Tool

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Tool - like any good rock band - loves to push the envelope, from both a cultural and a musical standpoint. While the band is often praised for their genre-bending, highly technical brand of progressive metal and carefully planned stage shows (often incorporating innovative lighting and stage structures), Tool is just as infamous for the dark and surreal imagery surrounding their work. The band's songs and music videos often air on radio and television in censored forms, a constant point of contention between the band and industry executives.

The band has its roots in the early 1990's Los Angeles rock scene, alongside superstar acts like Rage Against The Machine and The Red Hot Chili Peppers. Singer Maynard James Keenan and guitarist Adam Jones began jamming together in their apartment around 1989, eventually adding drummer Danny Carey to the mix after they were introduced to him by mutual friend Tom Morello, another local musician who would go on to become the lead guitarist for Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave. The trio enlisted the help of bassist Paul D'Amor in late 1990, formally assembling Tool by 1991.

After only a few shows the band recorded a demo, accepting a record deal from Sony BMG-owned Zoo Entertainment (Green Jelly, Replicants) just three months after the band's formation in early 1991. Tool released an EP on Zoo in 1992, Opiate, the success of which convinced Zoo to greenlight the production of a major album by the LA foursome. After a year of hard work in the studio with seasoned producer Sylvia Massy (REM, Deftones) Tool released their debut album, Undertow, in 1993. Though explicit photos in the album's liner notes caused a number of major retailers to pull the album from store shelves, Undertow still became a major hit, eventually earning a double Platinum certification from the RIAA. Standout tracks from Undertow include "Intolerance", "Prison Sex", and "Sober".

The band toured hard in support of Undertow throughout 2004, eventually returning to the studio in 2005 to begin working on a sophomore album. In 2005 D' Amor left the band due to creative differences, with England-born bassist Justin Chancellor stepping in to fill his place just in time for the release of the band's second album, Ænema, in 1996. Ænema managed to sell over three million copies domestically despite - or perhaps because of - its controversial nature, with television stations like MTV often refusing to air or altering the lyrics of single "Stinkfist". Following a Grammy win for their 2008 single "Ænema", Tool went on hiatus following a legal battle with their label Volcano Records, the successor to the now defunct Zoo imprint. While on hiatus Tool's members formed a number of other bands, including A Perfect Circle and Buzz Osborne.

Much to the surprise and excitement of their many fans, Tool reformed once again in early 2001, releasing their third album Lateralus later on in the year. Though generally well-received by critics, Lateralus marked a departure in Tool's musical style, with long and complex songs like "Parabola" lasting up to ten minutes while other tracks like "Schism" experimented with shifting melodies and time signatures. Lateralus was an overall success, debuting at #1 on the Billboard 200 and earning double Platinum status. Tool's fourth and most recent album, 2006's 10,000 Days, fared similarly, also rising to the #1 spot upon its release and moving over one million copies within a year. 10,000 Days continues in the experimental art-rock direction pioneered by Lateralus, incorporating ambient music into their sound. Standout tracks from 10,000 Days include "Vicarious", "Jambi", and "The Pot".

From Lastfm:

Formed around 1990 in Los Angeles, California, United States, by drummer Danny Carey, guitarist Adam Jones, vocalist Maynard James Keenan, and original bassist Paul d'Amour, Tool is a band that is most noted for combining alternative metal with a wide variety of progressive structures, irregular time signatures and lyrics that range from angry diatribes to meditations on philosophical and social matters.

Read more about Tool on Last.fm.

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