TOOL bassist Justin Chancellor spoke to Bass Player about the progress of the songwriting sessions for the band’s long-awaited follow-up to 2006’s “10,000 Days” album. He said: “We’re pretty deep into the writing process now, and we’ve narrowed things down to big groups of ideas.
“For the past few months, we’ve been working on one of the newer songs fairly exclusively. We get the gist of it and find the main themes that make up the skeleton between verses and choruses. Then we explore different ways we can depart from that and come back to it and flip it upside down, and take the time to see what else is there.
“Everyone knows we take our time. We’re really trying to be responsible with ourselves in trying to discover ideas that haven’t been discovered before. It’s kind of an alchemy, how we experiment.”
Asked what causes such large gaps of time between TOOL albums, Justin said: “Writing is a grueling process for us, and once we finish an album, we go on tour for a couple of years. Plus, we’re always very involved in our own business, so we need a break when we come back. We’ve also been through a lot of difficult lawsuits, which we deal with ourselves, and they’re a bit of a bummer and not inspiring creatively. But we’ve fought to be in this position, and it’s almost a responsibility now to take the time to explore special concepts while we’re on this planet.”
Justin added that it’s “understandable” TOOL fans are constantly asking the band when the new album is going to be done. “It’s a compliment that people are excited to hear it,” he said. “But it’s difficult to hear that and not feel some kind of guilt. All I can say is that we’ll go back Monday and do our best to finish it for you, although that’s not really how it works. But we know the listeners will be happy with it when it’s finished.”
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