Tool’s ‘Ænima’: 10 Facts Superfans Probably Already Know

Listen, we’re well aware that Tool‘s fanbase are one of the most dedicated in the world. They know the albums front to back, the band’s history top to bottom and even all there is to know about the Fibonacci Sequence. If there were a PhD based on one’s knowledge of Tool, every one of their dedicated fans would attain it.

Ænima was released on vinyl on Sept. 17, 1996 and on Oct. 1 on CD format. We know you know how great of an album it is, and how it took Tool from a hard rock band to progressive psychedelic masterminds. So instead of preaching what you already know, here are 10 facts superfans probably already know about Ænima, but the rest of you may not. Test your Tooldom below.

1. Ænima is a double entendre. 

Tool’s both intellectual and highly sarcastic nature means a lot of ambiguous hidden meanings and messages within their work. The title Ænima comes from both the words “anima,” which means soul in Latin, and “enema,” which is a medical procedure on the rectum.

2. The band dedicated it to Bill Hicks.

Bill Hicks was a comedian who passed away in 1994. His style consisted of dark humor, mainly surrounding controversial topics like religion and philosophy, just like Tool — so they dedicated Ænima to him. An illustration of Hicks dressed as a doctor appears on the inner cover of the album with the line, “Another dead hero.”

3. Lines from Hicks’ sets were even sampled on the album.

The comedian’s speeches “One Good Drug Story” and “The War on Drugs” were sampled on the album before the song “Third Eye.” Hicks had used the phrase “third eye” before when talking on psychedelic mushrooms.

4. Some songs were originally recorded with Paul D’Amour.

Prior to original bassist Paul D’Amour‘s acquittal from the band, he played on the demos of “Pushit,” “Stinkfist,” “Ænema” and “Eulogy.” Justin Chancellor of the U.K. band Peach took over on bass in 1995.

5. Half empty or half full?

The original title for the song “H.” was supposedly “Half Empty,” as Maynard James Keenan had introduced it under that name before playing it live in 1995.

6. Useful pranksters.

The interlude track “Useful Idiot” consists of sounds of record player needles skipping. It was strategically placed at the end of side 1 of the vinyl version of the album in order to trick people.

7. Cookies.

“Die Eier von Satan” actually means “the balls of Satan” or “the eggs of Satan” in German, as “eier” can mean eggs or testicles. While the track sounds like an angry German speech, the words translate to a recipe for edible marijuana cookies. Marko Fox, the bassist of ZAUM and SexTapes, provided the narration.

8. It charted twice.

The album debuted at No. 2 in 1996, selling just under 150,000 copies in its first week. By 2003, it was certified triple platinum. It’s often regarded as one of the best rock albums of the 1990s, and its longevity stood the test of time when it charted again 23 years later. Right after Tool uploaded their discography to digital platforms and streaming services in 2019, Ænima peaked at No. 10 on the Billboard 200.

It was in the top 10 twice more than two decades apart.

9. The European pressings.

An entirely fictional discography was included on the insert of the European versions of the CD. There were 16 fake album covers to go along with satirical titles: Gay Rodeo, Bethlehem Abortion Clinic, Bad Breath, The Other White Meat, Two Weiners For Daddy, Three Fat Brown Fingers, Mungey the Clown, I Smell Urine, The Christmas Album, Iced Pee, Spring Boner, Tetanus for Breakfast, Crapsteaks Smothered in Dictators, Nurse Ketimella’s Kit’chen, Just Up That Dirt Road: Tool Live! at the Acropolis and Brown Magic and Big Appetites: Music from the Movie Soundtrack Jelly Donut.

10. “Track #1.”

MTV put the music video for “Stinkfist” on heavy rotation, but they changed the name to “Track #1” when it aired because they felt the actual title was too offensive for their audience. Fans complained about the censorship, so MTV’s 120 Minutes host Matt Pinfield shook his fist while encouraging viewers to buy the album.

Every Tool Song Ranked

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11 Music Venues That Are Reportedly Haunted

Do you believe in ghosts? Staff members from these 11 concert venues do. Whether flawlessly documented or steeped in urban legend, the tragic events tied to these venues have given them a reputation for paranormal activity.

If you watch paranormal shows such as Ghost Hunters, chances are you’re familiar with some of these venues. The 100-year-old Rapids Theatre in Niagara Falls, N.Y. was on Ghost Hunters and even holds private ghost hunting tours, where patrons have heard doors opening and closing, disembodied footsteps and keys jingling down the halls.

