Tool Give New Album Update: 'We're Still in the Writing Mode'

The band is working regularly, but still not recording, says drummer Danny Carey.

Ultimate Guitar

Tool fans have been pulling their hair out in anticipation of the new release for quite some time now. With over seven years since the art metallers' last studio release, it seems like forever since we got to hear something new from the infamous four-piece.

And it looks like the wait continues. In a recent Rip it Up interview, drummer Danny Carey was as unspecific about the new album as usual. Although he did admit that the band is now working regularly, Carey made it clear that the band is "still in the writing mode."

The drummer started the chat on an optimistic note, saying, "We've been working pretty regularly; Adam's been coming in with lots of stuff to: we're knocking it out slowly but surely. We're all excited about it." However, the follow-up statement was not really something fans were yearning to hear.

"We are really just in a rehearsal space at this point, we never really get into a proper studio until everything is completely written, then we book time and knock out the recording process as quickly as possible," Carey said.

"So we're still like in the writing mode. So we're in the rehearsal space here, so we start our rehearsals playing through the old songs to get the cobwebs out of those: we have a gig coming up, then we start working on the new things. So that works out OK, that way."

The interview then took a turn towards what the interviewer has described as "the 'Lateralus' of this album," or the "big song that's going to define the whole record." The drummer commented that although it is still in the works, the major track will have "a big trilogy type of feel to it" and is likely to last well over 20 minutes when completed.

"We're still believe it or not! still working on it [laughter] it's like an ever-evolving thing, it's probably going to turn into a thing that's like, uh, a big trilogy type of feel to it, sort of life, just like 'Disposition' and 'Intension' and 'Triad,' like on the 'Lateralus' record or something. It will probably be over a 20-minute piece when it's all finished, so it will be a good part of the record. We're dealing with it in sections, but it's coming together really well, we're having lots of fun working on it, that's for sure."

The band also seems to be waiting for frontman Maynard James Keenan, who is "busy with his wine and other projects," so it's just "little bits and pieces" for now.

"Maynard deals with the lyrical content, when he comes in and does more of his treatment. He's been pretty busy with his wine and other projects lately, but right now its just Justin and Adam and I working on things and uh, you know, little bits and pieces, lots of musical things, I've been playing lots of fusiony and jazz stuff lately with a band called Volto! and playing with some old jazz cats at the 'Baked Potato' here in town, it's like a famous jazz club here. I've been trying to get lots of new musical input into my system so I can have new influences popping out in that way, more than in a lyrical way."

Recently described as the "biggest project of their lives," the "10.000 Days" follow-up will obviously take as long as it needs, but the group has made it very clear that "putting out something that sucks just to put it out" is not an option.

