Tool is an American rock band, formed in 1990 in Los Angeles, California when drummer Danny Carey joined the rehearsal of his neighbour, singer Maynard James Keenan, guitarist Adam Jones and bassist Paul d'Amour when nobody else would show up. His decision proved to be a stroke of luck when the band turned out to become one of the most profound rock acts of their time, "introducing dark, vaguely underground metal to the preening pretentiousness of art rock" most notably due to their influential sophomore effort nima (1996). They have gained appreciation and critical praise for a complex and ever-evolving sound, that ranges from "slam and bang" heavy metal on their first release to more progressive influenced songwriting on Lateralus (2001) which "is as far removed from what's considered musically popular these days as you can get."
Their overall sound has been described as "grinding, post-Jane's Addiction heavy metal" as well as "a primal sound as distinct as it is disturbing" most simplified categorizations of the band's genre are often dismissed . They are known for addressing philosophical and spiritual issues in their lyrics, such as evolution , organized religion ("Opiate") and transcendence ("Lateralus"), as well as for songs that feature "complex rhythm changes, haunting vocals, and an onslaught of changes in dynamics" which often result in a greater-than-average track length. Additionally, most of their music videos feature stop-motion animation created by Jones, in a style similar to the Brothers Quay "strange puzzle-like four minute movies" which tend to perpetuate the perception of Tool as a "dark, disturbing" band.
Their music has been influenced by King Crimson , Led Zeppelin , Pink Floyd , Rush, and early Yes, among several others. In turn, the "list of bands that have been inspired by [Tool] is long and prestigious."