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WHEN THIS WRITER FIRST INTERVIEWED 3 страница

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that devotees have about Tool - and, for that matter, about life, death, and the meaning of it all-Grey was kind enough to answer every one of our queries during our hour-long conversation about art, drugs, and rock and roll.

REVOLVER: I've read that you were actually kind of reluctant to do the artwork for Lateralus. Is that true?

ALEX GREY: Well, I confess to not having been hip to Tool, frankly. I was just raising a family and doing my art in my insular, kind of hermetic fashion. But then Adam came to an exhibition that I had in Santa Monica in 1999. We struck up a friendship and it kind of got started there.

When you finally did listen to Tool, what did you think? I absolutely loved them. I thought it was really some of the best music that I'd ever heard. So I'm extremely grateful to have made Adam's acquaintance. I think a lot of people, for very good reason, look to Maynard as the genius of the band-but they're all geniuses in their own way, and I think Adam is really the guy, because of his wide range of talents in terms of filmmaking and drawing and his


guitar. And he never goes for any easy answers in anything. It's just his way.

Once you heard Tool, did you feel that your work and their work had something essential in common, as Adam must have?

Well...visionary power, I think. I don't like to say that about my own work, because I'm not prone to making pronouncements like that, but if there's anything that one can say about Tool, it's certainly that. And since they value the art aspect of their performance and their presentation so intimately, I felt a kinship at least in terms of the craft and imagination that is to be brought to bear in any project.

When you started working on the art for Lateralus, you hadn't heard any of the music from the album, but Maynard did give you his lyrics. What influence, if any, did those have on what you ended up creating? Well, not a whole lot actually. The main idea of having an anatomical figure was Adam's idea, and that was what we discussed.' I had always wondered about doing one of those Mylar flip charts like in health science, and I had been contemplating doing something like that as a limited-edition print, but I had no idea how to go about it. When Adam approached me, my idea - and I think probably he was sensing this — was that we'd be mapping not only the physical body but also some allusion to or symbolism of the soul. I sent a number of beginning sketches to Adam, and some of my earlier figures were kind of, I don't know, rage-filled, but he just said, "Eh, I would rather not go with that kind of direction," and that was probably his desire to get away from what might seem to be obvious. So I came up with a more kind of benign character with the hand. As I was working, I hid little things like putting God in the cerebrum, and then the eye in the flame — that was an original contribution to the whole package. And it wound up becoming a kind of



 


 


symbol, which has been tattooed onto thousands of people. So people will, like, pull up their hair and show me something they got on the back of their neck; some guy pulled down his pants and showed me one that he had on his... well, stuff like that. [Laughs]

So what was your , inspiration for the eye-flames? I've done a lot of images of infinite expanses of eyes, and those really came from psychedelic experiences, where sometimes the eyes are looking at you and really creep you out. or sometimes they seem to be some reflection of your own infinite consciousness. So I guess the psychedelics arc another point of connection between my work and


the work of Tool. I know that Adam doesn't really do anything like that anymore, and I don't even know if he ever did - he has a really rich imagination without any substances. But I think all the other guys have delved into the psychedelic, visionary world. They frequently make reference to it in their music, sometimes with quotes from [late, great comedian and drug advocate] Bill Hicks or with lyrics: "Prying open my third eye" or "Spiraling out to where no one's been." They've used [psychedelic pioneer] Dr. [Timothy] Leary's quotes about "Think for yourself," and they've referenced [inventor of LSD] Dr. [Albert] Hofmann, in "Lost Keys (Blame Hofmann)"



 


 


After you created the Lateralus art, Tool used more of your work in the stage set for the following tour. That must have been amazing for you, to see your paintings used that way. Yeah, I was astonished. Basically, Adam called me up and said, "Hey, we're leaving on tour in a couple of weeks [laughs], got any ideas?" And I had just finished a painting called InterBeing. I was looking at that as I was talking to Adam and I thought, Hey, maybe this would be cool as a big banner-type thing. So I sent him some proposals, and except for some sculptural ideas, they were like, Let's do 'cm all. And they used them in an amazing way. They had kept any pictures of the set away from me until the show at [New York City's] Radio City [Music Hall]; they just said, "We want you to be surprised." As Adam likes to say, "Get your diaper." It was really shock and awe. [Laughs] And that was one out of a couple of shows where they said onstage, "Hey, and there's Alex Grey," and even gave me a spotlight, it was an incredible acknowledgement. One of the highlights of my life.



