As a kid, nothing made me feel quite like hearing the opening distorted bass riff from 'Sober' off MTV playing in another room. That dark and beautiful world that Tool created in their early stop-motion animation videos (that I would later come to find out was inspired by Brothers Quay), made the world feel larger and more capable of mystery than my suburban teen brain was ready for. Now all of those videos are online (officially) for the first time.
To coincide with the release of their newest album in 13 years, 'Fear Inoculum,' they have uploaded all of their iconic videos to their YouTube channel, we've embedded so you can watch them all here.
1. Sober (1993)
Tool's guitarist Adam Jones was the mastermind behind the majority of the band's visual work. That all started with the band's first music video for 'Sober' off their 1993 album 'Undertow'. Jones collaborated with Fred Stuhr for this work. Stuhr also helped with the 'Prison Sex' video as well as directed Green Jelly's 'Three Little Pigs' (1992) and Sepultura's 'We Are What We Are' documentary short (1997).
2. Prison Sex (1994)
'Prison Sex' was the second and final music video from Tool's first full-length album 'Undertow.' While Fred Stuhr worked on this with guitarist Adam Jones, this video was Jones' vision and direction. MTV went on to ban it outright for what the channel described as "disturbing imagery."
3. Stinkfist (1996)
Stinkfist was the first video to be made from Tool's Ænima, released in 1996. This was another creation of Adam Jones, and despite it getting tons of airplay on MTV, the then music video channel played it as 'Track #1' instead of 'Stinkfist' to avoid any controversy. Famously, Matt Pinfield responded to the controversy by saying "if you don't know the name of the song, go out and buy the album" during an episode of 120 Minutes. Regularly, VJ Kennedy would sniff her clench fist and say "Track #1" while introducing the video.
4. Ænema (1997)
The second video released from Tool's iconic second full-length album of the same name is another Adam Jones stop-motion animation masterpiece. The art design on this video was done by Cam De Leon, who also worked as a digital illustrator for Ghostbusters, Hook, The Sum of All Fears, and The Cat In The Hat.
5. Schism (2001)
'Schism' was the first single and music video from Tool's third full-length album, 'Lateralus.' It even won Tool a Grammy in 2002 for Best Metal Performance. The song went on to be released as a DVD single in 2005 which contained the video and audio commentary by David Yow (Scratch Acid, The Jesus Lizard). It was Tool's only entry into US Billboards Hot 100 (until the release of 2019s Fear Inoculum) topping out at #67.
6. Parabola (2002)
Tool's longest video, clocking in at over 10 minutes (because of the inclusion of the 3-minute 'Parabol', the track just before Parabola on the album), was also Adam Jone's first collaboration with painter Alex Grey who also made the cover art of Lateralus.
7. Vicarious (2007)
Vicarious was Tool's first single of the 2006 release '10,000 Days' and was released on April 17, 2006, Maynard James Kennan's 42nd birthday. The video itself didn't come out until December 18, 2007, after being delayed several times. It was Tool's second full CGI video, as opposed to their previous iconic stop-motion animation videos. Vicarious was co-directed by Adam Jones and Alex Grey with creative input from Chet Zar who is probably most well known for his prosthetic design and creation for movies The Ring, Planet of the Apes, and Darkman.