Check it out, I wrote my very own Tool song:
I was nothing but a child
You put your fingers in my ass
It was warmer there
Blood and semen make pink
SHOVE YOUR FIST INTO MY ASSHOLE
I AM BUT A CHILD MOLESTER
MY FATHER TOUCHED ME IN THE CORNFIELD
JESUS WOULDN’T FUCKING WHISTLE
Everyone has been molested
Shit is covering my hands
My mother had a stroke
That’s a great idea for a new album
Pretty good, eh? I listened to Tool a lot in the 90s, so I know my stuff. It was fun seeing how much “blacker” they could make each successive disc, layering expensive acetate and dense Alex Grey paintings like Goth Oreos. If you’ve ever thought to yourself, “that guy I know’s a huge asshole; how would he know about Alex Grey?” It’s because that asshole had a copy of Lateralus.
Thanks to Tool, I know that the inside of the rectum is 4 degrees warmer than the rest of the body. I know lead singer Maynard James Keenan was most likely molested by one or more family members. Cancerous circus animals make for cheerier material than Tool lyrics.
Wasn’t it funny how Maynard turned up on an episode of Mr. Show with Bob and David, in a fake band called “Puscifer”, and then that became a “real band”, with a logo, and blindly-loyal fans? Then “Puscifer” did the theme song to the video game Transformers: Fall of Cybertron, and the fans acted like it was SO DEEP, even though it was toy robot drama accompanied by what sounds like “Staind”?
I remember when Keenan moved on to a band called “aperfectcircle”, or “A Perfect Circle”, or “what the fuck ever”. I thought to myself, “a circle; that probably indicates a fart hole.” I am no fool. 9 out of 10 Tool songs are about anal sex, anal rape, anal penetration, or anuses. I get it. Something bad happened. Maynard, show me where the bad man touched you on this doll. Let the court note that Mr. Keenan indicated the doll’s posteripoop.
Once I’d gotten into Undertow, I special-ordered Opiate, the “first EP” that Keenan calls out on Aenima‘s “Hooker With A Penis.” Opiate was very good, but in all honesty, “Hooker” is the finest song Tool recorded. Instead of pointing his vituperation at his abusers, Keenan turns it on the posers that infested Tool concerts in the late 90s like pubic lice. His voice melds with the grinding guitars, making it sound like the song itself is breathing in and out sharply, in furious anger. The very end of the track sounds like the inward gasp for air following a vicious tirade.
These words speak volumes about the relationship betwixt artists and consumers:
All you know about me’s what I sold you
I sold out long before you’d ever even
Heard my name
I sold my soul to make a record
Keenan and company could retire on that, in my book. That’s the coldest shit I’ve ever heard in a song, metal or otherwise. You know as well as I do; you can’t criticize the act, you bought the ticket, stupid.
I see a lot of guys my age holding on to Tool for dear life, and there’s nothing wrong with that, I guess. I just can’t disassociate the band from the anal references. I worked at the mall record store when Undertow first came out in 1993, so I got in on the ground floor, so to speak. Without the benefit of the Internet, my co-workers and I would argue over what the lyrics were; I didn’t parse “my lamb and martyr” from “Sober” until 1995. My favorite track was “Prison Sex”.
I did the best I could figuring out the words, as I played Undertow driving to and from work. Involuntarily, I began to sing along, mouthing the lyrics phonetically. This was something people used to do when you had no earthly way to find out the words to a song. Stopped at a long red light, I realized with horror that I had just bellowed the following verse at top volume, unintentionally:
I HAVE FOUND
SOME KIND OF TEMPORARY SANITY IN THIS
SHIT CUM AND BLOOD ON MY HANDS
It ain’t “Louie Louie”, is all I’m saying.