Tool Reveal the Real Reason Behind Lack of Album Progress, Millions of Dollars Involved

Not a single new track is fully written, band still excited about "metal-sounding" fresh material, calls situation "depressing."

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As eight years have passed since the release of their latest studio effort, Tool have now fully opened up about the reason behind the hold-up, sharing a story about a million dollar-consuming lawsuit.

Guitarist Adam Jones and drummer Danny Carrey discussed the matter in detail with Rolling Stone, confessing that not a single new song had been written in full thus far, although the raw material is definitely there.

"The fans are pissed at us," Jones kicked off. "And while part of me is selfish and goes, 'I'm not necessarily doing it for them,' it's time that they understand what's going on."

Both musicians point out that family obligations are making it more difficult to get fully involved with the new album, but the mentioned multi-level court case was dubbed the most critical factor.

It all started in 2007 when Adam's friend claimed he had created an artwork for the band, demanding to receive credit. When Tool turned to an insurance company in hope to get legal defense is when the matter got really tangled up, as the band got sued over technicalities regarding the case. The musicians responded with a countersuit and are still deeply involved with it seven years later, awaiting to go on trial in January 2015.

"The whole thing is really depressing," Carey says. "The bad thing is it's really time-consuming. As we've gotten older and our priorities have changed, it's hard to get the band on a good, solid schedule as it is. People have kids now. And there's lots of other things that pop up. To throw this into the mix, it makes everything that much worse and stresses people out."

Furthermore, there's the financial aspect. "It's costing millions and millions and millions of dollars to defend us," Jones added. "And the fans are all going, 'We want a new Tool album. What the f--k?' And you don't want to pull people into your problems, because they don't understand.

"But the point is, we're fighting the good fight," he continued. "We're going to trial and we want to crush them. But every time we've gotten close to going to trial, it gets postponed and we've wasted money and time and it has just drained our creative energy. We bought an insurance policy for peace of mind, but instead we would have been better off if we never had it and just dealt with the original lawsuit."

However, there's also some good news among all the bad info, and that's the confirmation that Carrey, Jones, and bassist Justin Chancellor have still been busy with new material, and have now "gotten through the toughest part of writing."

And although not a single new track has been written in full, one is near completion and others are at least in the raw idea stage. Vocalist Maynard James Keenan is expected to receive the musical ideas soon and kick off the lyrical process.

"It's time-consuming that way, but it has worked really well for us," Carey said about the group's creative process. "It gets stressful at times when outside influences are dragging you down rather than pushing you forward."

As for the nearly-finished tune, it will clock in at least 10 minutes once finished and is going "through lots of changes and it's got really heavy elements."

"Sometimes I feel we get a little too proggy or too into exploring time signatures but not getting heavy enough for my taste," Jones noted. "There are some good nose-bleeding riffs happening, and I'm really happy about that. It's not out-of-the-gate crazy heavy, but there are these little journeys with nice paths that end up very heavy."

"It's all a little more 'metal' sounding, if I may," Carey chipped in with a laugh. "I'm having fun drumming on it. There is one other song [beyond the 10-minute tune] that I would say is pretty much there. It's another one that's pretty gnarly with some good double-kick [drumming] going on in it."

So what the group wanted to point out is that they are giving their best to deliver an effort on par with past releases. "I find it so hard to be creative when you have something awful nagging at you, just stuck between the hemispheres of your brain and affecting your sleep and your relationship with other band members," Jones said. "We have such a strong creative freedom in this band. It's like we've been in a war ... And it's unnecessary. It's just a shame."

Finally, Danny expressed hopes to have more material wrapped up by the end of 2014. "I'm hoping that we have something really solid recorded by the end of the year," he said. "But we'll see how it goes. I thought that last year, too. [laughs] But we're making great progress. We've really knocked out a lot of good things, especially over the last month. We're all excited about it."

"It's not good when it's done, it's done when it's good," Adam concluded. "We've been working at our own pace, but we don't want to put out something and go, 'This song's fine, just put it out.' I'm never gonna put something out where later, I go, 'F--k, I wish we hadn't done that.' We're just not going to settle for doing anything but our best work, and the fans appreciate that."

