Tool's Danny Carey playing Pneuma
October 10, 2020 12:06 PM   Subscribe

Video centered on drummer Danny Carey playing Pneuma from Tool's show in Boston at the end of 2019. I love how calm and centered he seems while doing something so complicated and powerful.

There are a lot of reaction videos that didn't do much for me, but I thought this detailed analysis/deconstruction was pretty interesting.

(Note: I never really listened to Tool much apart from whatever was on the radio in the 90's and early 00's, but I've been a little obsessive over their last album, Fear Inoculum, since watching this video. Forgive me for being a latecomer.)
posted by Gorgik (34 comments total) 33 users marked this as a favorite
First of all Danny Carey is ripped. Second, the analysis video was all kinds of awesome that I love about the Internet .. "Danny plays a gigantic hybrid kit... I just have a not perfect setup" then shows us his own incredibly complex setup.
posted by geoff. at 12:47 PM on October 10 [1 favorite]

as a drummer, holy shit.
posted by nevercalm at 12:59 PM on October 10 [2 favorites]

I bought Undertow when it came out, but mainly because of the song, Sober. I had it sitting in my collection for around 2 years before I decided to actually listen to the whole thing. I have never forgiven myself for the time I missed, letting that album sit on the shelf. I never made that mistake again. Plenty of Tool in my collection, all listened to cover to cover...

Seeing them live is well worth the experience, should you be lucky enough to do it.
posted by Chuffy at 1:39 PM on October 10 [1 favorite]

The whole Tool catalog is interesting (and is remarkably sparse for how long they've been an active band). Lataralus remains my favorite, but it was my first Tool album. I think everyone's first real dive into a Tool album makes that one their favorite out of the catalog, really. I know many Undertow fans who feel Lataralus was a sell-out album. *shrug*

This video was fascinating. Not even Neil Peart ever looked that relaxed while doing the impossible with all four limbs of his body.
posted by hippybear at 1:42 PM on October 10 [2 favorites]

If you like the Pneuma video, you’re sure to also like this drum cover version of another song off Fear Inoculus — it’s not Danny Carey the man himself, but it’s a very well-made video by a terrific drummer that really drives home the complexity of the drum part.
posted by newmoistness at 1:49 PM on October 10 [1 favorite]

I’ve seen Tool live many times including in small clubs yet still managed to read this as “Dana Carvey” and was really looking forward to seeing that. Alas, it was not to be.
posted by misterpatrick at 1:58 PM on October 10 [1 favorite]

I hope Maynard James Keenan manages to beat the after-effects of COVID lung.
posted by migurski at 2:02 PM on October 10 [3 favorites]

Goddamn that man is a force. I would happily hand over not insignificant sums of cashy money for the Danny-cam of Tool's discography. At the very least The Grudge, 46&2, Lateralus, Sober ... hell, it might even get me to listen to 10,000 Days from beginning to end, which I don't think I've done since the release date.

Liking Tool seems to have become unfashionable at some nebulous point in the recent-ish past, but since first hearing them in the late 90's they've been one of my favourites, and the only modern artists I've maintained a consistent appreciation for -- with others the enthusiasm will ebb and flow, sometimes for months or years at a time, but I can always throw on a Tool album and play it through.* Danny Carey's drumming is no small part of the reason why, and having a visual component for that is immensely satisfying.

*Get enough bourbon in me and there's a decent chance that Ænima being one of the best albums ever recorded will be the hill I'll choose to die on, though I recognise its personal significance likely colours my opinion a bit.
posted by myotahapea at 2:05 PM on October 10 [3 favorites]

Someone on the Blue referred to them as “the Dead Can Dance/King Crimson hybrid I didn’t know I needed” and that’s always worked for me.
posted by hototogisu at 2:12 PM on October 10 [7 favorites]

First of all Danny Carey is ripped.