You also collaborated with Tool on the video for the Lateralus song "Parabola."

Yeah, Adam took the video to a certain point, and then he wanted it to be a transformative ending, which he kind of left up to me. I submitted a few storyboards to him, and he liked one of the sequences, so we went to [visual effects artists] the Brothers Strause to develop it. And really,


working with the computer graphics folks was a thrilling opportunity that I could never afford myself. One of the most difficult things was making the flaming eye move in a way that realty had power and feeling so it didn't just look like a goldfish or something swimming. It had to be really flame-y and have a character. We worked a lot on that.

The package of 10,000 Days uses your painting The Net of Being. I've read that the piece was inspired by an experience you had in 2002 with the psychoactive tea ayahuasca. Yeah, that was down in Brazil, with a small group of people. We stayed up all night. We were about an hour into the rainforest around Manaus, in a hut, in the dark. [Laughs] Ayahuasca is this viscous, smelly, and really vile-tasting brew. The shamans down in South America discovered it to extend the visionary experience for several hours. We would lie there and listen to healing songs during that time.


That's when I entered into this space in the painting. You know, when one takes psychedelics, you're never exactly sure where you're going to wind up. Sometimes you can wind up in a hell realm; sometimes you can wind up in kind of a heavenly dimension. This seemed more like a heavenly dimension. It was a continuum of beings or Godheads that expanded omni-directionally. Entering into that space, I had no body; I was just kind of a floating ball of awareness within this realm of light. The heads were on fire and they had eyes all over them. It struck me afterwards: All living beings have a sense of a collective soul in some way; you can maybe literally see it in the visionary world. Hence the idea of the "net of beings."

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You and Adam animated The Net of Being in the "Vicarious" video. What was that like?

That was a much more intensive collaboration between Adam and myself. It was (cont. on page 56)



 


 


WITH LASERS, VIDEO PROJECTIONS and artistic washes of illumination. it's no surprise that reviews of Tool concerts often focus on the lighting design as much as on the band's performance. The credit for this belongs to lighting designer director Mark "Junior" Jacobson. whom Tool hired for their AEnima tour after Adam Jones, who brings much of the band's artistic vision to life, noticed the designer's work with the band Filter. Having worked on every tour since. Junior tells Revolver how he has helped keep the fans in the back of the arena just as riveted as those in the front.

REVOLVER: What does Tool ask of you regarding lights? but Tool doesn't do that. Everything's
MARK "JUNIOR" JACOBSON: Maynard [Keenan, vocals] completely live, so there's always a
doesn't like to have light on him. Danny [Carey, drums] chance they could play a little faster, a
really likes to be lit up. so we put lights under him. Justin little slower. They're pretty good, because
[Chancellor, bass] just really likes to play, but he wants to Danny's a very good drummer [Laughs]
be lit and seen as well. And Adam has been coming more so their tempos are usually pretty
into playing off of the light as well. It's always been more consistent night after night.
of a mysterious, more of a murky look-just basically kind of
the way they are. Have you ever had any disasters?

In Italy, one time, we had a really What's the most challenging aspect of what you do With Tool? bad generator that just couldn't keep Trying to keep the vision true to what we think Tool should running. So we lost all the lights for 75
look like and avoid doing anything tacky. percent of the show at various times.

It was a little bit nerve-wracking.

How must you limit yourself in that regard? Fortunately the video's bright enough
I try to keep it mostly to two colors at a time, like a that a lot of people didn't even notice
strong red and a strong blue together so it doesn't get too that I wasn't doing anything.
rainbow-looking. It keeps the power of what's going on
in the moment better if you keep it simpler. It's still bold, How else have you worked with Tool?
but simple. Over time I have tried to keep certain colors for I worked on a couple of the videos, on
certain songs, because it just works. The colors for "Sober." the "AEnema" and "Schism" videos.

for example, I've never used for any other song, and actually Adam had seen the stuff I was doing
I haven't used those together for any other band. It captured with projected images-out of focus,

kind of trippy little movements on the backdrop, and he really liked the way that looked. When he was trying to come up with a way to do a water effect for "AEnema," he thought. Well, why don't I just have junior do it. because he's doing some stuff that looks like that. So he brought me in, and we brought in some of the kind of lights

that moment and it felt right, so we stay with it.

