That's according to someone who would know. Guitarist Adam Jones explained to Revolver in an upcoming interview that the band member's lives have changed a lot over the years. The album wasn't delayed by one person in particular, he says.
"Well, we're older," he said. "It's harder to get us all in one room. Everyone's got their own thing going, so we kind of wait until everybody's ready to start the process. And that can be on and off between other stuff."
When the process starts, Jones says one of the joys of it is that it's the same as it's always been.
"We really suffer for our art — which you should do," Jones asserted. "If it's worth having, it's worth suffering for. We're not trying to worry about if it's going to be accepted or is it gonna be like the last record. You take the same path, but then go on a different path, and then just makes sure the four of us are happy. It's a reflective process."
In the years since Tool's last album, 2006's 10,000 Days, the band members have embarked on a number of projects, musical and otherwise beyond the band, with Keenan being seemingly the busiest.
While Jones doesn't look back at the lengthy writing process as being overly stressful, he said it did give him "anxiety" that fans would blame Keenan.
...[I]t's not his fault," he explained. "We all have our own things going on — lives, families, other projects, other interests — so it's ready when it's ready."
Regarding how Fear Inoculum fits into Tool's catalog, Jones said it's "very different" from 10,000 Days and "that's what we all wanted."
After making its music available on streaming services at the beginning of August, Tool is also enjoying a boost in album sales, with all four of its previous full-lengths returning to the Billboard Top 20.
Then the title track for Fear Inoculum broke a record for the longest song to ever reach the Hot 100.
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