Tool (band)

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Tool performing live in 2006. Visible from left to right are: Adam Jones, Maynard James Keenan and Justin Chancellor.
Tool performing live in 2006. Visible from left to right are: Adam Jones, Maynard James Keenan and Justin Chancellor.
Background information
OriginLos Angeles, California, United States
GenresAlternative metal, art rock, progressive metal, progressive rock
Years active1990–present
LabelsZoo Entertainment
Volcano II
Tool Dissectional
MembersDanny Carey
Justin Chancellor
Maynard James Keenan
Adam Jones
Past member(s)Paul D'Amour

Tool is an American rock band. It was formed in 1990 in Los Angeles, California. The band took a break before and after their third album Lateralus because singer Maynard James Keenan was working with his other band, A Perfect Circle, at the same time. The band has won Grammy Awards for Best Metal Performance in 1997 for the song "Ænema" and in 2001 for the song "Schism". Tool has four members in the band: Danny Carey, Justin Chancellor, Adam Jones, and Maynard James Keenan.

Tool has released five full studio albums. Their first release, Opiate, which had only seven songs on it, is an EP and the album Salival is a recording of live performances. The band released their fourth album, 10,000 Days, on May 2, 2006, and their fifth and most recent album "Fear Inoculum" on August 30, 2019.

History[change | change source]

Tool started in 1991 when Keenan and guitarist Jones started practicing together. Tom Morello introduced them to drummer Danny Carey, who lived in the building where they practiced, and he soon joined as well. Bass guitar player Paul D'Amour was the last to join the band. D'Amour left the band in 1995 to work with other bands. Justin Chancellor was hired to replace him.[1]

Opiate[change | change source]

Tool made its first album in 1992. It was called Opiate EP. To help sell records, they went on tour. They traveled around the U.S. playing in concerts with two other bands named Fishbone and Rage Against the Machine. During one of their concerts in 1993, the band was playing at the Church of Scientology's Celebrity Centre in Los Angeles. Keenan (who would later write the lyrics "Fuck L. Ron Hubbard and fuck all his clones"), baa-ed like a sheep for a lot of the show.[2]


The album did not sell many copies at first. After Tool got more popular, more fans bought Opiate. It took 13 years for the album to be certified platinum by the RIAA. That means the album sold one million copies.

Undertow[change | change source]

Tool's first studio album came out in 1993. It was called Undertow. In 1994, the band released a song, titled "Prison Sex", from the album. With it was a music video that was created and directed by Jones. The video was deemed "too graphic and offensive",[3] and was only played on MTV a few times because the video dealt with child abuse.


The album reached #50 on the Billboard 200 and #1 on the Top Heatseekers. It was certified gold by the RIAA after only eight months, and platinum less than a year later.[4]

Ænima[change | change source]

In October 1996, the band released their second studio album, called Ænima. Tool began a long legal fight with their label Volcano Records (formerly Zoo Records) over problems with their contract. They ended up with a new contract that said they would make three more albums.[5] The members of Tool decided to take some time away after that.


The album was certified gold in 10 weeks and achieved double platinum, which means it sold two million copies, in 10 months.[4] In 1998, "Ænema" won the Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance.[6]

Fear Inoculum

January 26, 2020, Tool has won Best Metal Performance at the 62nd GRAMMY Awards for ("7empest.") Band members Justin Chancellor and Danny Carey were present to accept the award.

Style[change | change source]

Singer Maynard James Keenan has a unique, melodic style of singing.[7] This style is thought to have influenced many other bands.[8][9] While guitarist Adam Jones's style of playing is very simple, he is known for his use of different techniques of playing together,[10][11] and for trying new things with his instrument.[12] Danny Carey has a very technical, advanced style of drumming. He is known for using odd time signatures, among other things. Justin Chancellor has an aggressive style of picking and fingering, using many guitar techniques which include using a pick, chords, harmonics, effects, and hammer ons and pull offs.

Discography[change | change source]

Studio Albums
  • Undertow (1993)
  • Ænima (1996)
  • Lateralus (2001)
  • 10,000 Days (2006)
  • Fear Inoculum (2019)
Other releases
  • Opiate (1992, EP)
  • Salival (2000, live, also includes a VHS/DVD)
  • Schism/Parabola(2006, music videos on DVDs)

References[change | change source]

  1. Fiend, Rob (October 1996). "Sink or Swim - A Conversation With Tool's Justin Chancellor". Gavin Magazine. Retrieved May 9, 2007.
  2. Dolan, Jon (August 2006). "33 Things You Should Know About Tool". Blender. Archived from the original on May 9, 2008. Retrieved September 18, 2006.
  3. (October 8, 2006). "Tool Archived 2008-06-14 at the Wayback Machine". SundayObserver.ik. Retrieved on January 17, 2008.
  4. 4.0 4.1 (June 7, 2002). "Gold/platinum certifications". Retrieved on January 16, 2008.
  5. Akhtar, Kabir (July 16, 2001). "The Tool FAQ". pp. C15.
  6. "Grammy Award Winners - Tool". National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Archived from the original on June 21, 2008. Retrieved March 31, 2008.
  7. Powers, Ann (2002). "Self-Confidence, and a Tattoo". The New York Times. Retrieved November 11, 2008.
  8. Assar, Vijith (September 30, 2003). "Lucky 'Thirteen': Keenan bolsters potence". The Cavalier Daily. Archived from the original on October 13, 2007.
  9. Rich, Robert (May 9, 2007). "Chevelle to play in Austin, remains unique despite criticism". The Daily Texan. Archived from the original on October 11, 2007.
  10. Jon Wiederhorn (June 2001). "Mysterious Ways". Guitar Player. p. 71. Retrieved November 11, 2008. Jones isn't a shredder, a pop guitarist, a jazz man, an avant-garde iconoclast, or a blues player, but his performances often include elements from all those genres.
  11. Steve Huey. "Sober Song Review". Retrieved November 11, 2008.
  12. Forlenza, Jeff (July 1, 2006). "The Making of Tool's "10,000 Days"". Mix. Archived from the original on August 25, 2006. Retrieved November 11, 2008.

Other websites[change | change source]