TOOL guitarist Adam Jones spoke to Rolling Stone about the progress of the songwriting sessions for the band's long-awaited follow-up to 2006's "10,000 Days" album. He said: "I'll tell you, it's wonderful. Things are really flowing and going really well, and I'm just blown away at the stuff that's coming together. I'm excited and can't wait for it to be done. It's something I've been missing for a long time [laughs], that beautiful collaboration that we have because we're all so different and have different tastes. But again, when you are all meeting in the middle and that thing you do that meets in the middle is just beautiful, it's very rewarding. So yes, I'm very happy."
He continued: "We probably have 20 potential song ideas now. Of course, 20 won't be on the record. We're just jamming. But I'll tell you, there's nothing better than having too many good songs then not enough. It's great. You pick your faves."
Asked if TOOL singer Maynard James Keenan has heard the music his bandmates have been working on, Adam said: "Yeah. We have an FTP and a Dropbox and we're in communication. He's got other stuff he does, so we keep him in the loop, and he has written lyrics, but he's still working on that and he'll commit. The best thing for all of us is when the song is done. I don't write leads until the song is done. You want to get a vibe. And Maynard can work on lyrics, but until the song's done and he knows how the end is, he's still figuring out the flow."
He continued: "The thing with TOOL is you have four critical thinkers who like different stuff, so our process is not an easy one but it's a very rewarding one. So yes, he is exposed to new music. It's always been this way and it probably will always be this way and it's just how people work."
TOOL will embark on its U.S. tour in January, with the first confirmed date on January 9 in San Diego and the last so far on January 26 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Just eight shows have been unveiled so far, although at least another eight are expected to be announced as well.
Direct support on the trek will come from PRIMUS, with Los Angeles act 3TEETH also on the bill.
TOOL hasn't performed more than 20 shows in a single year since 2007.