Personalities | Adam Jones | Alternative all the Way | Guitar Heroes

Alternative-metal guitarist Adam Jones (b. 1965) was born in Park Ridge, Illinois. He learned violin in elementary school, continuing with the instrument in high school, before playing acoustic bass for three years in an orchestra and later teaching himself guitar by ear.

Jones studied art and sculpture in Los Angeles before working in a Hollywood character shop sculpting models. His work appeared in several movies, including Ghostbusters 2 and Predator 2. He also worked on set design for various films.

In 1990, Jones formed Tool with Danny Carey (drums), Maynard James Keenan (vocals) and Paul D’Amour (bass), who was replaced in 1995 by Justin Chancellor. The band’s recorded debut, the EP ‘Opiate’ (1992), was firmly in heavy-metal mode, but Undertow (1993), Ænima (1996), Lateralus (2001) and 10,000 Days (2006) took the band in not so easily classifiable directions that have been described as art rock, alternative metal, progressive metal and psychedelic metal. The use of unpredictable time signatures, of which ‘Schism’ from Lateralus is a prime example, and their commitment to experimentation, have resulted in Tool being hailed as standard-bearers for the new prog rock. King Crimson, with whom the band has toured, were a major inspiration for Jones, along with Yes. Tool in turn have influenced alternative metal outfits System Of A Down, Breaking Benjamin and Deftones.

Jones employs multiple techniques: power chords, arpeggios, offbeat rhythms and minimalism. On ‘Jambi’, from 10,000 Days, he played the solo on a talk box. Although wary of the overuse of effects, he has employed several, in particular the wah-wah, plus a flanger, digital delay and volume pedal. He uses an electric hair remover in preference to an E-bow, claiming it produces a better sound. He favours Gibson Silverburst Les Paul Customs made between 1978 and 1985; he has also used a Gibson SG and is rumoured to have played a Fender Telecaster on 10,000 Days. Jones utilizes his background in visual arts and film to create most of Tool’s striking artwork and videos. Tool toured in 2009, headlining at Lollapalooza, and again in 2012. The band has been working on a new album, alongside the members’ separate musical projects, but there is currently no release date scheduled.

Essential Recordings

Tool: Undertow

Tool: Ænima

Tool: Lateralus

Tool: 10,000 Days

Personalities | Terry Kath | Chicago’s Paragon | Guitar Heroes


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