It Doesn’t Matter If Tool Ever Releases A New Album

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Learn to release an album on time.

It seems that every couple of weeks a bit of news comes out about a new Tool album. The band is working on new songs! The band is not working on new songs! It’ll be released in 2018! It won’t be released in 2018! They already have a video! Some ding-dong listened to it and it’s going to blow everyone’s genitals clean off their body, making every human being look like Barbie and Ken!

It doesn’t matter.

The last album that Tool released, 10,000 Days, came out in 2006. That album debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200. That album went platinum. It had three Top 10 singles. Will that happen if they ever release this new album? Maybe. Maybe not. It doesn’t matter.

There was a time when Tool got a lot of airplay on the radio and even television. MTV is dead for rock bands. Rock radio is dead. All that’s left is a handful of soulless conglomerates that have bleached the airwaves of originality in favor of safe pop hits that are churned out to the tune of a cash register opening and closing. Currently, my state has one rock radio station. Just one. It’s not even modern rock. It’s classic rock that occasionally spits out a recent Foo Fighters or Green Day song. Hope you like AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, and “mandatory” Metallica because that’s all you’re getting. Will the new Tool album produce songs that these few remaining rock radio stations will actually play for more than a few weeks after their release? Will the band move into the modern era and actually put their music on popular streaming sites? It doesn’t matter.

The band is quickly creeping into Chinese Democracy territory in terms of gaps in putting out albums. Delays and other interests from the band members have caused interest among fans to wane. Each new scrap of news and cryptic quote is being met with dismissive tones and the rolling of eyes. “We’re working on it!” Cool. “Still in the studio!” Fine. “Going on tour with one of our other bands!”  Okay. You can only tease for so long before fans throw up their hands and say “It doesn’t matter.”

So why doesn’t it matter if the band puts out a new album or not? Time. Time has passed Tool by. The musical landscape has changed. Physical media has changed. Touring has changed. Prices for products and concert tickets have changed. Their fan base has aged and moved on to other things. Will a new Tool album buck trends and persevere with millions of albums sold and legions of new fans? It doesn’t matter.

Even the band members themselves have moved on to other things. Since the last Tool album, vocalist Maynard James Keenan has released three Puscifer studio albums, two Puscifer live albums, released his own wine, acted in a number of movies and television shows, and will even release a new A Perfect Circle album this year. Guitarist Adam Jones has worked on comic books. Drummer Danny Carey does a bunch of guest work and recently released an album with “supergroup” Legend of the Seagullmen. I’m sure Justin Chancellor is doing some fun stuff too. They’re busy guys. They’ve got new avenues for creative release. A new Tool album isn’t a priority. Why? It doesn’t matter.

To be clear, I’m not saying I do not want the band to release new music. On the contrary, they should put out new music. If we’re being honest, they should have done that about seven or eight years ago. Tool’s legacy is cemented among rock and 90’s music fans. They have been around long enough where really only the die-hards want new music and the vast majority of their fans just want to hear the hits live. Was anyone clamoring to hear Black Sabbath play songs off of 13 on their final tour? Not bloody likely.

Tool will eventually release a new album. It will probably have some good songs. Maybe it will even have a few cool videos. Maybe it will even win a few Grammys. They’ll play some tours and promise new music. Then the same cycle will begin again. Will it matter the next time around when they finally put out a new album in 2029? Probably not.

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