Tool has been called progressive metal for just about as long as they've been around, though drummer Danny Carey doesn't think that labelling is apt. In an interview with Classic Rock, Carey says he doesn't think Tool has ever been a metal band.
Bassist Justin Chancellor says he thinks Tool is more of a heavy psychedelic band while vocalist Maynard James Keenan says it's more about language than anything else.
“I don’t think that we were ever a metal band,” says Danny Carey. “I can understand that maybe we’d get compared with Pink Floyd…”
“It depends what you mean by heavy metal,” argues Justin. “I always think that we’re a heavy psychedelic band.”
“Yeah, it’s all about language,” says Maynard. “So were Black Sabbath a metal band?”
Well, er, yeah. Of course.
“Oh, okay. But if Black Sabbath are a metal band, then I guess that we are, too. But when I listen to things like Master Of Reality, I hear sort of heavy political rock’n’roll. I guess I don’t really hear them as heavy metal.”
“Heavy metal just makes me think of Whitesnake,” says Justin.
Metal or not, there's no denying how damn good Tool's first new album in 13 years Fear Inoculum is. The album has been breaking all kinds of records lately, and Carey even says his "hope is we get in and knock out another record. We have tons of material." Because what would the Tool fandom be if we weren't always asking about a new record?
Meanwhile, Tool have a sold out fall tour scheduled. You can get tickets here.