66 comments sorted by best / new / date

    At this rate I bet it will come out 10,000 days after 10,000 days...
    Realistically, it might be the last Tool album. Give them the time they need.
    mat hazelwood
    i do recall maynard saying in an article were not the ****ing rolling stones, i dont plan on doing this forever
    I totally agree. they'd be well into their 50's by the time they would think about releasing something after this next album. I honestly don't think it'll happen :/
    Well look at their other albums...3 years between Undertow and nima, 5 years between nima and Lateralus, and 5 years between Lateralus and 10,000 Days...and every one of those albums was amazing. So the length of time in writing, recording and production can be a good thing for the album.
    But they weren't working on the album for those 5 years. They were off doing other things (Like Maynard with APC). Remember that the length between albums doesn't mean the time they've taken to write an album
    They just want to do justice to the fans. Give em a break, I'd rather a brilliant album in two years than a shit album in two months
    Exactly. Adam Jones said it best, "For most bands when it's done it's good, but for us when it's good it's done." It is torture though.
    Don't forget, they also like to f*ck with the fans. It could drop next week for all we know.
    It's a double-edged sword, though. The longer they wait, the more the album will be anticipated and hyped, and the more people will be disappointed when its not absolutely perfect.
    The reason this is being stalled is obviously Maynard, but they are all such nice guys they don't point the finger at him to 'blame' or anything. As a fan of everything these guys do I respect them for that, but I would be lying if I said Im not getting impatient/annoyed at how long this is taking...
    Thats what I was thinking. Seems like Maynard doesn't have the same determination as the others...yet. It could be part of their process, where they do the instrumentals then throw lyrics in and tweak things around it like Danny was saying. Lets hope so, this "20+ minute trilogy" has got me super excited.
    Maynard is being very diffcult lately. Maynard cancelled the Tool gig in Adelaide (Australia) tonight, 15 minutes before the doors were to open. No reason was given.
    They'll get back to you, and if you've purchased tix, you'll get a free show. They've done this before. His voice is not what it used to be. They're all old men now.
    matteo cubano
    ya but compared to most vocalists in this kinda music, his style has always been softer and doesn't sound nearly as damaging
    shit hopefully he's ok now because i'm seeing them in a week. on a side note, I'M SEEING TOOL IN A WEEK. YEAAAAAH!!!!!
    Don't worry, he's fine. I just came back from the rescheduled Adelaide show. His voice is top-notch, though I noticed he didn't do Hooker With A Penis, like he did at the other shows... That song definitely would strain his voice a bit.
    They have Hooker with a Penis in their set??? DUUUUUDE!!! I HAVE to see that.
    yeah that's a live classic with tool. love that song.
    They didn't play that one when I saw them. Actually, Maynard was sick that day and the show ALMOST got cancelled (along with a few others that did), but he put it on anyway. You could barely hear him, but it was STILL the best show I've ever been to. Would be even cooler to catch them with Maynard feeling well.
    What do they play live now? I saw them in 2007 and 2009, and both shows had the same setlist with one change. In 2007 we got both parts of Wings, and in 2009 those tracks were replaced with Aenema. Maynard sucked for the 2009 performance though, he wasn't into it and just wanted to go home it felt like. Hopefully the spark is back in him, but for some reason I doubt it.
    No reason was given? It was all over that he wasn't feeling well and actually threw up during Lateralus on the first night, I saw it with my own eyes.
    I'll wait.. There's a lot of other good music out there. Give them a break. I'm sure the album will be spectacular as always
    "Disposition" and "Intension" and "Triad".... One of these things is not like the other!
    This interview is from January. Sort it out UG, this is the kind of misleading bs that makes me keeps me from reading your articles
    Oh maaan :/ I get that these things take time but did it really have to take this long before they even started?
    It is hard to wait for such a good band to make hopefully a awesome album but i'd say tracking them down for live gigs is worse. Every time i look i cant find anything then two weeks later someone I talk to has tickets to a sold out show. That has happened to me too many times. Least i get to see Lamb of God and Black Sabbath this summer. Totally Stoked
    I'm getting real sick of Maynard. He's always been a bit of douche to his fans, but he seems to be getting progressively worse.
    This is getting asinine, just write an article when the album is released
    "...just like 'Disposition' and 'Intension' and 'Triad,' like on the 'Lateralus' record" Can't tell if Danny mistook himself, or UG is just being, well, UG again.
    For those who don't understand, the trilogy he's referring to is "Disposition", "Reflection", and "Triad" on Lateralus. I was actually wondering the same thing.
    Literally just got home from seeing them less than an hour ago. If the performance I just saw is anything to go by, they are going to tear up the studio
    I'm glad they are taking their time making an album. Why put out something that sucks because it was rushed in an attempt to please the fans. Please...Tool does not owe anything to the fans. It is safe to say that they have paid their dues.
    Considering how much of 10,000 Days was rehashed from the Lateralus sessions, they haven't really written anything new in over 10 years.
    I'm so happy that I've had three (will have had three) Fantastic Iron Maiden albums to love and enjoy and cover, by the time Tool writes one World-class album of equal length. And it's not an age thing. Maiden's going strong in their late 50's already... Don't get me wrong, Tool's a strong favourite of mine, but some bands just know how to get on with it and produce fresh Gold every time, and some bands make writing a record look like an arduous, labourious experience.
    So get done with the writing mode and get on to the recording mode.
    While waiting for the release of the decade, check out this band "Exivious". Jazz, Fusion, Metal!