Tool performed “Sweat” for the first time since August 28, 1998 at their show in San Francisco on Thursday. Metallica members Lars Ulrich and Robert Trujillo attend the show. Watch video and see the setlist below!
Drum Solo (with synth)
Sweat (first since August 28, 1998)
Rush left Tool a letter in guitarist Adam Jones’ road case a couple of years ago, and Jones rediscovered it last night and shared it with fans. The letter reads: “Have a great gig! We’re in the studio now. Catch you next time. Alex, Geddy, and Neil.”
Jones called Rush his ‘heroes’ on his Instagram account, “Cleaning out my road case & found this from a couple years back. #RUSH #heroes.”
Tool drummer Danny Carey jammed with Rush drummer Neil Peart last year. The pair united with Vertical Horizon frontman Matt Scannell, South Park creator Matt Stone, and The Police drummer Stewart Copeland.
Adam Jones discussed Tool’s new album in a recent Rolling Stone interview.
“I’ll tell you, it’s wonderful. Things are really flowing and going really well, and I’m just blown away at the stuff that’s coming together. I’m excited and can’t wait for it to be done. It’s something I’ve been missing for a long time [laughs], that beautiful collaboration that we have because we’re all so different and have different tastes. But again, when you are all meeting in the middle and that thing you do that meets in the middle is just beautiful, it’s very rewarding. So yes, I’m very happy.”
“We probably have 20 potential song ideas now. Of course, 20 won’t be on the record. We’re just jamming. But I’ll tell you, there’s nothing better than having too many good songs then not enough. It’s great. You pick your faves.”
He also discussed how Maynard James Keenan is working with the band.
“We have an FTP and a Dropbox and we’re in communication. He’s got other stuff he does, so we keep him in the loop, and he has written lyrics, but he’s still working on that and he’ll commit. The best thing for all of us is when the song is done. I don’t write leads until the song is done. You want to get a vibe. And Maynard can work on lyrics, but until the song’s done and he knows how the end is, he’s still figuring out the flow.
The thing with Tool is you have four critical thinkers who like different stuff, so our process is not an easy one but it’s a very rewarding one. So yes, he is exposed to new music. It’s always been this way and it probably will always be this way and it’s just how people work.”
In this writer’s opinion, a band can do a cover song injustice one of two ways (in rare cases both). One is by playing the song to a T, and adding no elements of what your band has to offer. For some reason the most occurring example in my mind is Joan Jett’s cover of “We’re Not Gonna Take It”. But this editorial is dedicated the other path of injustice, having a cover so different that it either is unrecognizable, or defeats the purpose of the original version. Now for those of you who think that I’m being “too mean” or that “a band has every right to do a grindcore version of “Genie In A Bottle”, I just want to make you aware that covers cost money. Yes, music law is a thing, and it states that your band must have a license for every cover song that it records and sells (even for streaming on Spotify and Bandcamp), and venues must obtain licenses if they are going to allow bands to play cover songs. My co-writer once spoke to members of Jungle Rot about the possibility of performing their cover of “Jesus Hitler” originally by Carnivore, and their response was along the lines of “we don’t want to deal with the paperwork”. A mechanical license can be very expensive depending on how many copies of your cover song you intend to sell. So I would imagine if your band was to do a cover song, you would want the perfect blend of originality and homage so that you would get a return on investment. But these 10 songs that I will now list, seem like a wasted investment and their efforts would have been better spent on just another original. I’m not sure if mechanical licenses were acquired for all of these. Some are so different that you could get away with claiming it’s an original. I’ve divided this list into 2 parts; 5 metal covers of metal songs and 5 metal covers of non-metal.
Forgotten Tomb – Depression (Originally by Black Flag)
You’ll understand why this cover is ridiculous at 3:06. First of all, it’s a good thing this band didn’t sell this record on iTunes because in accordance with their policy on 10 min+ songs, this cover wouldn’t be available for purchase unless you bought the whole damn “album”. Secondly, when there’s an extended period of feedback, it’s usually reserved for live shows, and it’s best when it’s accompanied by breaking instruments on stage. Other than a small minority of extreme noise fans, does anyone really want 7 minutes of feedback/wasted space on their music player?
Sunn0))) – For Whom The Bell Tolls (Originally by Metallica)
West Coast weirdos Sunn0))) did several of these types of covers. Initially I thought they just played this Metallica classic 3x slower. But no. There are no vocals, and there’s not much variance in the riffs, as was on the original version. The band has been on record stating that this was meant to be a reinterpretation rather than a cover, explaining why there is literally zero resemblance to Metallica’s recording, sounding instead like a Sunn0))) original. Still, a music lawyer once told me that even rearrangements require a license. And why even bother slapping Metallica’s name on 10 minutes of drone doom?
