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The curious link between Tool and major Hollywood blockbusters

Tool are a peculiar band. They are a divisive group among music fans and critics who regard them as both pioneering but also pretentious. However, they have a diehard fanbase that remains totally committed to the band’s unique and cerebral style of alternative metal.

Aside from their distinctive mesh of prog, psychedelia and art with metal, their understanding of the power of the audio-visual partnership for a musical group is unmatched. The band’s essence is made up of three vital parts: musical experimentation, visual arts, and a commitment to personal and musical progression.

They are one of the most mysterious bands on the planet. While undoubtedly huge, which is mindblowing when you note that they’ve only released five studio albums since their formation way back in 1990, the redeeming factor is how they’ve achieved their success, a journey that’s culminated in years of boundary-pushing drive.

Owing to the same extent of mystery that Bob Dylan also cultivated for himself at one point in his career, the band’s reluctance to speak to the media and ambivalence towards the music industry as a whole has landed them very firmly in the iconoclastic camp.

Another reason that has made Tool a highly lauded outfit by their adherents is the way in which each member is regarded as somewhat of a virtuoso. Frontman Maynard James Keenan has a distinctive voice and commanding stage presence, bassist Justin Chancellor has a style that many have tried and failed to imitate, guitarist Adam Jones is viewed as one of the most pioneering metal guitarists out there, and drummer Danny Carey is a technical genius.

Furthermore, their use of polyrhythms, varied instrumentation and, of course, their use of the Fibonacci sequence have also added to the band’s nerdy mythos. Their career and individual lives are brimming with fabled stories that are sewn together to make up this tapestry that their fans lap up. 

One of these lesser-known tales is how the band are linked to some of the biggest blockbuster movies of all time. Jurassic ParkTerminator 2 and Ghostbusters II are just three of the iconic flicks they’re tied to. This connection comes via the pre-Tool career of guitarist and artistic visionary, Adam Jones. 

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Famously, Jones’ vision has underpinned many of the band’s famous music videos, particularly their 1993 video for ‘Sober’. Although he didn’t direct it – Fred Stuhr did – but it was Jones’ concept that truly brought it to life. This was because Jones had already had a very successful career in special effects and set design for Hollywood at the time.

Jones went on to work with the iconic Stan Winston on the three massive aforementioned films, and he even did the special effects for the famous scene in Terminator 2, where the humanoid Terminator shoots the robot version of himself in the chest, helping John Connor to escape.

To Adam Jones, we’ve got to say fair play. To have helped to bring some of the most valuable films in popular culture to life, and also be in one of the most interesting bands of all time, regardless of what you think of them, is truly remarkable.

Watch the video for ‘Sober’ below.