Someone ever tell you to “Go to Hell”? You could hedge their bet at Bobby Mackey’s in Kentucky. Legend has it, there’s a portal to the underworld in the basement. We’re unsure if any poor souls have been lost to the venue cellar, but there’s been at least one documented exorcism that took place at Bobby Mackey’s.

Even Royal Albert Hall, one of the world’s most famous venues, is apparently haunted. Reports of ghostly women giggling through the halls have surrounded the site for decades. Royal Albert Hall even keep track of paranormal claims on their official website, dating all the way back to 1871.

Check out these 11 Music Venues That Are Reportedly Haunted in the gallery below.

11 Music Venues That Are Reportedly Haunted

17 Trends That Defined the Evolution of Fashion in Rock + Metal

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Rock Stars vs. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has been a controversial institution for decades, with many musicians speaking out against the Hall putting money ahead of music and for its inept voting body. Watch these musicians, some of whom are actually in the Hall of Fame, publicly address the Hall for their practices and overlooking essential rock and metal bands.

According to Motley Crue’s Nikki Sixx, the Rock Hall told the band they’d never be inducted. “[Tommy Lee said] maybe if we got into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame or something, we could dust off a couple of our old classics,’” recalled Sixx. “But we don’t have any plans because we were told by the Hall of Fame that we would never get in, because of how we’ve acted, so that’s kind of it.”

Judas Priest legend Rob Halford pulled a gangster move after being denied induction from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, actually reading Priest’s rejection letter live on an Arizona radio show. After the Hall listed various artists who were rejected multiple times before eventually getting in, they actually invited Priest to come visit as tourists, giving Halford’s spirited reading a hilarious twist.

Among the most critical Rock Hall inductees is Ritchie Blackmore, who ripped the Cleveland institution on his own YouTube channel. “I have absolutely [no] interest for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I’m not interested in receiving awards and all that self-congratulatory patting on the back by the elitists in the business.”

Watch these Rock Stars vs. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the Loud List below.

Rock Stars vs. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

33 Hard Rock + Metal Acts Who Deserve to Be in the Rock Hall of Fame

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16 Most Iconic Rock + Metal Festival Lineups of the 20th Century

The only thing better than a good rock or metal concert is a rock and metal festival. Seeing several heavy artists play in one day or across the span of several days is the ultimate way to get your metal fix in.

The history of music festivals is a bit of a complex one, considering most people think Woodstock was the first of its kind. Prior to the 1969 weekend of peace and love, there was the Newport Jazz Festival in the mid-50s, the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967 and other lesser known events scattered between.

Once the British wave of heavy metal made its way over to the U.S. in the late ’60s and early ’70s, bands such as Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath attracted massive crowds to venues, proving how powerful rock and metal shows actually were. As more metal bands started making their way onto the scene, the idea of having several of them play the same bill became that much more appealing.

Now, new festivals are popping up all over the place and occur nearly all year long, but they weren’t as frequent prior to the 21st century. Scroll below to see posters of iconic rock and metal festival lineups that took place in the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s, with the biggest names from each bill getting an honorable mention.

Festival Guide: 2019 Rock + Metal Festivals in the U.S. + Abroad

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The 5 Most Expensive Hard Rock Music Videos of All Time

Music videos used to be an important facet of releasing an album. They weren’t just promotional tools, they were a way to connect further with the artist.

Queen hired a producer to create a video for “Bohemian Rhapsody” in 1975 to promote the song on the British show Top of the Pops. Another early music video was the Buggles’ “Video Killed the Radio Star,” which was the first to air on MTV in 1981.

David Bowie‘s 1980 video for “Ashes to Ashes” became the most expensive video of all time, coming in at a total of $582,000, according to David Buckley’s Strange Fascination — David Bowie: The Definitive Story. Since then, plenty of other artists have surpassed that budget, especially pop artists such as Michael Jackson and Madonna later in the decade and in the ’90s.

Only a few rock artists have managed to create massively expensive music videos, though, and we’ve highlighted them below. Check out the most expensive hard rock music videos of all time.

  • 5

    Blink-182 – “Rock Show”

    The introductory message at the beginning of Blink-182’s video for “Rock Show” alone already gives viewers an idea that some sort of batshit craziness is about to go down. Basically, the band were given money by their label to make the video, so they cashed it, drove around in their van and walked around handing out dollar bills to random people. This alternates with cutscenes of the group playing the song in a few different locations and also breaking stuff. How much were they given, you ask? $500,000, according to an interview they did with the Interview Channel in 2001.

