Is Tool beginning to tease the release of their new album? The band posted a cryptic message on their Twitter account yesterday: A picture of a stadium with the date June 26 marked on the grass. What has puzzled the fans is whether this is just another date in a long line of North American tour dates that the band has been announcing lately, or if this has actually got something to do with the upcoming album. You be the judge.
— TOOL effing TOOL (@Tool) April 7, 2017
The stage is finally beginning to look set for the release of Tool’s fabled fifth album. Last month, the band announced a series of North American tour dates, starting on May 24. And earlier in March, it was announced that Maynard James Keenan was currently in the process of recording the vocals for the new album. However, the frontman recently announced that there could be yet more delay on the release of the new album, suggesting that it had hit a roadblock.
Tool’s near-mythical fifth studio album is rumored to be released sometime later this year. Fans got excited when it was announced that Tool would be headlining this year’s New York’s Governor’s Ball Festival (June 4). This is to be their first New York show in 11 years. Coincidentally, it has also been 11 years since they last released an album. There last album 10,000 days came out in 2006.
Rumors of a new Tool album have been floating around since last year. Frontman Maynard James Keenen’s initial reaction to these rumors was to shrewdly lay them to rest with a tweet calling the rumors “dumb.” However, despite Maynard’s tweet, some fans still seemed very optimistic. Revelations from Justin Chancellor, Danny Carey, and Adam Jones confirming the new album had given them reason to do so. Besides, they pointed out how Tool enjoyed messing around with the fans regarding the release of a new album. And indeed, the band has done that in the past, one example being that time they posted fake track listings before the release of Lateralus in 2001.
Earlier in December, bassist Justin Chancellor addressed the delay of the new album in an interview with Bass Player. While Justin seemed somewhat irritated by the repeated questions about the new album, which has somewhat become characteristic of Tool, he did seem to empathize with the fans’ impatience.
“We’ve narrowed things down to big groups of ideas. For the past few months we’ve been working on one of the newer songs fairly exclusively. We get the gist of it and find the main themes that make up the skeleton between verses and choruses.
“Everyone knows we take our time.
“All I can say is that we’ll go back Monday and do our best to finish it for you.”
It had widely been speculated that the delay in the release of Tool’s sixth album was the result of frontman Maynard James Keenan’s frustration and indifference with the band’s followers. He had been accused of calling his own fans “insufferable retards”, an accusation he recently clarified.
“Our core fanbase aren’t fanatics. They’re music lovers, artists and good people. It’s the fanatics that are insufferable.”
However, in 2014, in an interview with Rolling Stone, Danny Carey and Adam Jones revealed that the actual cause of the delay was family commitments and an ongoing lawsuit. After the lawsuit had been settled for the band in 2015, Jones revealed that the band was now turning their focus to recording a new album, adding that he hoped it would be released by the end of 2015. Well, almost halfway through 2017, and the new album finally seems to be in sights. (Hopefully!)
[Featured Image by John Shearer/AP Images]