87 comments sorted by best / new / date

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    RogueBagel
    This makes me sad, but I'd rather wait it out than settle for a disappointing album.
    Alex011
    I feel like a douche but I'm skeptical, these guys are pretty good at trolling their fans.
    DEG_III
    Although, as a collective group, we Tool fans are fairly notorious for over-analysing everything and reading way too much into stuff.
    jonathan.keeler
    Glad I never got my hopes up, ill get excited when i'm holding the album in my hands and not a second sooner.
    kashmar88
    But I'm still right here, Giving blood, keeping faith And I'm still right here. Wait it out, Gonna wait it out, Be patient
    Oraznatac
    Thank God they finally got us out of the purgatorial hell of false news updates and theories. Now we can finally cry about the real issues here.
    TSParallax
    Who knows, this could be an elaborate scheme to **** with us - wouldn't put it past them.
    Bertallica
    There are too many comments above this one, it should have been 1st. Tool is known for giving misinformation when it comes to the making of albums.
    Gakusey
    Absolutely agree. We might get the new album next week, out of the blue. Seems like a cool and believable scheme. They didn't want to make up something completely ridiculous, so they thought of this. It seems like this "lawsuit" has been going on for quite a while, and considering Tool's stature, I highly doubt we wouldn't have heard about this earlier somehow, if it were true. Only now, many years after this new album thing started to materialize in the minds of the press, and questions started pouring in, only now have they said it. Seems strange.
    third(-)eye
    When they give misinformation, it's usually not this elaborate though. Usually it's like "oh yeah, Maynard found Jesus" or "oh yeah, Danny got bit by his dog" or "oh yeah, half of us were in segue accidents". They don't usually elaborate on it this much.
    Gakusey
    Yeah, but freakin' artwork? Insurance company? Millions and millions and millions of dollars? Seems a bit weird, that's all I'm saying. And seems like such a case would be hard to keep in secrecy. But then, who am I to know? Just seems weird, that's all I'm saying. Maybe someone could gather some real interviews (audio and written) over the past few years and cross-check or analyse the history. Again, surely this case would have affected SOMETHING around the band and it's members SOMEHOW. Can't be all normal, all normal, all normal, then - bam! - "we've been involved in a long and hard trial for the past few years that's eating us from the inside". It's just... weird.
    Chronologo
    The concept for their upcoming album is a story about a lawsuit... Nah I don't think they would mess with something this serious
    Gakusey
    Also, didn't they already say something like this before Lateralus? Lawsuits and such... And that was a scheme.
    Neolwyn
    "But the point is, we're fighting the good fight" The album is going to be the official soundtrack for Fallout 4.
    shwilly
    So who exactly is this "friend", and more importantly: where does he live? I feel like paying this jerkoff a little visit
    Ballsweat
    It costs time and money to write, record, produce, distribute, and support an album. They alluded to spending millions of dollars defending themselves against that artist [i]and their own insurance company. Good to hear they actually give a shit at least. Priorities are a bitch. Also, pumped to hear the couple of tracks they wrote are on the heavier side!
    Tim.c
    God, Tool fans are the worst. They are one of my favorite bands, and I do want new music, but Adam has made it clear. He makes music for himself. They don't need to serve you. Be happy they are working on it.
    SONNY MUNSON
    it hasn't been 10,000 days since their last release yet.
    ZakMiller88
    By that logic we'll have been waiting 27.5 years for the next release since the last one...actually...yep sounds about right!! But seriously folks...their reasons makes sense, and we all want this album to be awesome...lets give em the time they need!
    andrew.andonov
    There's so much hype from all those years of waiting, tbh i'm starting to get a little worried
    voodrew
    I wish super talented bands truly appreciated how unique it is to have the talent and chemistry to make great music. It drives me crazy that so many rock bands so often can overlook what they can create because of trivial distractions.
    Gala-Vine
    its a shame man!.looking forward to the new album no matter what they've been through maybe you'll hear some of the tension on the album.I hope Tool recover and continue to make awesome music. Only in the u.s.a does a insurance company who you pay to protect your assests turn around and counter sue you!. If my motor insurance turned around and sued i'd be like wtf!!
    Vinson
    So, they are sitting around waiting to go to trial sometime NEXT year.... Seriously, there is no reason they can't write something while WAITING to get a day in court. B.S. excuse. they hire lawyers to deal with this.
    a7xrocker201
    Have you ever been in a lawsuit with millions of dollars? It seriously puts your entire life on hold. Yeah you hire lawyers but a lawsuit with an insurance company is not a matter you just "hire lawyers to deal with".
    GoToSleep
    Honestly I love Tool and all but it's been so long since 10,000 days that I've really lost interest. I mean every year these guys are getting older and they're doing their own thing it's just lost a lot of its excitement. Hearing this in the news all the time also adds to the fact that I really just don't care anymore. I will be very surprised if their new material is any good.