  • 4

    Garbage – “Push It”

    If you’ve ever had the strange desire to see masked nuns on a mission, you’ll be pleased to know you can satiate yourself with Garbage’s 1998 video for “Push It.” It’s actually pretty weird — there’s a figure made of static electricity, some alien-like creatures, someone in a suit with a lightbulb for a head and other freaky characters. We can’t tell you exactly what’s going on, but we can tell you that it cost $750,000 to produce, as per Shirley Manson’s 2018 interview with Yahoo! It was nominated for eight categories of the 1998 MTV Video Music Awards, but won zero. 

  • 3

    My Chemical Romance – “The Ghost of You”

    My Chemical Romance came out with a World War II-themed music video for “The Ghost of You” in 2005, and if you passed it while flipping through channels on TV, you’d think it was a movie. The masterpiece flips back and forth between scenes of soldiers at a dance, a bar and a recreation of the D-Day invasion in France. It’s incredibly moving and powerful, and unsurprisingly, cost a little over $1 million to make.

  • 2

    Guns N’ Roses – “November Rain”

    Not only did Axl Rose have a vision in mind when Guns N’ Roses hit the studio to record the Use Your Illusion albums, but he wanted to make a movie based on some of the songs as well. The videos for “Don’t Cry,” “November Rain” and “Estranged” serve as a series to tell a story of a problematic relationship, but we unfortunately don’t know the cost for the first one. “November Rain” was actually based on the short story Without You by writer Del James, who is also a close friend of the band. A tale of marriage and death, the video cost $1.5 million to produce, and ultimately leaves the viewer with a lot of questions at the end. How? Why? You’ll have to watch and try to figure it out for yourself.

  • 1

    Guns N’ Roses – “Estranged”

    What do the police, dolphins and a Charles Manson T-shirt have in common? They’re all featured in Guns N’ Roses’ wildly cinematic video for “Estranged.” Serving as the third installment of the trilogy with “Don’t Cry” and “November Rain,” the 1993 video is nearly 10 minutes long, and cost a whopping $4 million to make. Considering Axl Rose jumped off an oil tanker in the middle of an ocean, it’s not that surprising. And if you thought you were mesmerized by Slash playing in the dessert in front of a church in the “November Rain” video, just wait until you see him emerge from underwater as he solos.

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The 66 Best Metal Songs of the 21st Century

Since 2000, metal has shape-shifted drastically. From primal nu-metal and core anthems, to the zenith of tech-death and prog, to a revival of classic thrash and occult doom, and post-genre amalgamations filled with contrary dynamics, metal remains the most innovative and fascinating subculture on the planet.

Metal ain’t dead, folks. It’s just evolved at speeds never seen before in popular culture.

Looking deep into the 21st century, we’ve pulled metal’s most important and influential gems from Y2K to present day. While enough time has passed for tracks like Tool‘s “Lateralus,” System of a Down‘s “Chop Suey!” and Opeth‘s “Blackwater Park” to reach iconic status, we’ve also given love to more recent cuts which forced metal to expand its horizons. You’ll find tracks by genre benders such as Scarlxrd, Zeal & Ardor and Babymetal, who sprouted new branches on metal’s family tree to mass acclaim, setting themselves up for possible legendary status in the near future.

The 21st century has been a diverse and experimental one, so delve deep by checking out our picks for The 66 Best Metal Songs of the 21st Century in the gallery below.

The 66 Best Metal Songs of the 21st Century

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The 10 Most Expensive Rock + Metal Albums

As an artist sometimes you have big dreams. And if you’re lucky enough to find some success, you may also have a pretty big budget on your hands. But that doesn’t mean that the money is always put to great use, as evidenced by this list of the 10 Most Expensive Rock + Metal Albums.

Sure, there are some rock and metal gems in here, albums such as Metallica‘s self-titled “black” album and Def Leppard‘s Hysteria that saw large returns for not only the time and effort that they spent on the record but also the amount of money funded to create their masterpieces. But this list also includes some albums that don’t come close to some of these known band’s best works.

You can kind of understand Fleetwood Mac going deep into the pockets after the huge success of Rumours to create their double-album follow-up Tusk, but some of these other albums may leave you wondering where all the money went. Join us as we scroll through the most expensive rock and metal albums, seeing what their current going rate would be and how they fared after the album was released, in the gallery below.

