Tool Hint (Or Troll) At New Album Release


Blair has released Tool’s May 2016 newsletter on, featuring a satirical ‘interview’ with a ‘Tool fan.’ At the end of the article, the ‘fan’ asks about the new album, and Blair responds, “I’ll try to get you on the list for *** ****** ******* **** ** ******.” Fans have deciphered this and many think it is ‘record release show in August’ or ‘record release tour in August.’ Note though that the whole ‘interview’ appears to be Blair talking to himself, and he has a reputation of trolling fans with the newsletters. Read the ‘interview’ below.


Seeing how this May Newsletter marks the 16th anniversary of my writing them – being a milestone of sorts – I was nearly in tears trying to decide what the Tool-related subject matter would be, when I had a La Gritona 100% de agave azul epiphany. Actually, the idea came from one of the band members during a conversation that we were having backstage after the last Tool concert in San Diego. Although I forget which band member it was, the question that he asked was whether or not I had ever interviewed a random Tool fan for the website? My answer was “No”, but that it seemed like a great idea. For the interview – just to make things more interesting – I would prefer a complete stranger, and not someone at a place where Tool enthusiasts constellate, such as a Tool show (or, in case of a female fan, not at a gentleman’s club… Ba-Dum Tshh.) Therefore, I decided that the first person that I saw in ‘neutral territory’ that was wearing an article of clothing with the Tool logo would be the one to approach about doing an interview.

As it turned out, it would be several months after my self-imposed exile from L.A. to Paradise (well, close enough) when I spotted such a person. While picking up an ice-cold 12-pack of Busch and couple of bottles of Dr. Pepper at the local Terrible’s (Yes, Herbst’s chain), the person standing in line in front of me was wearing a vintage (1993?) “All Indians, No Chiefs” tee shirt. I also noticed that this guy had a Raider’s tattoo on his arm. Being a Raider’s fan, myself (and, of course, hating the Chiefs!), I asked him if he was hoping that the “Silver State” might add some black? After what I perceived to be a noncommittal shrug, I then asked him if he was a Tool fan, and, if so, would he mind doing a brief interview with me? Rather than absquatulate the convenience store – thinking that I was a weirdo – instead, he agreed to do so, even saying that he now recognized who I was. (When questioning my choice of beer, I told him that Terrible’s had the coldest breakfast brew in town, but even if it wasn’t, “I’d rather have a warm Busch than a cold Heine” – Heineken being what he was purchasing.) Yep, now he was positive that it really was me, and not some decoy.

For the interview, we decided to meet in an hour at the nearby Grimaldi’s Pizzeria, where we could talk over a couple of large Peroni’s on tap. All questions were deemed fair game, with the only stipulation being that the person remains anonymous. I can tell you that he is originally from Sparks and that he is now a tattoo artist and drummer living in Green Valley, Nevada (which is also damn close to Paradise), but certain details, such as his place of employment and the names of the (cover) bands that he has played with, will not be included. The questions and answers are recorded verbatim, excluding only verbal placeholders and other meaningless filters, such as “um”, “ah”, “oh” and “you know what I mean”, etc. At the appointed time, and with the first of several Peronis arriving at our patio table, I switched on my trusty digital Olympus Note –Corder DP-201 and began the interview:

BMB: First of all, I have to ask: Being a tattoo artist, have you ever done a Tool-themed tattoo for a friend or for a customer?

ANSWER: “ Yes, I’ve done a few. There was a “Wrench” tattoo for a lady friend. Also, a Tesseract – what that geometry on Danny’s kicks is called?- and a variation of the “Flaming Eye.” And… You’ll like this, Blair – A “Problem 8” thing. Part of a math equation – some thing that the customer had a drawing of… that I didn’t understand, but copied exactly. So, while you’re here, let me ask you a question: Does the Problem 8 thing really exist?

