Ongoing History of New Music

Ongoing History Daily: What’s that sound that Tool song?

Tool is a band that takes a years and years to record new albums. A bit part of that is their insistence on experimenting with sounds and arrangements—and sometimes those experiments get a little weird.

If we go back to the Lateralus album, there’s a short instrumental track called “Mantra.” It features an ominous sound, a sort-of hum that sounds almost demonic. What the heck is that?

It’s singer Maynard James Keenan, gently squeezing his pet cat. The cat was recorded and those sounds were slowed down to sound dangerous. Tool would like to make it clear that no cats were harmed in the creating of “Mantra.”

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ 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.

Alan Cross has 38011 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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