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Justin Chancellor On Tool’s New Music Progress: “We Already Have A Couple Of Solid, What I Would Say Are, Skeletons Of Songs Waiting To Be Finalized”


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When Tool finally broke their 13-year dry spell of new material in 2019 with their chart-topping fifth studio album “Fear Inoculum“, fans were hopeful that further material would follow in a much hastier fashion. There were certainly positive signs such a feat was feasible in the years that followed.

Danny Carey, drummer for the progressive alternative metal favorites, hoped for an EP to emerge during the downtime afforded by quarantine, but that never materialized. And now, with August 30th set to mark five years since the release of “Fear Inoculum“, some have taken to questioning if so much as a new song will ever the light of day.

The biological clock is certainly ticking for the band, half of whom have since entered their 60s. Both vocalist Maynard James Keenan and bassist Justin Chancellor have recently been vocal about age becoming a factor. Recently Keenan himself also admitted that the success of the band has almost been a ‘deterrent’ to the breadth of their catalog over the years, affording them the luxury of not being reliant on putting out new music.

Chancellor does remain hopeful though that the group can stick to their previously proposed timeline of hammering out new material after concluding their impending European tour this spring.

In a new interview with Kerrang!, Chancellor confirmed that there’s no shortage of ideas floating around to potentially be molded into songs from the band, even if the the band’s infuriating perfectionism may have disqualified a number of those ideas already.

When Chancellor was asked by the aforementioned publication if there are ‘untold hard drives full of Justin ideas right now’, he responded:

“There’s absolutely tons and tons of hard drives full of stuff. Some ideas go back to before ‘Fear Inoculum‘ that are just simple riffs that we never incorporated into a song. But sometimes that’s a bit like grinding the gears when you’re trying to resurrect or revisit them, so it’s really appealing to work on the newest stuff.

Each time we come together, people also have so many new ideas and then we’ll spend all day playing them. We’re constantly introducing new stuff but then sometimes that’ll marry with the old material. We’ve been writing for the last couple of weeks, meeting a couple of times each week – we’ve had some really good sessions, and a lot of it has been brand new. We already have a couple of solid, what I would say are, skeletons of songs waiting to be finalized.”

When asked about how the new material is sounding, Chancellor offered:

“It’s a real mixed bag. We’ve been doing this round robin thing of saying, ‘Danny, give us a drum rhythm that you’ve been working on,’ and then we’ll work on that. Then Adam will present one of his, and I’ll present one of mine. As soon as one idea gets exhausted, we’ll move onto the next.

That gives a real different variation of sound or starting point. We’re doing what we can to try and give a fresh approach to the writing experience, and part of that is trying not to overdo it so we’re not banging our heads against the wall. It’s knowing when to take a breath. We’re all really excited about it but we’re just letting it come as it does. We’ll probably work a little bit in soundchecks and in the dressing room. It’s great.”

Of course, whether or not these songwriting sessions fall victim to the creative quagmire often associated with Tool writing sessions remains to be seen, but Keenan also remains hopeful for more output from the band, telling Revolver earlier this year of his planned 2024 sonic pursuits, “I’ve got three bands that need to write songs, so I’m going to be doing that.”

First up though, Tool will be heading overseas for the following run of dates with Night Verses opening select shows.

05/25 Hannover, GER – ZAG Arena
05/27 Amsterdam, NET – Ziggo Dome
05/30 Birmingham, UK – Resorts World Arena
06/01 Manchester, UK – AO Arena
06/03 London, UK – The O2 Arena
06/05 Paris, FRA – Accor Arena
06/08 Berlin, GER – Parkbühne Wuhlheide
06/10 Wien, AUT – Wiener Stadthalle
06/11 Kraków, POL – Tauron Arena
06/13 Budapest, HUN – BudapestAréna
06/18 Köln, GER – Lanxess Arena
06/20 Dessel, BEL – Graspop Metal Meeting
06/22 Copenhagen, DEN – CopenHell
06/25 Stockholm, SWE – Tele2 Arena
06/27 Oslo, NOR – Tons of Rock

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