BMB (ANSWER TO HIS QUESTION) Highly irregular – asking the interviewer a question right from the get-go. However, I’m game. Shit yes. In fact, I waned the band members to agree to do a geo-caching type treasure hunt with it… posting the GPS coordinates of its location, but have them embedded in a cryptic news post that was seemingly about something else. Something different. But, because of the chance of someone finding the buried container… or whatever it was that concealed it – which I also wanted to include a disposable camera to verify their find – no one wanted to do it. I don’t think that they want this to be discovered until some time in the not too distant future. I’m fairly sure that they wished that I never mentioned it in the first place… but no one told me not to. Yet… maybe someday I will do this with mine… OR… maybe I already have posted the coordinates in a news post (or elsewhere) without their knowledge, and the ‘treasure’ is there for the taking…


BMB: Okay, just don’t ask me about the “Bethlehem Abortion Clinic” album artwork in that ‘spurious’ catalog inserted into the European release of “Aenima.” So, how did you become a Tool fan?

ANSWER: “When I was younger, I was really into playing Scrabble… Just kidding, Blair. I was raised in a Pentecostal church environment and played drums in the church – I was no Danny Carey, but not too bad. There were lots of good musicians in the church band… and lots of restrictions – even though we tried to argue that rock n roll – even demonically motivated rock n roll – started in the church. Anyway, our guitar player was really into “Stryper” at the time, and I remember us playing “To Hell With The Devil.” Then I met this really cool girl… and when I played a Stryper song, she laughed and was like – NO! Listen to this, she said, and put on some “Jane’s Addiction.” She then played Aenima. Fuck! It wasn’t long before I politely said adios to the church – laughing at Bill Hick’s observations… and I’ve been a Tool fan ever since… even playing some of the band’s music in cover bands that had regular gigs in Reno. Do I owe them some money?”

BMB: What’s your favorite Tool album?

ANSWER: “If I had to choose one, I would say “Lateralus”, but there are times when another record becomes my favorite. Hopefully the next record will be my favorite!”

BMB: What was your first Tool concert and what was your favorite?

ANSWER: “My first was in San Francisco. Aenima. My favorite was in Reno, when after the band finished and the lights came on and the stage was being dismantled – the lights went back out and the few of us still there got to hear Faaip de Oiad live. The drum kit for this was an old Ludwig stainless steel Octoplus kit… with electronic pads… but I never heard anyone mention this part. Right? I hope it is on a live DVD someday, but, if not, that might be even cooler as I would be only one of a handful of people who experienced this real encore. Later, when I read the Area 51 guy… the Art Bell 911 [Sept, 11, 1997 – BMB] caller’s words… transcript, he said something about, “so that the FEW that are LEFT will be more easily controlled”, and I wondered if this had something to do with it someday being a hidden live track or something on a DVD? I just found it odd that the guy said that… right?”

BMB: Have you ever thought about attempting space-time manipulation by setting the verniers of a continua device, or by some other means of transuniversal travel, in order to see Tool perform live in an alternate universe?

ANSWER: “You mean one where Danny signs his autograph with a pen… I mean… in ink not purple, but the color of a deadly green… something… deadly green… nebula. Sure! Why not?” Gotcha, huh?” [I’m guessing that he Googled the archived January, 2008, Tool Newsletter while I was taking a whiz, although the interviewee denied doing so. – BMB]

BMB: Are you a ToolArmy member?

ANSWER: “Yes. What’s with the negativity of some people? I used to get kinda perturbed reading the boards, but once I realized that it was mostly the same few people whining over every little thing, I no longer cared. These were the same people who – when the actual track list for “10,000 Days” – names of the actual songs – were released on ToolArmy, said that it was bogus, and a lame attempt to fool people… and that their 5-year brother could come up with more realistic sounding song titles! Some of these people are a joke. But I also kind of feel sorry for them – that their lives are so unfilled – that they have to resort to stuff like that. It’s easy to do with e-mail, but I wonder if these same trolls would take the time if they actually had to write a snail-mail gripe… stuff it into an envelope… buy a postage stamp, and drop it in a mailbox?” [This sounded a little familiar! – Didn’t I once say the same thing? – BMB]

BMB: Okay, I just checked your Toolarmy rank, and would like to offer you a chance for advancement just by answering one question. Here goes: Would you rather fight one horse-sized duck, or 100 duck-sized horses?

