10,000 Days, the upcoming album by the band Tool is arriving in stores on the 2nd of May. For an anxious Tool fan like myself, that may as well be as far away as the title of the new album suggests.
It’s been 5 years since the release of their last album Lateralus, which was well received by fans and critics alike. Apparently, you don’t just have to listen to the album from track 1 to the end any more like we used to do back in the old days. Fans have created specific sequences to listen to the album. That’s right, the fans have created this, not the band. The fans have also created something else for Tool – a hardcore protective fortress.
Maybe I should explain myself a little better. I am a new Tool fan – new to the Tool party as it were. I’ve only been a fan for roughly six months. However, I have encountered many Tool fans before I liked the band and let me tell you something; they are the most one-eyed people I have ever met. Try telling them that Tool sucks, and they’ll beat you down to a bloody pulp. Why? Because to them, Tool is the best band in the entire world. That’s why.
To say their fan base is one-eyed is probably not very fair, but my conversation with three Tool fans on Saturday night reinforced that view. Apparently, you don’t even have to say “Tool sucks!” to get them to (verbally) beat you down. You just have to fumble for ten seconds or more to tell them what your favourite song is or mispronounce an album name for them to tell you that in fact, you suck and that you are not a real Tool fan.
I was having a conversation with a friend of mine recently when I asked him if he liked Tool, since many of my friends don’t exactly rave about them. His eyes grew wide and he stopped talking and raised his hands as if I were about to shoot him and he said: “Ooh…do you like Tool?”
At this point, I wasn’t sure as to why he acted freaked-out. I told him that yes, I did like Tool. “Why?” I asked nervously, thinking he was going to ridicule me for liking them.
“Well, see if I tell you I don’t like them much, I’m scared you’ll give me the usual 45-minute lecture on why I’m stupid and why Tool is the best band in the whole world.”
Ah, that’s why.
But why the hell has Tool gained such a fan base? The more and more I read about Tool, the more it doesn’t make sense to me. They rarely do interviews. In fact, it is only recently that I have seen them do interviews for the new album. During their time off whilst writing and recording 10,000 Days not a word was heard from them. Their albums are not rammed down your throat by constant advertising thanks to record companies. Their songs are not heard on commercial radio. So how does a band that barely does any promotion get to No. 1 on the Billboard chart?
It appears that Tool offer the fans something no other band does – music full of complex themes and layers and sometimes music that is simple. But that’s just for starters.
When Jennifer Lopez sang “I’m Real”, she was being very, VERY fake. Tool is real. Because Tool don’t go on MTV Cribs and announce to their fans, “Look what I bought with YOUR money!!” Tool don’t go walking down the street only to be chased by photographers so they can jump into their Bentley and speed away. Tool don’t care about getting awards for their music. They don’t want people to idolize them, they want to influence people enough to go out there and make their own music.
Tool fans know something about Tool that many people don’t: Tool are the real deal, and that’s why “Tool are the best band in the entire world.”