Fun fact: The full title of this track (last track on “Flight Of The Behemoth) is “F.W.T.B.T. (I Dream of Lars Ulrich Being Thrown Through the Bus Window Instead of My Mystikal Master Kliff Burton)”
Tuathail – This Charming Man (Originally by The Smiths)
The guitar melody on this bears resemblance to the original, although the distortion makes this cover look like a troll. And the main importance of songs from The Smiths is Morrissey’s vocals. Replacing them with typical black metal vocals doesn’t do The Smiths justice, while the pop-esque melody doesn’t do black metal justice.
Amon Amarth – Aerials (Originally by System Of A Down)
Same case as above. SOAD’s vocalist Serj is one-of-a-kind. And while Amon Amarth’s vocalist Johann could be considered the same, he really should stick to what he knows, lyrically and vocally.
In Extremo – This Corrosion (Originally by The Sisters Of Mercy)
The token folk metal tune on this list. The use of folk instruments on this recording definitely bring something different to the table. Problem is that the instruments give it too much of an improper upbeat tone, while the original recording has a gothic tone that is too epic to be messed with.
Epica – Crystal Mountain (Originally by Death)
Sometimes you can sneak clean vocals into death metal songs and keep them good. But having a soprano interject in the middle of a death metal classic is just over-the-top. The addition of a symphony is pretentious as well.
Celtic Frost – In The Chapel In The Moonlight (Originally by Dean Martin)
Yes. Celtic Frost does Dean Martin. This song has a percussive track just like several of their originals from earlier works. Tom G. Warrior for the most part refuses to do actual singing on this as usual. As was the case with The Smiths, it’s injustice to a singer but now with a beat that sounds nothing like the original.
Crystal Viper – Tyrani Piekieł (Originally by Vader)
I can’t help but feel that this was done out of nepotism. Both bands are from the same Polish metal scene. This cover features Vader frontman, Piotr Wiwczarek, but as a backup vocalist for the most part, only having the lyrics in the bridge to himself . While this doesn’t annoy me as much as Epica’s Death cover, the clean vocals still defeat the purpose of this death metal track. The guitar tuning on the original recording was more aggressive as well.
Machine Head – Colors (Originally by Ice-T)
Given that this song was recorded when the Nu-Metal movement rose to popularity, it of course raised some eyebrows. Flynn’s rapping isn’t too different from Ice-T’s. So to give the song a twist, he inserted a few guitar techniques here and there. But pick scrapes can’t really hold a candle to record scratches in my opinion.
Vital Remains – The Trooper (Originally by Iron Maiden)
This is my example of a cover being unjust by being the same and different all at once. Before the death growls kick in, the guitars are played in the same way as the original. So the beginning sounds like power metal. Hence they’re trojan horsing their death metal on you here. In the past, death metal bands have covered metal classics. But in other cases, the riffs were made more aggressive and tuned lower.
Watch out Firefly, the Northeast festival scene is about to get even busier.
According to Vanyaland, Evil Vixen Promotions, a Las Vegas based promotions company is slated to introduce a two-day music festival in Quonset area of New England. The festival, called “America Rocks,” will be “The largest music festival of its kind in the entire Northeast and New England region.”
The final lineup is set to be announced in January, however, well-known groups such as Metallica, Foo Fighters and The Black Keys have been tied to potentially performing at the festival, among other headliners.
While the above acts cannot be confirmed at this time, founder of Evil Vixen has said that negotations are ongoing. The festival will also include other special attractions such as a food truck festival, car and motorcycle exhibits, as well as a Mardi Gras themed bar and vendor village.
“America Rocks” is scheduled for June 25th and 26th in 2016.
Metallica has announced that they will not be having their third Orion Festival next year. Frontman James Hetfield stated that the reason was due to budget and finance problems. Even through this, he is still excited about what the future holds:
Making the next record is in our sights, I’m itchin’. I’m sitting here at HQ right now looking at all my gear going, ‘Man, I want to write a record!’ We’re a band and we write music — that’s what we like doing best. We have tons of material to sift through, and that takes a lot of time ’cause there’s a lot of great stuff. I know we only need a few songs, but there’s 800 riffs we’re going through. It’s kind of insane. We have sifted through a lot of the stuff and pulled the cream of the crop. It’s just sitting there waiting for us to take it to the next level. Hopefully it happens soon.