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Why Tool’s New Album Is Called Fear Inoculum

We talk to Tool’s Danny and Justin about the meaning behind Fear Inoculum

In just over two weeks, Tool will release their long-awaited fifth full-length Fear Inoculum.

But what does ‘fear inoculum’ actually mean? Sure, Tool aren’t afraid of throwing around cryptic and mysterious titles for records (we’re looking at you Ænima), but we’re pretty stumped when it comes to the meaning of Fear Inoculum.

“I don’t know what Maynard’s talking about – he’s very cagey,” bassist Justin Chancellor tells Kerrang!, not altogether seriously.

“I think the general gist of it is that as you grow up and learn, hopefully you’re not afraid of the stuff that held you back in the first place. It’s applying the idea that you can immunise yourself against the fears, sadness and lack of hope that ruins everything.”

“Generally growing old,” adds drummer Danny Carey, who at 58 is Tool’s most senior member. “You can crumble under it, freak out and get plastic surgery and all these stupid things, or you can grow old gracefully like… Katharine Hepburn. There are people who deal with it in good ways, and there are certain people who can’t handle it.

To inoculate your fear, to me, is about getting old and not giving a shit. We’re all going there; in 100 years there’ll be all new people – not that big of a deal!”

And, if there’s one thing you know about Tool, it’s that they don’t give a shit. Everything is done on their terms, refusing to conform to any stereotype or agreed form. Their upcoming album is testament to that, opening on a 10-minute epic and continuing down a twisted rabbit hole that transcends all human concepts of rhythm and structure.

In the new issue of Kerrang! magazine, we get the real story behind the making of Fear Inoculum. Order your copy now, or if you’re in the UK, you can pick one up in your local newsagent.

Tool Kerrang! Cover
Posted on August 15th 2019, 11:55am
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