Fans have been clamoring for a new Tool record for almost nine years. Last summer, the band revealed one of the major reasons for the delay was a multi-million dollar lawsuit involving their insurance company suing them over “technicalities” in a copyright case and a subsequent series of countersuits. In a new interview with Yahoo! Music, guitarist Adam Jones revealed the legal drama has ended, and the band is back at work on their 10,000 Days follow-up.
After years of being passed around the LA court system, the case was finally settled in the first week of March, with Tool leaving victorious. “We would have had an album out a long time ago,” Jones said, “we would have been taking more tours. But we’ve been discouraged and distracted by this major lawsuit, which is the worst thing that’s ever happened to us.”
The turning point came when there was a change of venue on the opening day of the trial. “We moved over to a North LA courthouse and we had a brand-new judge, who was fantastic. You know what his name was? Randy Rhodes!” Randy Rhoads (no relation) was a guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne and Quiet Riot. “I knew the power of metal, and my appreciation of metal was someday going to be like a guardian angel.”
Jones also revealed that an unnamed member of the band had been dealing with a “do-or-die, serious illness” that kept the band from recording. He chose not to reveal whom he was talking about out of respect, but said, “When you’re trying to write music and you have that eating away at you — this person you’re married to and you love and hate at the same time has something they’re dealing with that’s out of their control — it’s distracting.”
With all that said, Tool is now firmly back to work on its next album. The band has one track finished and 10 others in the works, most of which originated as jam sessions. “Some of it’s really heavy, some of it’s complex and some is more atmospheric, but it’s definitely Tool,” Jones said. “I think having this lawsuit out of the way should really speed of the progress of getting the album done.”
Jones also touched upon the level of involvement of vocalist Maynard James Keenan. Keenan used to join the band in studio, but his vocal parts would often have to be rewritten as the band altered their compositions. “We’re like painters that all work differently,” explained Jones. “Some painters can paint in a day. That’s kind of like Maynard. He’s so good at coming up with melodies and lyrics almost instantaneously. I’m the kind of painter who likes to paint one area and then sand it out and try something else. And then I’ll try different palettes.” As such, Keenan hasn’t been involved in a lot of the process to this point, but recently said he expects to commence “writing melodies and content ‘soon.'”
Jones said he hopes to have an album ready for release by the end of the year, but that they aren’t setting any deadlines for themselves. “We’re older guys now,” he concluded. “Everyone kind of has their own life, and the fire that burned in us when we were in our 20s isn’t there anymore. There’s still a fire, it’s just a different kind of fire. So of course, we’re writing and working hard, but we’ve gotten to a point where we’re relaxed and we’re meeting occasionally to get the writing done instead of every day. But I feel like every day we work on the songs is a productive day and we’re getting closer and closer to finishing them.”