Beware any Tool news today because, after all, it’s April Fool’s Day–and they have a track record.

I’ve never understood the point of pranking people on April Fool’s Day, but Tool doesn’t have a problem with it. They have a two-decade history of releasing fake news on this date. Not every year, but just often enough to burn fans into being careful. Did I miss anything? Lemme know.

1997: The fake tour bus crash story. Fans were greeted with this message on the band’s website: URGENT – EARLY THIS MORNING, WHILE ON TOUR IN AUSTRALIA, TOOL’S TOUR BUS WAS INVOLVED IN A SERIOUS HIGHWAY ACCIDENT. EARLY REPORTS FROM ZOO ENTERTAINMENT ARE THAT AT LEAST THREE OF THE BAND ARE LISTED IN CRITICAL CONDITION. WHILE THE LABEL WILL NOT COMMENT ON WHICH MEMBERS OF THE BAND WERE INJURED, THE REMAINDER OF THE SPRING TOUR HAS BEEN CANCELLED, AS HAVE PLANS FOR A US TOUR THIS SUMMER. CHECK THE NEWS FOR MORE INFO!!!! Fake fake fake–even those a number of news outlets reported it as truth.

1998: A hard drive crash wiped out 84% of Tool’s new material. Or something like that. Right.

1999: Fake news of the release of two new Tool songs, “Floorpail” and “Anagram.” Note that “Floorpail” is an anagram of “April Fool.” Read the fine print.

2001: Danny Carey declared he was leaving Tool. I quote: “‘I know the guys will pick up the pieces just as we did when Paul [D’amour, Tool’s original bassist] left. We’re all still friends, and I’m sure I will miss the creative process we have all shared … but now is the time for me to go.’ The journalist, his hand shaky as he fumbled with his tape recorder, looked down for a minute, then looked back up at the large frame of Carey – only to find he wasn’t standing there anymore. And just like Keyser Soze – he was gone.” Uh-uh.

2002: The announcement of the imminent release of a 69-minute EP called Gammon. Prank.

2005: Maynard said he was done with the band because he had “found Jesus” and was no longer recording with Tool. As if.

2006: The Global Freak-Out Prank ahead of the actual release of 10,000 Days. “With the four of us scattered across the world, this seemed a great opportunity to let our fans worldwide participate in something special. Tomorrow, in Sydney, London, New York, and Los Angeles, at 11 AM local time in each city, one of us will be on hand to play the album for the first 500 fans to arrive at the venue. No questions, no autographs, no cameras, no cellphones – just the music. We’re sorry for the short notice, but we wanted to try to keep the media out and our diehard fans in.” Didn’t happen.

2009: An announcement of some small venue shows. “The cities listed on the “updated” post started with the letters A, P, R, I, and L – as in April Fools!” Clever.

2015: Tool leaked new music and then took to Facebook to accuse a band of ripping them off. Har-de-har.

2017: Maynard announced that he was temporarily being replaced by Sammy Hagar. Did anyone really believe that?

Bottom line, Tool fans, is that we have to be careful out there today. It’s not like we haven’t been warned.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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