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A Discussion of the Rock Band Tool: it's My Job

August 10, 2019

 

 

(what follows is a directly transcribed email exchange)

 

 

 

To: Michael Mittermann/Hxxxxx
From: Ted Prokash/Hxxxxx
Date: 08/08/2019 08:17AM
Subject: A treatise on my lack of affinity for the rock band Tool
 

Hi Mike,

 

I will try to lay this out as succinctly as possible. 

 

I enjoy music on two basic levels. On a surface level, I'm a melody guy. I like a good pop melody and in this regard I can boP to a Taylor Swift tune on the radio. I will leave Sober on when it comes on the radio. It's not an accident that Sober was Tool's only real hit; it's catchy and has solid pop dynamics (the quiet/loud technique championed {but not invented} by Nirvana and the Pixies before them). I can groove on at least two One Direction songs. However, none of this is stuff I would bring home and spin on my turn table. I appreciate a good rock riff, but, for the most part, I am disinterested in musicianship. I don't care how good of a guitar player Nigel Buttfuck is. There's always somebody better. Jazz musicians (probably rightfully) think rock musicians are fucking dopes. Style is what's important. I don't like Jimi Hendrix for his technical prowess, it's his artistic interpretation of the form that puts him above everybody else. Tool might be enormously musically talented, but so was Styx.

 

That brings us to a point more salient; the nature of connection with music on a deeper level. This pertains more to what I will categorize as aesthetics.

 

Basically, there is nothing aesthetically about Tool that makes me like them. None of the theatrics that abound in the heavy metal genre trip my trigger. Not since Motorhead and Black Sabbath. It's all gotten so schlocky. I don't have any interest in horror movies or science fiction either. Same deal. As far as what's his face's (Maynord or whatever) great ironic posturing goes: fuck him. He's smarter than a lot of stoned-out junior high-maturity level losers. Congrats, Maynord. There's nothing lower in my book than to pander to the lowest common denominator in a fan base and then make jokes on them they can't understand. It's Trumpian.

 

I like more rootsy loser stuff. Salt of the earth. Fuzzy guitars, banging dance beats. It speaks more to where I come from. Lyrics are important (for a higher level connection, now), but again, a lyricist has to speak to where you come from. I like Springsteen, Warren Zevon, Stephen Merritt... all of whom could be accused of pandering to their base with an ironic wink.... 

 

Anyway, that's the best I can do in 15 minutes of stolen Hxxxx time. Hope we are still friends.

 

                        ************************************************************************

 

Re: A treatise on my lack of affinity for the rock band Tool

Yesterday, 8:23 AM

Michael Mittermann to me

 

Yeah but you are wrong

Michael Mittermann


Sent from my mobile command center

 

                       *********************************************************************

 

Re: A treatise on my lack of affinity for the rock band Tool

Yesterday, 9:00 AM

Michael Mittermann to me

 

Ted,

 

You lump them into the incorrect genre.

 

Sober is the least representative song of their style. 

 

Your response, which is well thought out and well written, unmasked a crucial flaw (YOU HAVE NOT LISTENED TO THEIR MUSIC). 

 

TOOL has never claimed to be the BEST musicians or any form of rockstar. They have put to pen and music where they were at at that period of their life, and as a fan growing up with them, every album has grown along with me. Matured. It's really fascinating. I have not "liked" several of their albums upon first hearing them, but as I grew and learned (often through pain) I only then connected with them. 

 

Maynard has and will always come across like a total ass. You description of him in your response sounds very accurate. He has NEVER attempted to explain himself or make himself anything other than what he is. 25 years after the band started, you begin to realize that what he was "screaming" about in the first years of the bands life are now HUGE problems in 2019, from abuse to censorship to image to political loss of identity. 

 

Tools true identity began to emerge in the 2000's when they completely walked away form the sound that made them famous and began creating music that dealt with self discovery and evolution vs the anger of the first two albums. 

 

Their last album, and the one expected this month, is an attempt (perhaps futile) to share what they have learned with their fan. So far the message that I am getting is to disconnect from the distractions (the trumps, the cell phones, the left and right, the social media, tv) and to begin being human again. It's strangly the most positive message coming from a group so KNOWN to" pander to the lowest common denominator in a fan base and then make jokes on them they can't understand". 

 

It may be possible that you ....or I....are wrong. I just wanted you to listen to them again. 

 

More importantly I am just glad we shared our thoughts. 

 

Michael Mittermann
Quality Assurance Production Specialist
Hxxxx Corporation
(920)746-50xx

 

 

                           ****************************************************************************

 

Re: A treatise on my lack of affinity for the rock band Tool

Yesterday, 9:06 AM

me to Michael Mittermann

 

I don't believe I assigned them a genre. Is "crap" a genre? Also, if Sober is their least representative song, that's probably why I like it. I listened to Undertow extensively when it came out. I've grown up since then. Whenever I come across a Tool song on satellite radio, I try to listen to it, but it never holds my interest for more than half a minute. Meh.

 

 

 

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