Why Tool?

I have been a fan of the band Tool since I was in middle school, back in 2003. It’s funny, the events surrounding my introduction and evolution of fandom were less than pleasant, but it doesn’t matter, because I have yet to find a band, including Maynard or otherwise, that can truly compare. I watch as the world discovers what I have known all along. That Tool has true power in their music. 

“So why, pray tell, do people like yourself love Tool so much?” you might ask.

I cannot say for everyone else, but for myself, I know exactly. We live in a world that is so messed up, that a writer like me would struggle to come up with a world as chaotic. Our reality is truly stranger than fiction. Tool is like a Vaccine, injecting us with a version of our surroundings that is mixed together just right so that we can survive the full force of reality. 

“Bless this Immunity” indeed.

I am an extremely empathetic person. It makes the world even more difficult to process, so I turn to writing. Yet, writing in itself is not enough. We all need things outside of ourselves to help us cope with what we have to face. Some are truly unable to cope and choose to go to sleep. I cannot. 

Sleeping is for fools and sheep. I will not be one of the counted bodies. I watch all of these monkeys, fighting over life, prayer, love. Until they die over polarizing words. Tool speaks to the soul about reality, reminding us that we all watch vicariously through technological devices, as others die, all while we live out our lives. We struggle in our world to fit the pieces back together, even as we watch them all fall away. 

Tool reminds me of what I must face in order to fix a broken world and helps me understand that it’s ok that I sometimes want to watch it all be washed away by nature. I’ve learned how to swim. They helped teach me how. I hope to pass the lesson on in my own way. After all, we have reached a humbling river, and the only way we’ll be able to cross it is if we join together. 

Our world is dying, our country has a maniac at the helm, and it’s time we threw him overboard. I am watching the weather change, and I have adjusted for turbulence. I am sober to the reality of it all and ready to face what is in store, or at least as ready as one can be for the end of the world. None of this outcome was my decision, but I’m calling the shots now. I’m not alone either. The age of the Indigo Children has arrived. We are ready to move to the rhythm of the moon and tides, we have no need for the old empire anymore. We are ready to live a life based on wine, song, food, and fire. 

I have spent enough time watching as those in power make empty promises and point fingers at myself and all those who have been forced to remain in their shadows for far too long. I am ready to find what I have been hiding in my own shadow. I am ready to feel the changes coming from beneath the scabs of my past. 

This is what Tool has taught me. Some of the lessons did happen to come from the bands A Perfect Circle, and Puscifer, but Tool hits home 100%. They showed me my soul, laying it bare and naked before my eyes in a way I had never seen before, and they have continued to do so, with nothing but their amazing rhythms, riffs, rhymes, and refrain. 

They don’t waste time making music about what they like to wear, how cool their car is, their money, or their house. Even the music they write that is about the same things as other artists depicts a deeper meaning. They don’t bother with the surface. The surface is a facade, fake. The surface is what we all use to make it look like we have it together, that we know what we’re doing. 

Even as I attest to the knowledge that their music has given me about myself and my goals, the thing it has taught me the most is that I am flawed. I know little, and I must respect that fact. I am but a speck on a speck in a speck floating through an endless void that has no care or knowledge of me. Or does it? I don’t know, because I am far too small to know, as are all of you. 

But that is not a bad thing. See, once you truly face that reality, it is so much easier to face everything else. The liars, the death, the injustice, the approaching Armageddon. All of it. It’s funny that even as we have so little time, we must still be patient. We must keep reminding ourselves of it. Life is a shitshow, but that doesn’t mean that you have to add to the grudge that everyone wears like a crown, always yelling about what they will not tolerate, sinking deeper, instead of choosing to let it go and allowing themselves to be humble. Learn from it, leave behind the insanity, and change the results.

Learn to let go and move on, because if you can’t face reality, it is going to wash you away. Are you going to stand around and be a dumbfounded dipshit, or are you going to change the trajectory of the comet that is headed for your future? I don’t know about you, but I am sick of this bullshit three-ring circus sideshow. 

I am ready to push the envelope. I am done separating my body from my mind, done with the overthinking. There are infinite possibilities if you only follow the spiral, reach out and embrace the random, and stop overanalyzing. 

Everything I am saying in this is entirely Tool, with a sprinkling from Maynard James Keenan’s other bands. These are not my words, I am simply sharing what they said in a different medium. If you agree and you have never listened to their music before, perhaps you should. They are not simply musicians. They are philosophers, forcing us to see the world as it is. 

I hope that I can be even a little like them, feeling inspired, witness the beauty, with my feet firmly on the ground. One thing is absolutely for certain. I have lost myself between their sound, and their music has opened me wide to suck in whatever will bewilder me. 

Every life is a gamble, facing impossible odds, terrible truths, and debilitating pain. Yet it also contains such beauty, and I choose to work towards preserving whatever bit of it that I can, and I choose to live life to the fullest as I do so. I’m not sure how well I could have done that without the music of Tool in my life. 

I may have indeed become one of the ticks and leeches, or someone could have already read my eulogy.

I’ll never know, because I was blessed to be reminded of the bright and endless light of nature, of life itself. This light that they showed me, this reminder of what is truly holy, resuscitates me, even when I feel completely hopeless. 

That is why I love Tool, and I am sure that many fans would feel the same. Perhaps it’s time you joined us in the magic. It isn’t perfect, but it’s refreshing when you listen to the truth. Inoculate yourself against the fear.

“Bless this Immunity.”


Happy Listening

-Lillian E. M. Garza


Musical references:


Fear Inoculum – Tool

Counting Bodies Like Sheep – A Perfect Circle

Right in Two – Tool

Vicarious – Tool

Schism – Tool

Ænema – Tool

The Humbling River – Puscifer

Man Overboard – Puscifer

Indigo Children – Puscifer

Disposition – Tool

Sober – Tool

46&2 – Tool

The Patient – Tool

The Grudge – Tool

Lateralus – Tool

Ticks and Leeches – Tool

Eulogy – Tool

Reflection – Tool