Tool are no longer in the studio, at least for the next few months. The band have been taking their sweet time recording the follow up to 2006's 10,000 Days, entering the studio in March, and only completing drum tracking about 10 days ago.
So far, all we've heard is a sampling of a new song the band have been teasing forever, "Descending." At the time, I joked how they better hurry because they have to be out of the studio by May 11th, because that's when the instrumentalists are embarking on a music clinic tour, where fans could ask the musicians anything they want about the upcoming album and songwriting in general.
The first of these clinics happened in St. Paul, MN this weekend (on May 11th) and a Redditor named ncast2523 offered a very in-depth recap of the event. Here are some highlights.
- The band confirmed that drum tracking is done and said they are recording to tape for the analog warmth it provides. So far, scratch tracks for vocals, bass and guitar were also recorded. These are typically just recorded as guidance for other instruments before the final tracks are recorded.
- Every song is over 10 minutes long.
- The band performed "The Grudge," "46 & 2," "Eulogy A," and "Descending" into Jambi followed by a new Danny Carey drum colo/segue and "Parabola"
- They note that at this point, Maynard comes in when all the music is done and writes lyrics around the music, and does not ask that parts be changed to fit his lyrics.
- They note that the process starts with Adam and Justin writing riffs and bringing them to Danny who completely rearranges them.
- They were asked why they usually play the same set list and they say Maynard is only able to perform so many songs, and if they want to do a deep cut, they usually have to change the pitch to fit Maynard's current voice. They noted that certain songs are horrible for Maynard's voice. Also, certain songs were written when they were much younger and because they don't feel the same passion and anger, it just doesn't translate authentically and they"d rather avoid it.
Here is the entire message the Redditor wrote for all you die-hards who would rather not get a tl;dr version: