Sharp Tool

Maynard James Keenan may not be such a mystery

"We want all the elements of what we present to have a flavor to it as far as taste, mood, and depth," Keenan says. "Nowadays, more people are downloading music than buying CDs — at least that's what they say — and we wanted to present something that wasn't just a piece of music, but a piece of art. And maybe more people will want to go out and buy the CD because of that."

When it comes to its live shows, Tool is even more visual, using everything from huge screens showing surreal, frenetic slideshows of Jones' art to naked people covered in gold paint swaying on cables high above the stage. Tool will unveil its full-scale production on its current tour, having solidified its set earlier this year with a tour of smaller, more intimate venues. Phoenix fans should be pleased to know that "something special" is planned for the show here.

Tool time: Keenan (far left) keeps it curt.
Tool time: Keenan (far left) keeps it curt.

But, of course, Keenan won't say any more than that.

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