Retrospective: Tool Videos Directed by Adam Jones
Tool founding member and sole guitarist Adam Jones has received a tremendous amount of praise for his musical work, but the talent of the guitarist ventures far past the auditory. Adam Jones is also an accomplished animator, makeup artist and set designer, having worked on major flicks such as ‘Jurassic Park,’ ‘Terminator 2′ and ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street 4 + 5′ among others.
As Tool began to become more popular, Jones harnessed his talents to create official music videos for the band, which have remained stylistically unique and unmatched in terms of hypnotic quality for two decades. Whether or not Tool is your musical cup of tea, the videos directed by Adam Jones stand alone as not just accompaniments to a song, but as legitimate visual masterworks even if stripped of their music.
Below are all seven Tool videos directed by Adam Jones.
Adam Jones’ first visual creation for Tool was for ‘Sober,’ the band’s first video offering from their 1993 full-length ‘Undertow.’ Jones used his masterful stop-motion skills for the dark piece, and ‘Sober’ became the first in a long line of videos that purposely do not feature any of Tool’s band members and use bleak color schemes. Jones collaborated with Fred Stuhr to create the video, but for nearly a decade afterword, Jones took sole creative lead.
‘Prison Sex’ (1994)
The second and final music video from Tool’s ‘Undertow’ album was crafted for the song ‘Prison Sex.’ Not only was the ‘Prison Sex’ clip a visual and conceptual achievement in the world of music videos, but also cemented Adam Jones’ talent as a video’s sole director. Despite the clip’s prowess, MTV actually banned ‘Prison Sex’ for what was considered to be disturbing imagery.
Tool began to earn legendary status as a band after the release of ‘Ænima’ in 1996. It must have been a difficult task to choose the first single from the record, but Tool went with ‘Stinkfist’ and thus, created another video. Purposed in heavily blue and purple, the clip showcases sand-based humanoids swallowing nails and strip their skin to reveal a contrasting layer. Although the video for ‘Stinkfist’ received heavy airplay on MTV, the music channel changed the title to ‘Track #1′ in an attempt to avoid controversy.
The title track for ‘Ænema’ acted as the muse for Jones’ final video coming from the record. The progressive theme of otherworldly human figures continued with ‘Ænema,’ with an added water concept reflecting the lyrical content of the song. Although the song’s visual accompaniment is yet another fascinating use of Adam Jones’ animation skills, the bleak and confusing nature of ‘Ænema’ leaves the viewer to create their own interpretation of the video’s meaning.
Arguably Tool’s most popular and accessible song, ‘Schism’ was chosen as the leading single for the band’s 2001 masterpiece, ‘Lateralus.’ This next chapter in Tool’s videography used similar color patterns and humanoid figures from their earlier works, but ‘Schism’ is the band’s most lifelike clip to date. Although the track is well over seven minutes long, the demand for Tool allowed for the video to attain heavy rotation. There is nothing that sucks you in quite like a Tool video, and ‘Schism’ is no exception.
‘Parabola’ is not only Adam Jones’ longest Tool clip to date (due to its inclusion of lead-in track ‘Parabol’), it is also his first foray into creating a Tool video with help from artist Alex Grey. The video features two suited human figures, reminiscent of the ‘Ænema’ video, cutting up fruit before vomiting up a black substance. A massive amount of interaction occurs throughout the short film, all moving towards the beautifully multi-colored discovery of the ‘third eye,’ representing a sense of enlightenment and one-ness with the universe’s collective consciousness.
Tool’s most recent clip for ‘Vicarious’ is the sole music video from their 2006 album, ‘10,000 Days,’ and is both slightly and massively different from the rest of Jones’ work. Continuing the use of slow movement, humanoid figures and the art of Alex Grey, Tool’s video for ‘Vicarious’ is their most colorful and technologically complex clip to date. The video’s infinite and almost 3D nature is a major trip in itself, but when accompanied by the music of Tool, your third eye suddenly seems unblocked and squeaky clean.