Tool released Lateralus on May 15, 2001. The album has since sold over 2.6 million copies in the United States alone, and spawn the band's highest-charting single in the form of "Schism". The album is also Tool's first effort with then-Peach bassist Justin Chancellor, who sat down with Kerrang! recently for a pretty lengthy reflection on the album.
When asked why he thinks people still obsess over the record, Chancellor said he's really not sure and instead offered his own reaction to it 20 years out.
"When I listened to it the other night, I heard something that’s completely different that I hadn’t heard before,” said Chancellor. "The way it’s played, the type of music it is, the way the songs are formed, the way that the whole thing is put together, I just hear something completely unique, completely original. I think maybe as far as popular rock music [at the time], everything had gotten mushed, like when you mash all your food together. It just became this mush where everyone was doing the same thing.
"And not only that, but the stuff that is different got buried under the mush. Suddenly, all this stuff was saturated at the radio, the festivals. Perhaps it took someone like us slaving away and not really listening to that stuff. We already had this impetus from success before that and, because we followed through with it, we managed to crash through the ceiling."