Tool: Sea Change
GW A lot of critics feel the need to pigeonhole and classify groups. The problem is that a lot of musicians have very diverse influences, and as a result their music defies categorization.
JONES I’m glad you say that. I’ve done interviews where I was asked, “Don’t you think music is worse than it’s ever been?” It’s exactly the same. When I was a kid, there was always pop shit being played on the radio; there was always American Idol kind of shit going on. But there was also always something that was against the mainstream, and it was kind of popular and underground. If anything is different today, it’s that corporations are involved in the business; there are no handshake deals any more.
GW Tool’s music can be so incredibly powerful and violent that it causes audiences to react to it in a violent way as well. Yet it’s obvious from Maynard’s lyrics and even the band’s attitude that you care about people. How does it feel to be onstage and seeing people in the crowd pummeling the shit out of each other?
JONES You can’t tell people what to do. It’s like kids. I don’t have any kids, but I used to work with kids, and my friends, brother and sister have kids. One thing I always see is that you need to let your kids be themselves; then you try to guide them through that instead of trying to make them be like you. The relationship with an audience is almost like a sexual one. It’s not sex; there’s no nudity; but it’s this intimate thing where you have to let these people be what they are. Our last record was very healing, very “think for yourself.” The attitude on this record is more about putting people in their place, but without controlling them. We’re saying, “You have an opinion on this, but this person who went through that whole thing may have a different perspective. You should think about that before you say something. You’re not bad for thinking what you thought, but you need to consider the perspectives.” There’s a lot of that on this record.
GW Maynard’s line “Who are you to wave your finger?” really stands out in that respect.
JONES Yes. That’s the pot calling the kettle black. Maynard writes all his lyrics and he’ll pull in subject matter from our mutual ideas. It might be something that happened to him, but it’s always something that we can all relate to, like telling a friend to back up for a second and try to see things from a different perspective. Maynard can explain these things better, but suffice to say, it’s all positive. At the end of the day, there’s a lot of love from our band. I’m not kidding.
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