Originally Posted by finnhiggins
Right, but again we're going to have to contrast this with other bands out there. Let's look at Zappa - he managed to tour along with writing and arranging for considerably larger bands than Tool. And a lot of what he wrote was considerably more technically dense and layered. But in any given year he probably released about as much material as Tool produce in a decade, if not more.
Or there's Mr Bungle. Like Tool they pretty much only put an album out every four or five years during their lifetime as a band, and they always had to share Mike Patton with (the much bigger label priority) Faith No More. Other members had other gigs with John Zorn and others too. But each of their three albums was considerably more unique, varied and dense than this latest Tool album.
Two things to keep in mind:
* Coming off the back of Lateralus there were various interviews with Adam where he claimed they had another whole album worth of material they hadn't released on Lateralus which was written during the writing process for that album.
* The riff for 10,000 Days / Wings For Marie was being played regularly during the tours in 2002 between songs.
... so crediting them with writing the entire album in a year is maybe a bit wrong, considering that the primary musical material that makes up one 17-minute two-part song dates back to at least 2002.
Fair play on the having written the album in a year, I was only quoting what I read in Danny's Rhythm interview, though playing riffs and writing songs are two different things as I'm sure you know... and I think I read that the "whole album worth of material" was near enough ditched, I'm pretty sure I read that all of this stuff was new and the Lateralus "leftovers" were canned, though I could be completely wrong on that.
I read some stuff on the Toolarmy messageboards (yes, admittedly, I am a paid up member, though I would never profess Tool to be the best thing since sliced bread, I just enjoy the music) about Tool simply doing what they do for their own enjoyment. Perhaps it's for this reason that they haven't released this album for such a long time? Perhaps they wanted to work on it to get it a level they were happy with? I have no idea, I'm not defending the wait from album to album, just trying to justify.
To be honest I'm not really old enough to appreciate Tool from before they were seen as a pretentious prog rock band (as I've stated somewhere else I only got into them properly in about 1999, when I was still at school, at the time I think Maynard flat out refused to be interviewed and had just come across as moody, rather than arrogant) so have only really enjoyed the release of Lateralus and their latest, and I wasn't eagerly awaiting the release of the newest Tool, since my musical taste has been elsewhere since the release of Lateralus. That's what I like about Tool, actually. The fact I'm still interested enough after five years to listen to their new stuff, having been into a lot of pop punk and metal in the last few years (when I say metal I mean straightforward 4/4 euro-metal - Arkangel/ Heaven Shall Burn et al), I'm not really into prog, I'm only really just getting into it as part of an interest in developing my drumming.
Oh and I think saying that Mr. Bungle's albums were "unique, varied and dense" is a matter of perspective - personally I really don't enjoy Mr. Bungle... unique, yes, but not in a good way. I don't really see how Tool isn't unique, they don't sound like many other bands... do they?!
I'm gonna have to re-visit that thing about the breakdown in Vicarious (apologies Finn, I know it wasn't you that raised this, but it's bugged me) I just don't see how it's forced or "tacked on" or anything else... it sounds completely natural to me?! Again, I guess this is totally a matter of perspective, but that fifth beat sounds... well... right, somehow. I wouldn't sound right in 4/4, it wouldn't fit the song. I dunno.
Gah.... long post!