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Tool Builds Following Over the Past Decade

Dec 12, 2007
With roots firmly planted in Los Angeles, California, the rock band Tool was formed in 1990. Throughout a rather active and commercially embraced career, the group first displayed a heavy metal sound characterized by what some describe as a slam and bang kind of approach. At the time, the group stood out because heavy metal was then associated with a thrash type of metal sound. After the release of their second album in 1996, Tool became recognized as the forerunners for the alternative metal movement.

Background Information

Tool comprises four band members, who have presented an array of progressive rock, art rock, alternative metal, and progressive metal musical selections. Over the course of their ongoing career, the following labels have represented the group: Zoo Entertainment, Volcano II, and Tool Dissectional.

The band is also known for releasing long or complicated songs with controversial lyrics presented in an abstract manner, as well as unconventional music videos, which have led to the censorship of their creativity. To this day, Tool receives critical praise and sells out worldwide performances. When a new album is produced, their efforts top the charts and are embraced in many different countries.

Current Members

Currently, Tool is composed of Danny Carey (drums and percussion), Justin Chancellor (bass), Maynard James Keenan (vocals), and Adam Jones (guitar). Previously, the group included Paul D'Amour on bass, but in 1995, he decided to leave the band to explore more experimental projects. After departing Tool, he formed a well-accepted psychedelic pop band and later ventured into additional side projects.

Brief Career History

During the early days of Tool, the future members of the group had all moved to Los Angeles by the 1980s. With different pursuits on their mind, such as art and film, they took on a variety of jobs before meeting up through mutual friendships. First Keenan and Jones met one another through a friend and began to establish jam sessions by the end of the '80s.

Carey lived above Keenan at the time and became acquainted with the group after being introduced by a mutual friend. Carey began to lend a hand to the duo when invited musicians didn't show up for jam sessions. Bassist D'Amour was then initiated, and the band was now considered complete. Three months later, Tool landed a record deal with Zoo Entertainment and quickly found themselves touring with the likes of Fishbone and Rage Against the Machine.

Immediate respect in the industry came when their first commercial release, "Opiate" (1992) hit the airwaves. One year later, their first full-length album, entitled "Undertow," became a reality in 1993. Soon they earned a space on the Lollapalooza tour, and other notable performances followed. In 1994, a single titled "Prison Sex" generated negative criticism, as the music video was deemed too graphic and offensive for viewers. The subject of child molestation and the public's reaction eventually caused MTV to ban the video after a few appearances.

In 1995, D'Amour left the band after the second album entered the recording process. Two months later, Justin Chancellor, who was once part of an English band called Peach, replaced him. Tool was familiar with his music because they had already toured with the band in Europe. Over the years, the group continued to face censorship and difficulty obtaining airplay. A brief snag in management also delayed their next album. As time passed, the group was able to overcome numerous obstacles and still continues to express themselves through their music.

Discography & Musical Achievements

Since their establishment, Tool has produced four studio albums: "Undertow" (1993; 2x platinum); "Aenima" (1996; 3x platinum); "Lateralus" (2001; 2x platinum); and "10,000 Days" (2006; platinum). With the release of their last two albums, the group enjoyed more than 550,000 sales each within the first week. They also captured the number-one position on the United States music charts. Some of the singles that have made an impact on the Top 10 and Top 20 music charts in both mainstream and modern rock circles across the world include "Sober" (1993); "Stinkfist" (1996); "Schism" (2001); "Parabola" (2001); "Vicarious" (2006); and "Jambi" (2007).
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