If Tool wondered if the world missed it, now the hard rocking quartet knows that it did. Lateralus, the band's first new album in six years, not only topped Soundscan during its first week of release with sales of 555,000, but it also hit No. 1 in Canada and Australia, and debuted in the Top 5 in three other countries. But bassist Justin Chancellor says pleasing the masses is only part of Tool's agenda.
"Obviously it's a great reward if everyone does get into it," he says. "Anything you spend a long time on, of course it would be nice if everyone likes it. "But I think the strength that we've got is that we always concentrate on what we want it to be like and not really trying to please other people. We lock ourselves away and we concentrate on what we're doing and try not to think about the madness that's surrounding it, and all the hype."
In fact, Chancellor feels the root of Tool's appeal, and the reason the group has one of the most fervent fan followings in rock, is an appreciation for the focus that the group applies to its work. "It's just a respect for the fact that we're really determined to stick to our guns and do what we do the way we do it," he explains.
"And I think the fan base has grown really steadily because there's no sudden surprises or anything," Chancellor adds. "They know we're working really hard to produce something special. It kind of brings this loyalty that's really insane. I can't even believe what the vibe is at the moment."
Tool will stoke that vibe in Europe during the next couple of months, where it will tour before returning to North America in mid-summer for a trek that will feature King Crimson as the support act.