 

Has the band ever objected to your color choices? Nobody in the band has ever said. "This doesn't realty feel like a 'yellow moment.' can we do something else?" You'd be surprised - that does happen with other bands.

 

How do you synchronize the lights to the music?

Some bands use a MIDI time code and they play to a click track.


that we use that are pretty foreign to film guys and we experimentedwith stop-motion stuff. You have to try to
make the movement happen one frame at a time, androck-and-roll lights really aren't designed for that. But we found a way. And we carried that over into the "Schism" video, too. with blood movement and some other weird little pulsings, like in scenes where the little-character dies inside the person and you see what's supposed to look like cellular movement and blood. That's all done with lights that I brought in.

Did you ever share with anyone in your field how the lights worked in the video? The manufacturers of those lights were actually pretty blown away when I showed them the video way back then, because they didn't know their lights could do something like that. It was kind of cool. Hut that's Tool for you. always doing the unexpected thing that people haven't thought of. and that's what we always have to look for. KORY GROW



 


 


CLAY MEN WITH
talking tumors, muscular underwater aliens, sperm-like creatures that peek out of human eyes – the
characters in Tool's videos arc
probably more recognizable than
the band's camera-shy members,
none of whom have appeared (at
least, not as themselves) in any of
their band's clips since 1992. As a
result, the group's visual identity has
come largely from their famously
imaginative videos, and since 1994's "Prison Sex," these have all been
directed by guitarist Adam Jones, Before forming Tool, Jones
worked on Hollywood movies, helping with the makeup and set design for such films as Jurassic Park, Terminator I, and a couple of installments of the Nightmare on Elm Street series, among others. It was on these sets that he met many of the people who would work on his band's videos, notably producer Kevin Willis and makeup effects artist/designer Chet Zar (who actually jammed with Jones prior to Tool). And, justifiably, they are all as proud of the Tool videos as of any of the feature films they've been part of. "They're, like, the best videos ever, pretty much," Zar says. "1 feel really fortunate to work on those."

The work, however, can be nothing short of punishing. On the set for 1996's "Stinkfist." the intrepid Willis was willing to risk asphyxiation to realize Jones' vision. "I'm the main guy in the video," he says. "It's not that I volunteered as much as we were just like. 'I'm gonna be the guy.' It's because we were experimenting with 'flock' on that. Flock, in the effects industry, arc little synthetic or real baits that can be any color, and it's usually all the same length. We were going to flock an entire person. We've always heard that an actress from the James Bond film Goldfinger. the girl painted entirely in gold, fell down dead because her skin couldn't breathe. We didn't want to put anybody else through that, so I was like, 'I'll just do it.' It felt awful."

For the surreal 1997 "AEnema" video, which employed stop-motion effects with water, Willis found himself confronted with a task that would make a contortionist blanche. "That was the most difficult animation job I ever did," he says.


puppet is standing there and the
water is waist-high, and the water the kind of goes up one side of the

 

wall and goes down and then goes
up the other side of the wall and
then goes down. And he kind of
reacts to it. And how that was shot
was that the camera is steady; it's
attached to a tank, like a set with a
clear front. Every animation move, the set and the camera both are animating towards one side. I had to animate that from the top of the tank, but I had to animate it on this five-foot ladder. And there was a point where it was towards one side where I had to animate for about an hour on one foot with someone holding my other foot as I tried getting down into the set to animate the puppet. If I were to fall, I would have blown the whole thing. I had to animate that thing twice to get it right."

"Schism," a groundbreaking 2001 short that makes use of moving smoke, also required several players to suffer for their art, namely Hannah Sim and Mark Steger from performance art troupe Osseus Labyrint. "They wore the makeup for, like, three days straight. They went home and slept in it, and came back, and we touched them up," Zar explains.

