After a long drought, fans of the Fibonacci-fueled drumming powerhouse Danny Carey will be rewarded with not just one, but two albums of new music in 2018. In an interview with Drum! magazine last week, the Tool drummer confirmed the band is writing songs for its new album and hopes to start recording as soon as next month.

“It’s gonna be really good,” he said. “We’re really excited about it. We’re getting really close, too. We’re probably going to write the rest of this year and then start tracking early in the new year. So, it’ll be out some time in 2018.”

This is great news for fans of the band, which has not released an album since 10,000 Days came out in 2006. From the sound of it, Carey may be just as excited for the new record as his fans.  “(It’s been) Too damn long! [laughs] … But you can’t rush these things, man. We’ve gone through a lot. Lots of family stuff, lots of legal stuff. You know, it’s just, it is what it is, man.”

Carey’s been busy outside of the Tool universe as well. He’s in a new supergroup called Legend Of The Seagullmen with Brent Hinds of Mastodon and Hollywood director Jimmy Hayward (Jonah Hex, Horton Hears A Who) on guitar, Pete Griffin of Zappa Plays Zappa and Dethklok on bass, and a few other rippers (more on that in the April issue of Drum!). Their self-titled debut is slated for release in February, and their first show will be on New Year’s Eve, opening for Primus at the Fox Theater in Oakland, CA.

Carrey also said he’s working with Sonor on a new drum kit. Unlike some drummers, who seem to have new kits for every live show or side project, Carey’s been playing the same trusty Sonor kit since the last Tool record came out. He used the same kit for the Legend Of The Seagullmen album as well.

“They’re building me a new kit,” he said. “I’m putting some heavy demands on them so they’d better come through [laughs]. No, they’ve never let me down. They’re the best, man. I love those cats.”

The time felt right for a new kit, he says, “I just decided to come up with a different thing, so they’re building me a new drum set as we speak. They’re working on it with different woods and different shells and things. You know, you keep trying to learn about the construction of your instruments and ‘how can I make it better.’ It’s a never-ending process. And sometimes one’s not better than the other, it’s just apples and oranges — you want to have something different.”

He’s also been playing with a new ride cymbal, a signature model from Paiste called the Monad, released last year. “I got to design a ride cymbal, like J.R. Robinson and all these other guys do… I thought, hey, I’ll do a ride because I’ve never quite found the ride I was really after. It was great, I got to do four or five prototypes and dial it in just how I wanted it, I’m really happy with it.”

One more piece of new gear Carey mentioned was a prototype electronic drum pad. He has played the Synesthesia Mandala Drum since 2006, and apparently it was time for an update. “Vince (DeFranco), my buddy, just made me a new set of pads, like a new prototype set that’s beyond anything I’ve had before, so I’m really into that. It’s made my electronic world go to another level.”

He says they were part of his setup on the set of shows Tool played last year. “That was the maiden voyage for them… It’s always a little scary. They went through without crashing on me, but now we’re getting it all dialed in. It’s getting better and better.”

It was also announced today that Tool will play at the fourth annual Northern Invasion festival May 12-13 in Somerset, Wisconsin, just outside the Twin Cities. Other headliners at the festival include Avenged Sevenfold, A Perfect Circle and Alice In Chains. Tool singer Maynard James Keenan will be pulling double duty that weekend as he’s also the front man for A Perfect Circle.

— Nicolas Grizzle