In 1992, the band Tool had made their major debut with the album Opiate, a six-song album with notable songs such as “Hush” and a live version of “Jerkoff.” They would go on to make Undertow in 1993, Aemina in 1996, Lateralus in 2001 and 10,000 Days in 2006. As of 2017, there are little details about a new album in the works.
One of the typical elements on a Tool album is their unusual and mysterious songs. Tool likes to put some soundscapes or other songs that don’t match to the band’s Alternative Metal sound. Here are some of Tool’s Strange Songs:
“Disgustipated,” The final song in Undertow (with the exception of Japan’s release where a live version of Flood is the final song) reaches a total length of 15 minutes. It starts with percussion and a man preaching about the cries of the carrots, and then later goes to some singing by Maynard with an industrial sound behind him. From the 6 minute to the 13 minute mark, you hear are crickets chirping, and nothing else.
Just before the 14-minute mark, you hear a strange answering machine message about colors and the little people.
For those who have or once had the Undertow album, in the liner notes, you’d see “Phone call: Bill the Landlord.”
Little has been said by the band about the origins of that message. An unofficial site for the band has a saved chat log from America Online back in 1995. Tool’s Maynard James Keenan made an appearance in the chat room to be interviewed, and was asked a few times about the phone message. Maynard replied that it was his landlord telling him he had to pay his rent.
If that is correct, Maynard surely had a creepy landlord before he found fame. There is also speculation that this was Bill Manspeaker of Green Jelly, a comedy rock band Danny Carey and Maynard James Keenan had played for.
This wouldn’t be the last time Tool used a phone message in one of their songs.
Useful Idiot (Aemina)
In song 4 of Aemina, this 30-second track presents a record skipping. Although this song is on the CD version, it is also on the Vinyl version of this album, ending side one of the record. Therefore, the Useful Idiot must get up and flip the record.
Message to Harry Manback (Aenima)
This 2-minute song starts and ends with a melancholic piano with an angry Italian man leaving a threatening message mostly in English but partly in Italian. The band has said very little about this song, but Danny Carey had said in one interview that this Italian man was an uninvited guest at a party at the home of Green Jelly’s Gary Helsinger (or Hotsy Manshot).
He was asked to leave after refusing to give his name. He was kicked out of the home and later left the threatening message. Supposedly, during the Aemina sessions, Maynard found the tape with the message and decided to add it to the album.
The same man left a second message and the band released that on their mostly live album Salival in 1998. The second song features more Italian than English and the piano is replaced with strings.
“Hooker with a Penis” (Aenima)
Strange name for the title, however nothing is really strange about this song when you compare it to others in this list. The song is a response from Maynard James Keenan to a fan who’s accused him and Tool of being sellouts. Much different than their usual progressive metal and art rock, this song ventures in heavy metal.
Listen for yourself:
Die Eier von Satan (Aenima):
This industrial song features a man making a speech to a crowd in German. Soon after the album’s release and due to the title of the song, some have speculated that this was satanic worship, but it’s a recipe for Mexican cookies.
The vocalist for this song is Marko Fox who played bass for Danny Carey’s other band Zaum. The band Zaum also has Chris Pitman, who played the synthesizer for Aemina’s 13-minute final song “Third Eye.” However, Zaum has been inactive since 2001.
Cesáro Summability (Aenima)
The song begins with a newborn crying with an echo. The rest of the song is huge noise with guitar sound effects. After the baby crying, someone is speaking but it intelligible. The songs title refers the Cesáro summation. This song is perhaps the most mysterious songs Tool has put out there and fans are having a hard time putting this one together.
(-) Ions (Aenima)
This segue contains a buzzer sound looping and also somebody banging on what sounds like cookies sheets. I remember a time where I and a few friends were listening to this; we would guessing someone was punching a cookie sheet to make that thunderous sound. With this song title and Cesáro Summability, it seems the folks from Tool do have an interest in science.
Faaip de Oiad (Lateralus)
Yes, this is a 80s and 90s website, but I have to include one from Tool’s Lateralus album. A good addition to Tool’s Strange Songs.
Faaip de Oiad is Enochian for The Voice of God. This final song from Lateralus is very interesting and very strange. It presents Danny Carey playing a tune similar to Wipeout with heavy buzzing. The man speaking is a caller to Coast To Coast AM on September 11th, 1997 where the host Art Bell had dedicated his show for anyone who had, or at that time, worked at Area 51.
“Faaip de Oiad” does not contain Art Bell’s voice. This call was a very big moment for Coast to Coast AM and is considered by many to be one of the most eerie radio broadcasts ever.
Danny Carey supposedly explains Faaip de Oiad here.