ToolTravis Shinn

Danny Carey Speaks On The “Solid 5 Years” Tool Actively Spent Working On “Fear Inoculum”


Tool drummer Danny Carey and bassist Justin Chancellor appear on the second episode of Kerrang!‘s fledgling ‘Inside Track’ podcast series. During the episode they discuss the creation of the band’s new album “Fear Inoculum“, along with input from the album’s producer Joe Barresi and more. You can hear that entire episode, which dives deep into the creation of the record, in various formats here. Some of the discussion previously emerged in a past cover feature Kerrang! did on the band. Some excerpts from the discussion featured on this podcast can be found below.

Speaking of the 13-year gap between albums that preceded the release of “Fear Inoculum“, Carey offered:

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“We toured for 5 or 6 years after “10,000 Days“, so after doing that—we’re not a band that writes while we’re touring; then we didn’t want to see each other for little while, so we took a couple years break. Had kids, went through some lawsuits, whatever.

Then we started working, we worked probably a good solid 5 years on it though, like we did on all the other Tool records.

I kind of wish I could say that it did take 13 years to make, there’s nothing wrong with that.”

He continued:

“The way we write, it’s all jams and bits and pieces that get pieced together and sometimes things are written with the intentions of being a song, and then all of a sudden the main riff of this song, six months later, turns into the verse or chorus of another song.

We don’t have anybody in our band that’s a composer. So it’s like we’re all in they’re doing it together day by day. And I don’t suggest this method for any other band, otherwise you may spend 12 years (laughs).

But that’s the way we do it. And that’s the way we’ve always done it and it takes this long for a reason. But the end result is we all completely believe in every bar—not just every verse, chorus, not even every…

Every bar is scrutinized and that’s the result of what you will hear on this record. These songs also; the way that we also work with Maynard or whatever.

We don’t give it to Maynard until we do that. This is me and Adam and Justin we’re talking about now, and then we send that to Maynard.

Because Maynard, what it takes for him to do what he does, he has to commit to this concept and this whole thing. And nothing bums him out more than when we send him this thing and we change it. It’s like throwing the ultimate wrench into his work. Because once we give it to him he commits and that’s it. he does not want to change it.

I don’t blame him for that because of the commitment he has to do his bit. So that’s the way we figured out to do.

Because we went through the whole bit trying to do that on the previous records, like send him something and then all of a sudden we go ‘oh wait, we decided to change this chorus again’ and he’d just lose his fucking mind.”

Justin Chancellor spoke further of how they learned to only present their frontman Maynard James Keenan with finished pieces of music:

“I was really excited about a few of the tracks and I’d get carried away with myself and I’d send it to Maynard… And he’d write back like ‘wow, that’s awesome, is that it? Is it done?’ And I had to write back ‘actually, standby, I’m not sure if it’s finished yet’ and sure enough the next day the whole thing changed and I had to tell him and he was like ‘Don’t send that to me anymore, just let me know when you’re done with it.’

And that became the protocol, we finished out stuff and he’s like ‘are you really sure this is exactly what you guys wanna do?’

I can’t even imagine how he comes up with what he does cause, you know, what a nightmare to walk into. He absolutely just blew my mind every time on every song on this album.

He just did something amazing and unexpected and transcendental and just elevated the whole… you know what we were doing, we thought was already quite fantastic; made it incredible.”

The album’s producer Joe Barresi also revealed the origins of Carey‘s peculiarly named one-take drum solo track “Chocolate Chip Trip“:

“The studio we were at, also used to bake us these chocolate chip cookies all the time. So it was an extra little special treat—I put on a few pounds as well—and Danny called his drum solo ‘Chocolate Chip Trip‘ based on the fact that all we did was each chocolate chip cookies.”

Barresi also spoke of a drum tracking session where the force of Carey‘s playing accidentally knocked down a candle behind him, setting the drum kit alight, instilling a mad panic to get it put out before the sprinklers went off and ruined the gear.

The band are presently out touring North America on the album with Killing Joke opening. You can find tickets for that run here with dates available below:

10/25 San Antonio, TX – AT&T Center
10/27 Houston, TX – Toyota Center
10/29 Tulsa, OK – BOK Center
10/31 Milwaukee, WI – Fiserv Forum
11/02 Indianapolis, IN – Banker’s Life Fieldhouse
11/03 Chicago, IL – United Center
11/05 Cincinnati, OH – US Bank Arena
11/06 Cleveland, OH – Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse
11/08 Pittsburgh, PA – PPG Paints Arena
11/09 Detroit, MI – Little Caesars Arena
11/11 Toronto, ON – Scotiabank Arena
11/12 Toronto, ON – Scotiabank Arena
11/14 Boston, MA – TD Garden
11/16 Newark, NJ – Prudential Center
11/18 Philadelphia, PA – Wells Fargo Center
11/19 Brooklyn, NY – Barclay’s Center
11/21 Uncasville, CT – Mohegan Sun Casino Arena
11/22 Atlantic City, NJ – Boardwalk Hall
11/24 Raleigh, NC – PNC Arena
11/25 Washington, DC – Capitol One Arena

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