Kurt Cobain Said Tool Ripped Off Band


Late Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain never shied away from sharing his opinion. Even at the expense of his band, Cobain was also particularly harsh when it came to talking about anything that he saw as misleading, from artists that took themselves way too seriously to critiquing his album Nevermind for being nothing but a watered-down version of what he knew they were capable of.

Kurt Cobain wasn’t impressed with Tool

Apart from his personal tastes, art and music often went hand-in-hand, and when he saw the first Tool video, he wasn’t particularly impressed with what he saw. At the time the heavy metal juggernauts got the ball rolling and it won’t be wrong to say that they were already at the forefront of a major change in rock and roll.

Since grunge had killed off every hair metal band in existence, it ended up messing up other great bands by design. Tool were a bit different. They still had the hallmarks of metal band on their debut album, Undertow, but there was a bit of an alternative slant to it. The band had developed an artsy style and a few progressive tendencies.

It has been noted that when it came time for the band to drop a video, Tool would not show their faces. Instead of making the typical performance video that everyone else was doing, Adam Jones concocted a stop motion animation video that was ripped straight out of a nightmare for their song ‘Sober’.

Thestick figurines and puppets didn’t look like the most daunting thing in the world but watching them being laid out and put through these torturous positions looks horrifying in context.

Well, that’s what the original was supposed to be. While Tool had that aesthetic down to a science, Cobain only saw them cribbing their ideas from The Brothers Quay on their short stop-motion videos. While Cobain wanted something in the vein of their puppeteer style of filmmaking for the video for ‘Lithium’, he thought Tool made a mockery of what they did.

Kurt Cobain’s comments

Fans noted how ‘Sober’ paralleled their style and Kurt Cobain was hopeful that The Brothers Quay pursued legal action, telling MTV:

“Oh God, I hope they get sued! It is such a ripoff, it’s a shameless ripoff! I mean, I wanted a Brothers Quay style, but I didn’t want anything like that. That was terrible! They should be slapped on the wrist for that!”

Nirvana went on to use it live footage for the video for ‘Lithium’, the rest of their music video catalog saw them getting more artsy and it included the amazing shots in ‘Heart Shaped Box’. Tool eventually shifted away from that style of animation as well, with Jones putting in other imaginings for the videos for songs like ‘Schism’ and ‘Stinkfist’.

Well, it can’t be said if they managed to rip off The Brothers Quay intentionally. However, the lion’s share of their music wasn’t about attempting to repeat the same metal influences of the past.