Indie News

DANNY CAREY Names The Most Challenging TOOL Songs To Perform Live: “I Had To Seriously Breathe”


The world of choosing what songs to play every night is far more complex than fans might think, especially for bands like Tool. As the band gear up to rock Europe starting May 25 in Hannover, Germany, drummer Danny Carey spoke candidly with Rick Beato about setlist intricacies and the physical toll touring can take, particularly on lead vocalist Maynard James Keenan.

“We pretty much let Maynard decide the setlist,” Carey explained (transcribed by Ultimate Guitar). “I mean, obviously we’re playing a lot of the Fear Inoculum stuff now. Whatever the current record is, is gonna take precedence. But when it comes to the older songs, it’s kind of what Maynard‘s voice can handle. He’s no spring chicken either,” he quipped.

“So he gets to pick kind of one of the older ones, you know, and kind of it has to do with what’s going on socially in the world and everything, what we think the fans want to hear and what seems relevant and what doesn’t, just from the subject matter and whatnot. But yeah, we usually let Maynard do the setlist for the most part.”

However, it’s not just about the vocals; the physical demands of the instruments play a significant role too. “It’s a lot harder when your instrument is your body,” Carey noted. Despite this, he feels confident in his ability to tackle the band’s demanding drum parts, albeit with slightly less energy than before.

“And I feel like I can still play pretty much anything I always played. Maybe not with quite the vim and vigor. But I can play anything and I’m not suffering that much now. But doing it three nights in a row is another story for Maynard.”

When asked about the most challenging songs to perform live, Carey pinpointed specific combinations rather than individual tracks. He recalled a particularly grueling sequence of songs and discussed the need to rearrange the setlist to accommodate the physical demands of the combination.

“Any individual tune, I’m okay with. When we started this last run now, I’m thinking like ‘Rosetta Stoned’ and ‘The Grudge and ‘Pneuma’ or… God, there was like three or four songs right in a row. I was just like, ‘This is brutal, man,’. I had to seriously breathe and it wasn’t until we were out for, like, a week or two that I felt like I could handle that. I think it was four initially brutal songs in a row and I got him to move one because I go ‘This is insane.'”

Additionally, Carey opened up about the evolving nature of some drum parts over time, highlighting the challenges of maintaining consistency with intricate fills.

“That beginning of ‘Undertow’ or of ‘Sober’ was kind of like that. I was like, I don’t know if I’ve ever played it the same since. That’s a tricky one. Some of the stuff like that little solo section on ‘Forty-Six & 2,’ there was a couple of weird things in there.”

“I mean, like I said, after we commit, then I kind of learn it. When we go out on tour, I have to go back and revisit things to learn. I had to do that on. On this last tour, we hadn’t played ‘Rosetta Stoned’ in ages, and I couldn’t even remember what I did on some of it. It had been like ten years or something since we played it. So it was great, though, man.”

[embedded content]

Want More Metal? Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter

Enter your information below to get a daily update with all of our headlines and receive The Orchard Metal newsletter.

Comments Off on DANNY CAREY Names The Most Challenging TOOL Songs To Perform Live: “I Had To Seriously Breathe”