I know, right? If I'd known decades ago I could have shoulders and arms like that by spending years and years trying to create supernatural rhythms that somehow act as conduits for the power of the universe with like-minded guitar and bass players, and that all I had to do was do that all the time for my living... I'd have made that choice way back then!
posted by hippybear at 2:33 PM on October 10 [2 favorites]

Also, Tool is a peculiar band. The whole "Holy Gift" thing about the album Lateralus is fascinating, as is the thing with the tracks from 10000 Days that you lay over each other that work together as one song. Have people found arcane things out about Fear Inoculum? TBH I just bought the album today inspired by this post. I'd forgotten they'd even released an album! (It's been so long!)
posted by hippybear at 2:36 PM on October 10

With respect to being unfashionable, I think some of the band's original posture hasn't aged well -- this logo, for instance, or some of the "wake up, sheeple" attitude.

Fear Inoculum is a great album.
posted by Slothrup at 2:55 PM on October 10

@hippybear: Lateralus is a brilliant album. On the tails of Aenima, it represented another notch for them, IMO. I don't put much credence in anyone who uses the word, "sellout," when discussing the later works of a band. It's pretentious.

We all process music differently. Jar of Flies, by Alice in Chains, for me through some tough times in my life, so it speaks to me more than Facelift or the dog album, but I'm sure somebody out there thinks I'm ridiculous for saying that. I really don't give a shit.

Enjoy Lateralus without regret, just put on some serious headphones when you do it once in a while, just because.
posted by Chuffy at 3:12 PM on October 10 [1 favorite]

Jar Of Flies is a fine fine album, one of my eternal favorites... The acoustic take just fuckin' works for that band.

I haven't done Lateralus with headphones in a long long time. Thanks for the suggestion. (I'm not a big headphone person, but yeah, I get it.)
posted by hippybear at 3:15 PM on October 10 [2 favorites]

Vic Firth also used to make pepper grinders
posted by thelonius at 4:03 PM on October 10 [4 favorites]

OGT here. But seriously though, been listening to tool for long enough to have Undertow on Cassette, but they were on MTV back in the day so it's not really like I did anything special besides pay attention.

Anyway, holy shit this video is 10x better than I thought it would be. I'm goofy enough to still watch NIN's Survivalism video just for the Josh Freese parts where he wails away, and simple enough to watch those kiddie drummer videos that come out every few years or so, with the latest being that little girl Nandi Bushell.

But this video just had me transfixed and made me have that realization you get when you see someone that's great at something as a hobby, and then you witness a pro's pro doing it. Oh my goodness, just phenomenal. I don't even know how you can do all those things for that long with your body.
posted by cashman at 4:12 PM on October 10 [1 favorite]

(Not to take away from the discussion about the music itself, which I still enjoy, and Carey's drumming specifically, which I still respect, but there were a number of rape allegations against Maynard James Keenan a few years ago, which is a big part of the current unfashionableness.)
posted by Lonnrot at 4:14 PM on October 10 [2 favorites]

In Tool's last concert in Montreal, after they finally went back on tour, Keenan made a couple of jokes about how stupid and wrong that "rape" was now a bad word to say. This was a bit before I heard about the allegations but wow did that leave a bad impression. He also kind of hid behind the other members of the band for most of the show and kept his face in the shadows. The show other than that was great but I no longer like thinking back on it. OGT here too, saw Tool on the Undertow tour and owned Opiate on cassette. I hate that Keenan has soured my enjoyment of the band. It's hard to figure out how to support the other members of the bank and leave Keenan out :(

This video is spectacular and no way no how could I ever even do one minute of that.
posted by mephisjo at 4:22 PM on October 10

He also kind of hid behind the other members of the band for most of the show and kept his face in the shadows.

Keenan being in the dark during concerts has long been a mainstay of their live shows. This isn't related to these allegations, it's how he's performed for decades.
posted by hippybear at 4:26 PM on October 10 [2 favorites]

So glad you linked that particular analysis video. It's very well done and helps shed some light on the witchcraft is being performed.

