Tool guitarist Adam Jones has revealed that the band’s long-awaited fifth album is far from completion, despite a wealth of musical ideas amongst the group and one close-to-completed track. Jones says the primary reason for the eight-year delay has been a convoluted series of lawsuits.
As Rolling Stone reports, the legal back-and-forth stems from a 2007 claim by a friend of Jones’, who said that he’d created artwork for the group and wanted credit. An insurance company that the band thought would defend them against lawsuits then turned around and sued the band over technicalities regarding the case. The band countersued to defend themselves from the insurer.
Seven years later, Tool are still in the middle of litigation with the insurer, with the case scheduled to go to trial in January. “The whole thing is really depressing,” says drummer Danny Carey. “The bad thing is it’s really time-consuming. As we’ve gotten older and our priorities have changed, it’s hard to get the band on a good, solid schedule as it is. People have kids now. And there’s lots of other things that pop up. To throw this into the mix makes everything that much worse and stresses people out.”
“And it’s costing millions and millions and millions of dollars to defend us,” Jones adds. “And the fans are all going, ‘We want a new Tool album. What the fuck?’ And you don’t want to pull people into your problems, because they don’t understand. But the point is, we’re fighting the good fight.”
“We’re going to trial and we want to crush them,” he explains. “But every time we’ve gotten close to going to trial, it gets postponed and we’ve wasted money and time and it has just drained our creative energy. We bought an insurance policy for peace of mind, but instead we would have been better off if we never had it and just dealt with the original lawsuit.” But there is good news for fans.
Throughout the legal turmoil, Jones, Carey, and bassist Justin Chancellor have slowly been writing music, with Carey stating that “the toughest part of writing” is over and they even have one song that is “pretty much done” – a 10-minute track with “lots of changes and… really heavy elements.”
“Sometimes I feel we get a little too proggy or too into exploring time signatures but not getting heavy enough for my taste,” says Jones. “There are some good nose-bleeding riffs happening… It’s not out-of-the-gate crazy heavy, but there are little journeys with nice paths that end up very heavy.”
“I’m hoping that we have something really solid recorded by the end of the year,” says Carey. “But we’ll see how it goes. I thought that last year, too. But we’re making great progress. We’ve really knocked out a lot of good things, especially over the last month. We’re all excited about it.”
Watch: Tool – Stinkfist