These 10 Bands Wouldn’t Exist Without Tool

Tool Band

The tool is probably the biggest cult act on the planet. Since they formed in the early ’90s, they have earned an obsessively hardcore fanbase who adore their every statement. Some of those fans have formed their own bands, inspired by and borrowing heavily from the dense, mystical, and polyrhythmic model created by Tool. Their influence is so wide that even Justin Bieber is a fan. It’s not on this list, but here are 10 bands that wouldn’t exist in their current form if it weren’t for the influence of Maynard James Keenan and company.


Deftones was there at ground level, before realizing how creatively stuffy it could be and beginning to explore the space between metallic riffs and vast progressive soundscapes in his masterpiece White Pony. Tool’s influence on that period of his career cannot be understated, and it’s almost as if Deftones are more than happy to admit that they themselves brought in Maynard James Keenan to perform the song, Passenger.


Mudvayne: nu-metal chancers with silly makeup, right? Actually, there was a lot more to Illinois garb than that. Her debut album, L.D. 50, she was more ambitious and musically skilled than many of her contemporaries. Vibrant rubber riffs? Check. Unusual song structures? Check. Occasionally melancholic and sad voices? Check. Sounds familiar? Sure it does.


Mastodon started out as a sludge metal band, but gradually moved into the realms of esoteric progressive metal, peaking in the 2009 masterpiece Crack The Skye, an album that was undoubtedly influenced by Tool. Respect is mutual: The Atlanta band opened for Maynard and company in the past, while Tool’s Danny Carey and Mastodon’s Brent Hinds formed the unique Legend Of The Seagullmen project out of a gigantic love of progressive metal.

Between the Buried and Me

Between The Buried And Me started life as a pretty straight metal hardcore band and began taking a turn toward progressive in 2005 in Alaska, something that fully blossomed into sci-fi obsessed conceptual brilliance with The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues EP. 2011 and its full-length follow-up The Parallax II: Future Sequence one year later. Many of its influences come from the deep well of old school progressive rock, but its heavier, more contemporary edge owes a recognized debt to you-and-whom.


Another band that started out playing something completely different, but the Australian rebels soon traded the nu metal bounce off their 2007 debut album Themata for something more challenging and unnerving in the Sound Awake follow-up two years later, suggesting that it had submerged. in Lateralus and 10,000 Days. It worked for them, landing a number 2 album in their homeland and the Australian equivalent of a Brit or a Grammy.

Animals as Leaders

Animals As Leaders are known for two things: the dazzling technical prowess of guitarist Tosin Abasi and the fact that they were one of the few djent bands that didn’t blatantly get all of their schtick out of Meshuggah. While the Swedes are undoubtedly an influence, much like Olympic-level grinders Steve Vai and Joe Satriani, AAL’s sense of space and dynamics are evocative of Tool, making them one of the most interesting bands to emerge from the world. djent boom.


Another band that transcended the djent scene, TesseracT ditched the last remaining tech metal tropes on the 2018 Sonder album. Hear how the 11-minute Beneath My Skin / Mirror Image is constructed from quiet and elegant soundscapes in a propellant riff and try to tell us that they are not following a trail opened by Tool.

Black Peaks

The Brighton band is not ashamed to admit the influence of Tool and their extended musical family: they described the opportunity to open for Maynard’s other band, A Perfect Circle, on their Eat The Elephant tour as “a dream come true.” Certainly their second album, 2018’s All That Divides, amplified the progressive elements that lurked in the shadows of 2016’s debut Statues, and sounded so much better for it.

Tame Impala

Tame Impala’s lead actor Kevin Parker is a fan of psychedelia, progressive, and what he calls “fucking explosive music,” and while his band has morphed from stunned-headed rock psychopaths into stylish, loving synth-poppers of disco music, his sense of adventure is still there. But it’s in her live show where Tool’s inspiration is most evident: instead of concentrating on the musicians on stage, a Tame Impala show focuses on filling the stage with mind-blowing, seductive imagery and hypnotic imagery, lulling the audience in a trance. state. It’s a trick Tool has been doing better than anyone for decades, and there’s no question that this is the benchmark Parker is aiming for.

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