your favorite bands on. I really liked Tool's mystique. There songs are great. Maynard is a fucking monster. He's awesome. I was always very intrigued by Tool. When we got the offer to do the tour, I was more than excited for sure. Undertow would be my favorite Tool record. There's something really special about all of their records. Their songs keep getting longer and longer, which is really crazy. They play them on the radio. Every time we do a song, someone is like, 'That's your single you have to cut it up into this formula'. I'm always like, 'Why? Tool doesn't do that!' [Laughs]"Joe Duplantier (Gojira): "I saw the video for 'Sober' on TV, and I was like, 'Wow, what is this?' I'm a big Tool fan. 10,000 Days is my favorite record. The first time I heard it, I didn't get it. I forced myself to listen to it two times in a row. Then, I fell asleep with the album repeating, and I spent the whole night with the album in my ears. Maybe that's why I got addicted! I heard it six or seven times in one night. It got to my brain very deeply. Now, I'm addicted [Laughs]."
Mark Tremonti: "I first discovered Tool when I saw the 'Sober' video. That was my first exposure to the band, and I was instantly hooked on Maynard's vocals, Danny's drumming, and the incredible creativity in their music videos. It is impossible for me to choose which album is my favorite because each album has its own unique vibe and memorable moments in them."
Greg Puciato (Dillinger Escape Plan): "The first time I heard them was the music video for "Sober". I watched so much MTV at that time. I was enamored with all of the bands coming out. Being a kid watching MTV, that time period was amazing. There was one great band after another Nirvana, Nine Inch Nails, Tool, Rage Against the Machine, and Pearl Jam. Every day there was a new exciting band coming out. Being 10 to 13-years-old, I was like, 'Oh my God!' I didn't really get into Tool until Aenima though. When I heard 'Stinkfist', I thought, 'Wow, this is really next level musically!' They were the first band that I saw really trying to preserve themselves artistically. I latched on to how much they didn't do. They didn't do anything normally. They weren't in their videos. They never did whacky tours with shitty bands. They refused to do anything that wasn't exactly in line with their aesthetic. That really stuck with me more so than it musically influenced me. I realized what you don't do is as much if not more important than what you do."
Devin Townsend: "I just started getting into Tool. I listened to them during Opiate. That's when I was first introduced to them, but I feel out. I heard Lateralus the other day, and I was like, 'That's a really good record!' It's taken me a long time to get into them though."
Misha Mansoor (Periphery): "I love 'Aenima' and 'Lateralus'. The first time I heard them was when I was around 14- or 15-years-old. I started out on drums, and I remember thinking Danny Carey was God's gift to drumming. I was like, 'What the hell is this guy doing?' I still love his playing. I think that band is awesome."
Andy Biersack (Black Veil Brides): "I remember the first time I saw Tool was late at night on MTV. My cousin was babysitting me, and it was a video where my Maynard was all fucking crazy looking. I thought that was really awesome."