57 Rock + Metal Bands Who Changed Names Before Getting Famous

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10 Best Metal Albums of 2006

It was quite the year in 2006! Some of the most enduring bands from the old school mixed it up with emerging titans of the modern era, resulting in something for metalheads of all classes. Artists released what are largely considered their breakthrough albums in 2006, adding to the growing pool of new headliners that would continue to steamroll their success through the next decade, truly ushering in a new age of heaviness.

Simultaneously, legacy acts like Iron Maiden and Cannibal Corpse added to their already legendary discographies, proving they’re worth all the accolades that have been rained down on them over the years. A sizable chunk of the heavy metal spectrum is represented here, from black to death to power to whatever the hell Mastodon can be categorized as.

See the 10 Best Metal Albums of 2006 below.

10 Best Metal Albums of 2006

The Best Metal Album of Each Year Since 1970

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Musicians React to Bad Interview Questions

Bad interview questions make for top quality cringe content, so we rounded up 10 awkward encounters from the depths of YouTube, including one interaction from the Loudwire archives.

Red carpets are the worst places for interviews. Most of the time, journalists are sent to talk with dozens of people at a time with little to no knowledge of the artist. It’s also a prime destination for trolls, who targeted bands like Slipknot and Mastodon at the Grammy Awards. In this compilation, you’ll see Slipknot’s Shawn ‘Clown’ Crahan lose his patience with a Tonight Show interviewer, calling him a “jackass” at music’s biggest night.

Cultural barriers can make for hilarious interview moments, especially when personal boundaries are crossed. During a German interview, HIM vocalist Ville Valo found himself in an uncomfortable chat, with the journalist asking about his love life and if he “has sex any way.” Valo’s face tells the whole story, though he played off the questions with a joke.

The most glorious bad interview in metal history features one awkward man and a Howard Jones-era Killswitch Engage. Having apparently not eaten for days, the interviewer kept messing up his statements and questions, eliciting incredible reactions from the band. Was it a joke? Was he serious? The Internet is still wondering.

Watch Musicians React to Bad Interview Questions in the Loud List below.

Musicians React to Bad Interview Questions

The Jobs 26 Rock + Metal Musicians Had Before They Were Famous

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‘Blizzard of Ozz’: 10 Facts Only Superfans Would Know

After his dismissal from Black Sabbath, Ozzy Osbourne felt his career was over. Drug and alcohol-ridden and living in awful conditions, the singer was giving up, and chose to let the party end him until he was confronted by Sharon Arden.

The daughter of Black Sabbath’s manager, Arden knew Osbourne had more life and music left in him, so she offered to manage him (and they later married). He eventually got a band together and began working on what would be his first album without Sabbath, Blizzard of Ozz — the piece of work that would ultimately turn his entire life around.

1. It was supposed to be released as a band effort rather than solo.

Despite being recognized as Osbourne’s debut solo album, it was actually supposed to be considered a band effort. It was supposed to be a self-titled album by the band Blizzard of Ozz, with Osbourne’s name added for credit. The cover ended up displaying Osbourne’s name in larger font than the band name, so it appeared to be an album by Osbourne himself, instead.

2. Osbourne felt it was a competition.

The singer later admitted he felt like the album was going to be in direct competition with Black Sabbath, who had replaced him with Ronnie James Dio. Their first album with Dio, Heaven and Hell, was released just months before Blizzard of Ozz and was very successful.

“I’d be talking out my arse if I said I didn’t feel like I was in competition with Black Sabbath when we made Blizzard of Ozz. I wished them well, I suppose, but part of me was shitting myself that they were going to be more successful without me,” Osbourne wrote in his autobiography, I Am Ozzy.

3. …but it outsold his best album with Sabbath.

Blizzard of Ozz outsold Paranoid, having sold over six million copies worldwide. Paranoid sold more than five million worldwide.

4. They didn’t say it all.

A last-minute song called “You Said It All” was put together quickly by the band because the label wanted a new single, but it was ultimately never recorded. A live version of the song appeared on the 1980 Mr Crowley Live EP. 

5. Gary Moore was originally supposed to play guitar on it.

Osbourne’s first choice for a guitarist for his band to record the album was Thin Lizzy’s Gary Moore. Moore was “always hot and cold” according to Osbourne, most likely because of the singer’s unreliable reputation that got him fired from Sabbath to begin with.

