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."

Ultimate Guitar

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

    This makes me sad, but I'd rather wait it out than settle for a disappointing album.
    I feel like a douche but I'm skeptical, these guys are pretty good at trolling their fans.
    Although, as a collective group, we Tool fans are fairly notorious for over-analysing everything and reading way too much into stuff.
    Glad I never got my hopes up, ill get excited when i'm holding the album in my hands and not a second sooner.
    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
    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.
    Who knows, this could be an elaborate scheme to **** with us - wouldn't put it past them.
    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.
    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.
    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.
    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.
    The concept for their upcoming album is a story about a lawsuit... Nah I don't think they would mess with something this serious
    Also, didn't they already say something like this before Lateralus? Lawsuits and such... And that was a scheme.
    "But the point is, we're fighting the good fight" The album is going to be the official soundtrack for Fallout 4.
    So who exactly is this "friend", and more importantly: where does he live? I feel like paying this jerkoff a little visit
    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!
    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.
    it hasn't been 10,000 days since their last release yet.
    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!
    There's so much hype from all those years of waiting, tbh i'm starting to get a little worried
    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.
    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!!
    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.
    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".
    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.
    Is it Carrey or Carey? Seems the author cannot decide. Hint: its not Carrey
    Why do I get the feeling the album will drop next week and this is all a psych out? Never know with this band.. Can't wait no matter what though
    well now we know an expensive lawsuit is holding them back, nothing we/they can do about it. how about the direction of the new material? danny says its more "metal" which im pretty excited for.
    I understand people having an opinion about losing interest and thinking Tool should call it quits, but c'mon. You know you will either buy or steal the new album once it's released anyway and still enjoy it.
    Just have Maynard fart into a mic for 12 tracks and I'll be happy... *smh* I think let them go at their own pace. I want new Tool music as much as the next person, but there is plenty of invigorating music out there to pacify us until they are ready to release new material.
    I have a lot of respect for this band and their compositions, but c'mon. If it takes you eight years and you haven't finished a SINGLE song, then maybe you should just stop. That is just sad.
    To be fair, they haven't actually been working on a new album for eight years, they only started like, what? 2 or 3 years ago IIRC? The article states that the raw ideas are there so its not like they've been spending all this time on one song alone. Plus, a lot of bands take a year or so to write 12 fairly straight-forward 4 minute songs. Lawsuit or no, it's not that absurd to give a band that diligently writes progressive music with lots of meter and tempo changes etc. some more leeway on the time it takes to make an album.
    I'm truly saddened by the fact that they need to deal with some bullshit lawsuits rather than record a new album BUT I completely understand their position and I'd give'em so much time as they need. I wouldn't be surprised if they actually work on one song for many years straight because these guys are perfectionists and I respect that. And also I'd like to give my middle finger to the ones that claim "Tool should stop making music". As a Tool fan I must say that this is the stupidest thing I've ever heard. Just because they haven't produced a new album for many years doesn't mean that they should stop, ESPECIALLY when they are also occupied with lawsuits that stalls their creativity. Be patient.
    Sleaze Disease
    "If it takes you eight years and you haven't finished a SINGLE song, then maybe you should just stop." I agree completely. Seriously, what is the point of this band anymore?
    The two above me are the epitome of the communication problem that exists in the world today. They've interjected (in their own minds) their own misinterpretation of facts, because they are retarded. They (Tool) haven't been working on material for 8 years, but the posters here assume that in their statements. Then, they attempt to address existential questions about sadness and the point of the band but fail as their commentary says quite literally nothing, and is in fact just bullshit (in the Frankfurt sense). Love Tool or hate them, just don't spew bullshit for no reason or for any reason.
    Sleaze Disease
    You do realize that no matter how good of a point you think you've made, calling other people "retards" completely nullifies anything you've said? Also, the great thing about public forums is that everybody is entitled to spew whatever bullshit they please. I hope you feel better about yourself, though. I truly do.
    Again… interjecting more bullshit. This time, you're bullshitting about bullshit. There's no place anywhere for bullshit. Saying that a public forum entitles the users to spew bullshit is just more bullshit. Retard.
    Could not agree with you more. I cannot seem to think that Tool answer to me and my deadlines. Sure, I would like them to bring out an album quick but I rather wait and give them the space they need to be the artists they want to be and produce something they are proud to write and I am proud to listen. Leave these twits alone. I defend their right to behave premature, stupid and impatient in every possible manner.
    How did I misinterpret the facts? They clearly state that they have not finished a single song on the album that they have been working on for eight years. It's all right there. As I said, I respect the band, but eight years with nothing finished is lazy. Only my opinion, try not to get too upset over it.
    They haven't been working on material for 8 years. Its been 8 years since their last album. They didn't finish 10,000 Days and then immediately start writing new material. They all have other things going on in their lives and only in the last 2 or 3 years or so have they actually started working on the album. And Danny Carey has been working with Volto which released an album last year and Maynard has APC and Puscifer which have also been very busy.
    They have spent the last 8 years scraping all sorts of facts together to win the lawsuit which keeps getting postponed for no apparant reason. Don't be so judgemental.
    Bingo! Lawsuits, especially ones involving millions of dollars, are no joke. You don't just sit there and go, "Oh, we'll be in court in 2 days". It gets drug out and out...until you're sick of it. That kind of thing kills your motivation and creativity. In this case, it's like Tool (as a band or as individual members, depending on things) is probably saying, "Do we work on songs, or do we talk with the lawyer again?". You can't be creative when there's the stress of something like losing your livelihood on the line, man.
    Quit stringing us along and get it done already, stop being such a bunch of tools.
    I agree, These guys are musicians. Record some music. Let the lawyers do their job. I mean its not like I would quit my job if I was getting sued for something as trivial as album art.
    Good to know the actual reason for the delays. Hopefully they channel that rage and frustration into an awesomely heavy prog album.
    i love tool, im as murderus as the next tool fan, but i dont believe anything they say when it comes to there music. there is so many other storys to why there album is delayed. theres no way to know the true story. i just thik they dont really want to make music with tool anymore. its clear maynard does not enjoy being with tool anymore. its hard to face.
    I'm glad that they finally decided to share the actual story. I have to say I'm a little bit disappointed that they kept it a secret this long though. I understand they couldn't have predicted the situation would have persisted this long and occupied so much of their time, but surely there was a point between now and 3 years ago that they could have been like "yeahhhh, sorry, we don't know what's going on and here's why". It goes beyond being secretive and mysterious and ventures into the territory of just being downright manipulative. For the last 3-4 years people have been getting their hopes up for a release date only to have them repeatedly crushed. If they had just known the full story they would have understood.
    What's the name of the insutance company? If they get bad publicity, maybe they will back down from the lawsuit...
    Love these guys to death but seriously only ONE song is anywhere near completion?!! I understand that this double lawsuit situation is both time-consuming and damaging to creativity but really...? Not a single finished song in 8 years?