Things got even messier during the making
of the epic video for "Parabola," a 2002
clip featuring, in its first section, a group
of strange, toad-like businessmen-one of whom is Tool frontman
Maynard James Keenan himself - who projectile vomit black fluid
made from Methocel. a food thickener used in fast food shakes.
"Their look was based on a little thumbnail sketch that Adam had
done. We made silicone masks for the [actors] to wear, and silicone
gloves." says Zar. "We filmed that at some old
flourmill." adds Willis. "By the end of the shoot
that day. half the people were throwing up. almost.
because of the dust and particles of old Hour that
were in there." But despite the hazards, he says
that everyone is deeply devoted to the cause. "All
the people that work on these videos still think
it's that important to come together and work on
it. Whatever they're doing, they're still ready to
do another one over these 15 years. I just think it's
pretty amazing." KORY GROW



 



 


 


(cont. from page 52) extended through almost two years of drawing together and talking about bringing "The Net of Being" to life. We worked together in his little studio area, so it was really fun, and he taught me a great deal about doing storyboards and ways of approaching the project. I really learned a lot from Adam. I had a number of ideas, and he had a number of ideas, and they melded together in quite an amazing fashion. We came up with this X-rayed figure that's placed in a very frightening, perhaps future world.

Did you and Adam discuss the meaning of the video at all while you were working on it or afterwards? Adam won't really crack any codes or discuss it, but I call it a kind of dream logic that the work evolves through. Only in repeated viewing, I got the feeling that it's all about the eye, again, as a symbol, and of course, the "eye" that you literally set through and the "I" that you call yourself have at least some kind of resonance, even if it is just a wordplay, and there are various


levels of "1" that come into play in the video. First of all, there is the small self, the contracted, wormy ego that gets fascinated by violence and strange things like that. Then there's the full-scale self, and there's the eyes in the palms - those arc symbols of compassion in the Buddhist traditions. They're about seeing what work needs to be done and lifting a hand for others. So the character becomes a different form, and it looks like he kind of dies and goes into this "Net of Being" world, goes through the eyes in that space as well, takes on some energy from that space, literally melts down into this ball of light and becomes kind of a projected slap in the head that wakes the guy up, maybe opens his third eye again, and then he kind of explodes into this new identity as the planet. There's a sense of going from a very small self, to in the end, having the planetary eye. And that to me, is an important shift — we all have to start thinking about our relationship with the planet.

A lot of people have been introduced to you and your work through Tool. Do you have any reservations about being so closely associated with that one specific band? No. I don't. They've been great friends to me. So I'm grateful really to have the work related to them. I do wish I was more clever about sort of capitalizing on it. [Laughs] Everyone wishes they had more money, and we're trying to build a physical chapel and it's gonna take probably millions of dollars.


Where would you build this "ph. chapel"?

Well, our lease on our space in Chelsea ends in '08, so we know we won't be there for too much longer. And we have been negotiating on a property in upstate New York, and that would mean being able to buy land and a facility that is a retreat facility right now, which we could move the collection into with quite a great deal of repair. Eventually, if all works out. then we'd like to create a Tool shrine there, where the videos would be played and certain memorabilia would be on display, certain banners and photographs and stuff that would be really cool.

Do you have any plans to work with Tool in the future? It's really not up to me. But I have a feeling we'll continue. I certainly Want to continue our friendship. I'm not exactly sure what will happen with Tool, whether they will go out on one last leg of the tour or if they've kind of had it for now. But I would be honored to work with them again if they would have me.



 



 



 


AARON TURNER, guitarist-bellower for hypno-metal band Isis, has some serious questions for Tool, whose dressing room he has just walked to from his first-ever tour part of his first-ever arena tour, month of dates on Tool's ginormous 10,000 Days spectacle. Devoutly underground for a decade -running the independent-as-fuck Hydra Head label, designing his own album covers, playing eight-minute-long art-metal monoliths that defy pop music's short attention span-Turner seems unsure about how to deal with his increased profile and opportunities. So who better for him to interview than Tool frontman Maynard James Keenan and guitarist Adam Jones, who have spent 15 years being just as creatively stubborn, releasing singles in 13/8 and album covers that wiggle when you tilt them? And who better to share this formidable task with him than Isis guitarist Michael Gallagher, who has clearly been dazzled by the band? "Seeing Tool on this tour makes me realize that they arc like the Led Zeppelin of our times," he says.