Quiet Riot’s Randy Rhoads got the gig on the sly, anyway. Osbourne fondly reflects on how strong their musical chemistry was.

6. The song “Suicide Solution” was written about Osbourne.

Bassist Bob Daisley wrote the lyrics for “Suicide Solution,” which he said was based on Osbourne’s self-destructive behaviors. Many have speculated the song was about AC/DC’s Bon Scott, who had passed away around that time from alcohol poisoning, but Daisley affirms it’s about Osbourne.

“I was going the same way as Bon Scott,” the singer acknowledged in an interview with Classic Rock magazine.

7. And he was later sued over it.

In 1986, a teenager named John McCollum shot himself and was found with headphones on. According to his parents, side one of Blizzard of Ozz was on his turntable, which contains “Suicide Solution.” Because of lyrics in the song like, “But you lie there and moan
/ Where to hide, suicide is the only way out,” the teen’s parents sought legal action against Osbourne and his labels.

Though Osbourne felt terrible, he didn’t feel he was at fault. The judge threw out the case because there wasn’t sufficient evidence to claim the singer was trying to convince anyone to take their lives, and he was rightfully expressing freedom of speech. However, many felt he should have been more careful.

8. A goodbye letter.

Osbourne later admitted that he felt the song “Goodbye to Romance” was a goodbye message to Black Sabbath.

9. The issues of a reissue.

Osbourne had to hire a new bassist and drummer for the 2002 reissue of the album, since he had been sued by Daisley and original drummer Lee Kerslake for unpaid royalties after they were fired. The singer’s drummer at the time of the reissue, Mike Bordin, re-recorded the drum parts and Metallica’s Robert Trujillo played the bass.

10. A tribute to Rhoads.

“RR” is a Rhoads outtake that was recorded during the Blizzard sessions. It was later included on the reissue of the album as a tribute to Rhoads, who passed away just two years after the album initially came out.

Top 80 Hard Rock + Metal Albums of the 1980s

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50 Most Game-Changing Hard Rock + Metal Albums of All Time

Stretching across nearly 50 years, the definition of hard rock music from its early days is almost unrecognizable by today’s standards. Classic rock, proto-metal, garage rock, punk, traditional metal, thrash, glam, death metal, black metal, sludge, hardcore punk, grunge and everything else outside, in between and combined now represents our general understanding of the all-encompassing genre.

But how did all of these styles come to be? Of course, the prime movers of each genre can be traced, which is just what we’ve done here! Examining those who changed the game of rock altogether, we’re looking at the albums that had the most profound impact on entire scenes or even something less grandiose but still unequivocally crucial like a certain playing technique.

One of the most glaring examples, of course, is Black Sabbath’s debut record, which many cite as the first ever heavy metal record. Tony Iommi’s riffing style was so immediately different than his contemporaries, that it warranted a name all its own (some also called it “downer rock” back in the day) and the Satanic themes, well that’s just extra credit!

We won’t spoil too much before you get to reading and we’re sure you already have more than a few guesses as to which albums you’ll find ahead, but rest assured there’s some surprises along the way as we outline what it really means to be an innovator, a pioneer, something different, unique, unafraid and game-changing in the gallery at the top of the page!

The 50 Most Game-Changing Hard Rock + Metal Albums

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Top 90 Hard Rock + Metal Albums of the ’90s

The ’90s were one of the most fascinating decades in rock and metal, widening the gap between the two genres and putting fans on opposing sides, either clinging to their denim patch vests or trading them in for flannel shirts. Grunge signaled the death of metal supremacy that put a stranglehold on heavy music in the prior decade, but the underground kept the metal going strong while rock acts were assuming their role on the world’s biggest stages.

Kurt Cobain became the voice of a generation in Nirvana, while Dave Grohl steamrolled the success into the Foo Fighters following Cobain’s tragic death. Meanwhile, Texas groovehounds Pantera were flying the banner for heavy metal, keeping the genre in the mainstream. In the meantime, a new genre called nu-metal was emerging, taking the rhythmic approach of metal even further and fusing it with rap influences. Below the surface, extreme genres like black and death metal were thriving, scaring parents, exciting kids and netting headlines rife with controversy.

We started with a list of nearly 300 albums to contend with and narrowed it down to the 90 Best Hard Rock + Metal Albums of the 1990s. Take a trip down this diametric decade of music and see which album is No. 1 in the gallery below!

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