ANSWER: “That’s a tough one. Maybe I’ll just become a FourthEye member.”

BMB: The correct answer is: I’d rather find a penguin in the freezer.

BMB: What is it that you like the most about Tool? Conversely, are there things that you don’t like about the band?

ANSWER: “Besides the music, lyrics, live shows and merchandise, I like the camaraderie that is shared by many Tool fans. How certain ideas are introduced and elaborated on. Sometimes things are way overthought – taken to the extreme – like all the energy spent on secret alternate track sequences, or playing different tracks at the same time to create a totally different song. Trying to sync Lateralus with a Tim Burton film! It seems like all that energy spent on hidden meanings could be better served. Rather than spending countless hours trying to solve the whereabouts of a hidden song, they could actually solve the Riemann Hypothesis… or something like it. Some fans are pretty gullible, too! You know – believing that Maynard has a full-scale replica of Captain Nemo’s “Nautilus” submarine in his swimming pool, complete with a pipe organ inside…”

BMB: Yeah, I will admit that it’s pretty hard to believe that there’s a pipe organ inside his submarine…

ANSWER: (CONTINUING) “… Still, I find the thoughts of some fans to be really inspiring. I also like a lot of Tool tattoos! What don’t I like? I wished the band hadn’t played for the Scientologists, [Garden Pavilion, May, 1993 (?) – BMB] but, instead, played at a Pentecostal church, where some people might actually have been saved… Do you know how many Scientologists it takes to screw in a light bulb?”

BMB: No. How many?

ANSWER: “As many as they can get.”

BMB: How do you feel about having to wait for a new album, video, live DVD, website, etc.?

ANSWER: “ I guess that I’m not as impatient as some fans. There are way too many other things to do… or to worry about! Besides, I would much rather have something done really well, than something that is mediocre just because it’s quicker. I think that some fans who complain about these things, it’s just their – misguided – yes – way of expressing how much they like Tool’s music. So, it’s not really that bad of a thing.”

BMB: Being a Tool fan, do you have any Tool collectibles that you are proud of?

ANSWER: “Does Aenima vinyl count? I have this shirt that I’m wearing… and a lenticular keychain… that isn’t broken. That’s about it, I guess… but… maybe… after you have another Peroni, Blair, you’ll accidently leak…tell me the coordinates where your Problem 8 thing is buried… or located. At least tell me what news post it’s hidden in?”

BMB: What’s your favorite Tool video?

ANSWER: “That’s an easy one. Parabol/Parabola. Maybe, Sober.”

BMB: How do you feel about certain band members’ side projects?

ANSWER: “I’m all for it. Any music made by the guys in Tool can’t be a bad thing!”

BMB: How has Tool inspired you?

ANSWER: “In many ways – like I mentioned about the Pentecostal church, and thinking for yourself. It’s cool that they – on their website – help promote other artists instead of focusing only on themselves as most band websites do. Mainly, it’s the music and lyrics that I appreciate. With Tool… and Danny, I’m more inspired to play my drums, and approach my drumming in a different way. Plus, I’m now a great Scrabble player.”

BMB: Last question: Is there a particular song that you’d like to hear Tool perform live, that you’ve never heard them play?

ANSWER: “How about Problem 8. Just kidding. Having heard Faaip de Oiad, I’m good… But, when are we going to hear some new stuff? Wait, I think I know the answer – when it’s finished.”

BMB: Thanks for agreeing to answer some questions. I’ll try to get you on the list for *** ****** ******* **** ** ******.