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Direct Link To This Post Topic: What is "prog" about Tool and similar bands?
    Posted: January 07 2015 at 14:16
There is something I just don't get.

This is the reason why certain bands, of whom Tool is the best-known, are classified as "progressive rock" or "progressive metal".  I mean, this music has fairly little in common with progressive rock: long pieces, odd time signatures, and there the similarity ends.  I had a theory that they were called "progressive" because their music was to some degree similar, in its repetitive structure becoming denser to the end of the piece, to what is called "progressive" in electronic dance music circles, but that doesn't really seem to cut it.  So what is going on here - is it just track length and time signature why this music is called "prog"?

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 07 2015 at 14:24
Originally posted by WeepingElf WeepingElf wrote:

There is something I just don't get.

This is the reason why certain bands, of whom Tool is the best-known, are classified as "progressive rock" or "progressive metal".  I mean, this music has fairly little in common with progressive rock: long pieces, odd time signatures, and there the similarity ends.  I had a theory that they were called "progressive" because their music was to some degree similar, in its repetitive structure becoming denser to the end of the piece, to what is called "progressive" in electronic dance music circles, but that doesn't really seem to cut it.  So what is going on here - is it just track length and time signature why this music is called "prog"?

 
To me, there's just a little prog, but you know the old debate about what is prog is not going to find his resolution soon...
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 07 2015 at 14:49
Originally posted by WeepingElf WeepingElf wrote:

There is something I just don't get.

This is the reason why certain bands, of whom Tool is the best-known, are classified as "progressive rock" or "progressive metal".  I mean, this music has fairly little in common with progressive rock: long pieces, odd time signatures, and there the similarity ends.  I had a theory that they were called "progressive" because their music was to some degree similar, in its repetitive structure becoming denser to the end of the piece, to what is called "progressive" in electronic dance music circles, but that doesn't really seem to cut it.  So what is going on here - is it just track length and time signature why this music is called "prog"?



First of all, you need to define "other bands". Putting all bands sounding similar to Tool (is that what you mean?) is rather unfair. There are bands similar to Tool which are prog, others that are not; most are not and Tool are rather an exception in the alternative rock/metal arena - perhaps they were just that at their beginnings but with Aenima onwards they evolved their sound remarkably.

Which albums of Tool have you listened to? The main album that credited them with the tag "progressive" was Lateralus, which, indeed as you describe, includes long pieces, odd time signatures etc etc. This is a good start, but of course not definitive for prog rock as you mention. In this album, in my opinion, "prog" is integrated into the music, both in the structure of the song, the constant changes in rhythm and feeling, the concept. For me Lateralus sounds at times like the modern alternative version of Rush (although it might just be me, but listen to the middle section of Schism).

Influence-wise they have quoted The Melvins and King Crimson (not very obvious in their music).
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 07 2015 at 15:09
Here we go againPinch
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 07 2015 at 15:12
What is Tool missing that doesn't qualify them to be considered prog?
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 07 2015 at 15:22
Mellotron you silly bugger!

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 07 2015 at 15:32
Oh I'm never silly about prog.  Prog is Serious Business.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 07 2015 at 15:35
Oh yeah. Since I started frequenting PA I've been taking karate classes and reading long books.

Edited by Guldbamsen - January 07 2015 at 15:36
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 07 2015 at 15:41
Originally posted by WeepingElf WeepingElf wrote:

There is something I just don't get.

This is the reason why certain bands, of whom Tool is the best-known, are classified as "progressive rock" or "progressive metal".  I mean, this music has fairly little in common with progressive rock: long pieces, odd time signatures, and there the similarity ends.  I had a theory that they were called "progressive" because their music was to some degree similar, in its repetitive structure becoming denser to the end of the piece, to what is called "progressive" in electronic dance music circles, but that doesn't really seem to cut it.  So what is going on here - is it just track length and time signature why this music is called "prog"?


It might be a daft question admittedly but can I ask whether you actually like Tool?

Its very tempting to fall into the trap of dismissing the 'prog credentials' of a band just because we don't appreciate the music. Tool are not an easy listen admittedly but I don't doubt for one second that they belong here.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 07 2015 at 15:49
^I was about to post something similar before but didn't. 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 07 2015 at 16:06
Originally posted by Guldbamsen Guldbamsen wrote:

Here we go againPinch

Sorry David, I forgot I was not supposed to answer PinchLOL

It was simply very tempting Tongue
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 07 2015 at 16:08
Originally posted by aapatsos aapatsos wrote:

Originally posted by Guldbamsen Guldbamsen wrote:

Here we go againPinch

Sorry David, I forgot I was not supposed to answer PinchLOL

It was simply very tempting Tongue

Nahh don't worry Thanos. It certainly wasn't you my post was pointed at. 