98% of "reaction" videos are people just watching stuff and saying "wow" and not actually providing value. This channel is great, and I also enjoy cruising through Lost in Vegas for stopping and considering lyrics as well, and Sam Johnson for analyzing vocal performances from a teacher's perspective. And not reactions, but Rick Beato is also pretty informative.
posted by hankscorpio83 at 4:30 PM on October 10 [2 favorites]

I only saw Tool once before in that Undertow tour. He was front and centre and in everyone's faces the whole time. Also in a lot of the live tour footage from the 90s. I was not aware that this had changed.
posted by mephisjo at 4:36 PM on October 10

Metafilter: The Whole Tool Catalog
posted by storybored at 4:51 PM on October 10 [1 favorite]

Yeah, the first time I saw Tool in concert, Maynard was on a rotating platform, and he continually kept turning so that he was facing the back of the stage. The second time, he hid behind a bunch of plants. It's kind of what he does. And there are credible accusations of sexual misconduct of varying stripes. I don't want to paint anyone unfairly, but my default position is to believe women.

This is probably not a statement well received by some people, but I kind of wish they'd let him go and get another vocalist. He's the least of Tool. Danny Carey, as you can clearly see from the link, is the most of Tool. You ever seen Sophia Urista , or Samuel Hope cover Tool songs? Maynard has some writing chops that may be necessary, but there's other people than can sing like he sings. From what I've read, he doesn't even really come into the songwriting process until after the other three have the bulk of the music figured out.

Thankfully, I've not seen any allegations against Carey, and I hope never to, he seems like a pretty decent guy. And an absolutely amazing human octopus behind that kit.
posted by mrgoat at 5:25 PM on October 10 [4 favorites]

You folks said everything about Keenan much more calmly than I would have, so let me just amplify sentiments above: Nothing would make me happier regarding this band than the news that Keenan was no longer a part of it.

Ok I can't not: Fuck that guy.
posted by glonous keming at 5:44 PM on October 10 [1 favorite]

So to get back on topic:


Fun live as they play small venues
posted by Farce_First at 6:01 PM on October 10

I love how calm and centered he seems while doing something so complicated and powerful

Yeah, that's really nice, that's how I want to be.
posted by StickyCarpet at 6:10 PM on October 10

Sam Johnson for analyzing vocal performances from a teacher's perspective.

hell yeah sam johnson rules. i esp love this one.
posted by lazaruslong at 6:28 PM on October 10

driving fast to Rosetta Stoned is my fucking hobby.
posted by clavdivs at 6:30 PM on October 10 [3 favorites]

This was great to watch. Can anyone tell me more about the role the eurorack synth over his left shoulder is doing?
posted by modus_pwns at 8:16 PM on October 10

"...and this is actually a lot harder than it seems..."

posted by flabdablet at 1:46 AM on October 11 [1 favorite]

When Carey’s bandmate Adam Jones was asked why he didn’t “rock out” on stage, his reply was something along the lines of Because I’m doing heavy math in my head while playing a guitar at the same time.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 1:38 PM on October 11 [1 favorite]

there were a number of rape allegations against Maynard James Keenan a few years ago, which is a big part of the current unfashionableness

Looking at some of the early songs in their career (4 degrees, Prison Sex, maybe Opiate), one could understand that maybe Maynard was sexually abused. As a victim, he may have perpetuated that amongst others. "I've come round full circle" from Prison Sex immediately comes to mind.

In no way am I condoning any of Maynard's behavior. It just seems, in hindsight, really plausible.

It is definitely a reason that I have not bought the latest album.
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 4:20 PM on October 11 [2 favorites]

I've been binging a bunch more stuff about Tool, and came across this deconstruction/analysis/cover of Rosetta Stoned (which, again, I had not heard before this weekend). Anyway, it's interesting and inspiring....
posted by Gorgik at 9:05 PM on October 11

Oops, this one
posted by Gorgik at 4:44 AM on October 12 [1 favorite]

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