Justin Chancellor discussed Tool’s new album in a recent interview with Bass Player.
“We’re pretty deep into the writing process now, and we’ve narrowed things down to big groups of ideas. For the past few months we’ve been working on one of the newer songs fairly exclusively. We get the gist of it and find the main themes that make up the skeleton between verses and choruses. Then we explore different ways we can depart from that and come back to it and flip it upside down, and take the time to see what else is there. Everyone knows we take our time. We’re really trying to be responsible with ourselves in trying to discover ideas that haven’t been discovered before. It’s kind of an alchemy, how we experiment.”
He also discussed the writing process, and why they don’t rush it.
“Writing is a grueling process for us, and once we finish an album, we go on tour for a couple of years. Plus, we’re always very involved in our own business, so we need a break when we come back. We’ve also been through a lot of difficult lawsuits, which we deal with ourselves, and they’re a bit of a bummer and not inspiring creatively. But we’ve fought to be in this position, and it’s almost a responsibility now to take the time to explore special concepts while we’re on this planet. We’re our own worst critics; we’re doing our best to find something that blows us all away, and we want each other to be completely happy with what we produce. I’m excited that there’s going to be another album and the material will be very inspiring. So why rush it now?”
“Adam [Jones] and I usually have the source material we’ve come up with together here. We’re playing pretty much nonstop right now, so a lot of ideas are coming out. Often, Danny and I will be playing something and Adam will rush into the room and tell us to record it, and then we’ll spend the rest of the day working on it to see if it’s worthwhile. And of course we have a whole treasure chest of ideas on our phones that we record on our own. Basically, Adam and I have riffs and Danny has rhythms or different time-signature beats, and we try to keep them basic before bringing them in to see what the other members will do with them. We establish a riff so we and the listener can identify it, and then we say, Okay, now how far away from it can we go on this journey?”