Tool's dressing room is lit in the uneasy glow of those big spherical light bulbs that surround dressing-room mirrors, but the band do their best to make the space cozy-Devo blasts on a laptop, and Keenan's friendly Yorkie greets everyone with a nuzzle Even though Turner and Gallagher have loved the band for some time, they still see Tool less as musical role models and more as a living testament to the power of consistency, left-of-center politics, and the importance of retaining creative control. "You guys put a great amount of effort and attention to detail in everything you do," says
Turner to Keenan and Jones. 'And when you look and listen to the results, it's very obvious that it's four individuals who are comprising a whole that's moving wholeheartedly in one direction."

"It sounds so gay, but there's
sharing' replies Jones. "We split
everything four ways. We find ways
to compromise. And when we
fight, we light." Adds Keenan:
"Naked, though."

MICHAEL GALLAGHER: If you guys Weren't musicians, what do you think you'd be doing with yourselves? MAYNARD JAMES KEENAN: Walking the


yard one hour a day to get some sunshine.

AARON TURNER: You did a lot of video-based stuff and film-based stuff...

ADAM JONES: That's what I was doing, but I'd see myself doing some kind of art or music, even on the lowest level. [When] I met Maynard, he was working in movies. I was working in movies. We both had some kind of artistic direction, which is why it was a good collaboration.

KEENAN: Living in L.A., I was working in pet stores and working on sets and stuff like that as...uh, Val Kilmer's stunt double. I saw Adam was involved in a band, and it didn't look like it was going well. It looked like it was kind of a chore. Adam kept bugging me to be in the band, and I just had no interest.


JONES: Well, we were talking about doing a joke band. KEENAN: Right. And that's the only thing that really got me


hooked into wanting to do it.

JONES: And then you played me a tape, and I was like, "Dude, you can sing! Fuck!" So we started putting a joke-band together.

TURNER: So Tool's kind of like Dianetics then. It was, like, a joke when it started out. and it's become an international conglomerate.

KEENAN: Yep. We are the L. Ron Hubbard of LA music.

JONES: I've always been in bands, and the reason I always bumped heads with people is they took themselves too seriously. They wanted to make it. And it was like, "We suck! We're never gonna make it. Cut it out. Let's just have fun."

TURNER: In L.A., especially, so many people aspire to make it. But it seems that the people who are trying the hardest to make it have the least success in that endeavor. And the people who arc doing it purely for the love of the music, if they persevere, are eventually the ones... KEENAN: That's why our joke band is successful.

JONES: It Was kind of the same for us, in a way. We never had any expectations. We're not quite in the position you guys arc, but we never imagined we'd be doing as much as we have thus far.

JONES: That's why I really like your band. I can see that. We didn't worry about radio. And we're still not worried about it. We're gonna finish the record. Then we'll worry about what we'll send to radio. It should be from your heart and not your head.

KEENAN: Although every band is different... there's no possible way to map it out. So, definitely, part of the plan should be when In-N-Out Burger approaches you to buy your band, whether you should do it.

TURNER: Do you feel, being an artist, that you have an obligation to communicate important messages that aren't being said elsewhere?

KEENAN: The only kind of gay metaphor that I can throw out at this point would be: Rather than mapping exactly how you're supposed

to build this structure, I'm just gonna present you a hammer. If you wanna beat someone over the head with it or build a structure with it in your way, that's fine. But we're just presenting — no pun intended-tools. If you can break down some of the crap that we're waffling


on about, and get something from it, that very process is what we're trying to teach. Because that very process is gonna lead you to questioning things around you and just becoming a more conscious being in this world. There's a huge bulk of the people out there that just arc never gonna get that... And those arc the ones we're gonna sell the new chocolate footlong called "Prison Sex" at In-N-Out Burger.

JONES: As far as being social or political, the social part of it has to be in a way that it reaches everyone. And in a way that you can go, This is how I feel, but you should take that and apply it to what you feel. Maynard doesn't print the lyrics in the album artwork. And it's really cool because then people can make up their own conclusions. Hopefully, it's positive.

KEENAN: It's like the story of the blind men feeling the elephant. They're all gonna describe a different part of it differently. But you, as a world traveler and musician, get to go, Whoa! What is this? [Pretends be's stroking an elephant's penis] You get to travel around and see different perspectives, As an artist, it's your fuckin' job to report your impressions of those things. It just is. You're supposed to be taking this thing and trying to just translate a story. You're a storyteller. The only music nowadays that's actually popular that doesn't have a story attached to it is techno and rave. And there's drugs attached to it. And you're making up your own story in your head.


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