The art metal band Tool are ready to emerge from a lengthy recording hiatus caused by
a yearlong battle with the group’s record label, Freeworld Entertainment. Tool initiated
the lawsuit because they felt the label failed to exercise an option in the group’s contract
for a timely follow-up to the 1996 platinum-selling Aenima.
The new deal between the two parties includes Tool forming a joint venture with Volcano
II (Freeworld’s successor) which splits profits evenly between the act and the label. Tool
now reportedly are gathering to write songs for their follow-up to Aenima,
tentatively scheduled for the fall.
Tool’s guitarist, Adam Jones, is turning 34 today. Jones, raised in Illinois, played violin as
a youth. In high school, Jones played bass for a group called Electric Sheep, which also
included Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello. Jones then went to film school on a
scholarship, eventually working on the special effects teams of such hit movies as
“Terminator 2″ and “Jurassic Park.”
Tool, whose sound is an intriguing mix of metal and prog-rock, came together in 1990
when Morello introduced Jones to drummer Danny Carey, who was a neighbor of lead
singer Maynard James Keenan. Bassist Paul D’Amour completed the band’s original
Carey explained: “I felt kind-of sorry for [Jones and Keenan], because they would invite
people over to play, and they wouldn’t show up, so I’d fill in.”
Tool began gigging with such bands as Rage and Fishbone. Tool followed their 1992
debut EP, Opiate, with the next year’s hit LP, Undertow. The band’s big
moment came in ’93, when it became the hit of that year’s Lollapalooza tour.
In November 1995, Justin Chancellor, formerly of Peach, replaced an increasingly
unhappy D’Amour. When Aenima was released in 1996, Tool managed to hold
onto a sizable audience, which consisted primarily of metalheads. The LP contained
such titles as “Stinkfist” (RealAudio excerpt) and “Hooker with a
While their label dispute kept them from recording after Aenima, Tool were
featured on 1997’s Lollapalooza tour and last year’s Ozzfest. They also did a ’98 solo
“It should be finished by late fall,” Tool manager Ted Gardner said of the band’s next
record. “I imagine it will be out in the last quarter of 1999.”
Other birthdays: Captain Beefheart, 58; Edward Bivins (Manhattans), 57; Peter
Waterman (Stock Aitkin and Waterman), 52; Martha Davis (Motels), 48; Boris Blank
(Yello), 46; William Tutton (Geraldine Fibbers), 36; Lisa Lisa (Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam),
32; and Ronnie Van Zant (Lynyrd Skynyrd), (1949-1977).