Tool’s Adam Jones on 2016 Tour, Album Progress, ‘Amazing’ New Song
Adam Jones knows what Tool fans want. As the group preps for a tour with Primus, which kicks off in January and currently has them playing in San Diego and a string of dates in the South, the guitarist and his bandmates are exploring ways to maximize their budget for what they themselves has described as “an unparalleled sonic and visual experience.”
“The way we’ve always done our live thing is to put as much money as we can afford into the production and make it as exciting as possible,” the guitarist, 50, says. “Our whole outlook on putting out a CD or making a T-shirt or a poster or doing something live is, ‘What would you want if you went, and did you get your money’s worth or did you get more than your money’s worth?’ I don’t want to make any promises, but we try to make it a really great visual experience. To me, it’s always been the visuals are first, and seeing the band is secondary. That’s what we would want if we saw a concert.”
Jones also knows what his fans are expecting. Within seconds of saying hello, he acknowledges that the group’s highly anticipated, still-in-the-works new LP is “going well” and that the trek is serving as what he calls a “little break” from writing. Earlier this year, he reported that Tool had won the years-long, Homeric lawsuit that had been stymieing the band’s progress and, in victory, they played a mostly instrumental new song excerpt they’re currently calling “Descending” at their Halloween show at Tempe, Arizona’s Monster Mash festival this year. The tune, he says, is like a preview to a larger song that they’ve been working on while writing the follow-up to 2006’s 10,000 Days.
“My philosophy has always been, ‘It’s not good when it’s done, it’s done when it’s good,'” Jones says. Here, he shares the band’s progress on all fronts.
You’re hitting the road with Primus in a couple months. Have you toured together before?
We’ve done a lot of one-offs together. We’re always talking about how we should do a tour together. We’re big fans.
They played the same festival as you in Tempe on Halloween. Did you talk then?
Yeah. I got on the plane to go home, and I’m sitting next to some guy and he goes hi, and I go hi, and he goes, “Adam, it’s Larry [LaLonde] from Primus.” And I’m like, “Oh, my God. I didn’t even recognize you.” The last time I saw him, he had his hair dyed and it was shorter. We started talking and I said, “We’ve got to play together; we’ve got to tour together.” And he’s like, “Absolutely.” I got back and our manager had already talked to their manager about possibly touring together. The stars were aligned.