Earlier this year, reports surfaced saying that a new Tool album was finally on its way. Unfortunately, the news turned out to be false, and anxious fans who had been waiting eight years for new music learned they’d have to sit tight a little longer. Now, in a new interview with Rolling Stone, the band’s decided to speak up on the nearly decade-long delay.
From personal issues to creative stagnancy to inner band turmoil, there are so many reasons why an album could be derailed. But for Tool, the one thing keeping them from putting out a new record is a ridiculous, circus-like string of lawsuits and countersuits.
The legal nightmare stems from an incident involving a friend of guitarist Adam Jones, who claimed he had provided artwork for the band and wanted due credit. Instead of helping to defend Tool, their insurance company went ahead and sued the band “over technicalities” in the case. Tool then countersued. Fast-forward seven years later, and they’re still deep in the trenches battling the same legal war.
“The whole thing is really depressing,” drummer Danny Carey told Rolling Stone. “The bad thing is it’s really time consuming. As we’ve gotten older and our priorities have changed, it’s hard to get the band on a good, solid schedule as it is. People have kids now. And there’s lots of other things that pop up. To throw this into the mix, it makes everything that much worse and stresses people out.”
Jones added, “And it’s costing millions and millions and millions of dollars to defend us. And the fans are all going, ‘We want a new Tool album. What the fuck?’ And you don’t want to pull people into your problems, because they don’t understand.”
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The case is set to go to trial in January, and while Tool remain determined to finally put the nightmare to rest after almost a decade of litigation, they can’t help feel as though the odds are against them. “We’re going to trial and we want to crush them,” Jones said. “But every time we’ve gotten close to going to trial, it gets postponed and we’ve wasted money and time and it has just drained our creative energy. We bought an insurance policy for peace of mind, but instead we would have been better off if we never had it and just dealt with the original lawsuit.”
“I find it so hard to be creative when you have something awful nagging at you, just stuck between the hemispheres of your brain and affecting your sleep and your relationship with other band members,” Jones explained of the toll the case has taken on the group. “We have such a strong creative freedom in this band. It’s like we’ve been in a war. And it’s unnecessary. It’s just a shame.”
Thankfully, there is light at the end of the tunnel. The band intend to have something recorded within the next few months. Some of the new material they’ve been working on has been described as “heavy,” “more metal sounding,” and full of “good, nose-bleeding riffs.”
“I’m hoping that we have something really solid recorded by the end of the year,” Carey notes. “But we’ll see how it goes. I thought that last year, too. But we’re making great progress. We’ve really knocked out a lot of good things, especially over the last month. We’re all excited about it.”