Anyways, you've been part of the metal team since Nam now, so I understand why you wish to shed some light on a subject like this. I feel similarly when people start talking about PEEmbarrassed




Edited by Guldbamsen - January 07 2015 at 16:09
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 07 2015 at 16:17
Then again I sorta understand the OP from a certain viewpoint (because most of the modern stuff has next to nothing in common with the classic bands), and it's the same goddamn problem we run into almost on a weekly basis, although this week it's happened in 3 (now 4) different threads. 'How difficult for the youngins/oldies to get into new/old prog?' as well as the 'Is it odd that prog rock is almost as old as rock headscratcher? (let's face it: the thread was doomed to begin withLOL). 
Everything boils down to the ongoing discussion of the distinction between Prog and progressive music.....and until Max decides which way the wind blows, we're destined to deal with these sort of threads.



Edited by Guldbamsen - January 07 2015 at 16:19
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 07 2015 at 16:43
Originally posted by Guldbamsen Guldbamsen wrote:

Everything boils down to the ongoing discussion of the distinction between Prog and progressive music.....and until Max decides which way the wind blows, we're destined to deal with these sort of threads.



nah. [email protected] has nothing to do with it.. what does he do .. change a banner.

People have the tendency to see less in the bands they don't like. [email protected] whipping out his magic wand and making this progressive archives isn't going to make those who don't like Tool.. or metal in general.. suddenly see the light in questions exactly like this.

the nail was hit squarely on the head... it has everything to do with a dislike manifested into a notion that only 'good' bands can be included here, and if a person doesn't like them..  they are not worthy of being here.

I'm not a fan at ALL of the group, but years ago I was encouraged by some friends to explore them,  I didn't like it.. but I'd be out of my f**king mind to deny they should be here.   Anyone who fails themselves to see it...is not exercizing his god given right to use his f**king brain instead of just running their mouths.  hah.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 07 2015 at 16:45
I posted a question last year asking what PA members thought of Tool, I.E. if they liked or disliked them.
 
It never occurred to me to question if the band's music was progressive as I simply took to be. This is due to their later album output which showcases extended songs with numerous time signature changes and other features that are generally indentified as progressive.
 
What is your definition of Progressive Rock would be a better question.


Edited by SteveG - January 07 2015 at 17:20
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 07 2015 at 16:55
As I have said elsewhere, when I review I often use the term "non-mainstream music" rather than progressive (let alone prog) to emphasize how those bands or artists - while they may not sound like their Seventies counterparts - are purveyors of music that does not aim to be a mere commodity.

That being said, of course Tool are not "prog". Besides the extended running time of their songs, the time signature changes, and the esoteric subject matter, they do not sound like any bands from the Seventies - which is the necessary condition to be called "prog". Most of the truly interesting modern bands (such as Knifeworld or MoeTar, to name but two) are forging their own path, and very few (if any) echoes of classic prog can be found in their music. Do they deserve a spot here? If we consider prog as a genre with a number of more or less fixed stylistic features, they do not. If we are smart and care to see progressive music grow and prosper, of course they do.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 07 2015 at 16:57
^ god you are so hot...
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 07 2015 at 16:57
Originally posted by micky micky wrote:

Originally posted by Guldbamsen Guldbamsen wrote:

<span style="font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.4;"></span>
<span style="font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.4;">Everything boils down to the ongoing discussion of the distinction between Prog and progressive music.....and until Max decides which way the wind blows, we're destined to deal with these sort of threads.</span>




nah. [email protected] has nothing to do with it.. what does he do .. change a banner.

People have the tendency to see less in the bands they don't like. [email protected] whipping out his magic wand and making this progressive archives isn't going to make those who don't like Tool.. or metal in general.. suddenly see the light in questions exactly like this.

the nail was hit squarely on the head... it has everything to do with a dislike manifested into a notion that only 'good' bands can be included here, and if a person doesn't like them..  they are not worthy of being here.

I'm not a fan at ALL of the group, but years ago I was encouraged by some friends to explore them,  I didn't like it.. but I'd be out of my f**king mind to deny they should be here.   Anyone who fails themselves to see it...is not exercizing his god given right to use his f**king brain instead of just running their mouths.  hah.


That is part of it Micky, but would you call most of the bands found in post rock, avant, Kraut, PE or folk Prog bands? I'd call them progressive sure but prog? Nope, but then again that's just me. If Max changed the banner to Progressive Music Archives we wouldn't have a need for these discussions - or not as many

Alright I'm done now. I am going on hiatus in regards to this subject. It all ends in different posters posting various ways of explaining what prog is to them or similarly what prog isn't. We're never going to find a common ground for all.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 07 2015 at 17:09
Originally posted by Guldbamsen Guldbamsen wrote:

Originally posted by micky micky wrote:

Originally posted by Guldbamsen Guldbamsen wrote:

<span style="font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.4;"></span>
<span style="font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.4;">Everything boils down to the ongoing discussion of the distinction between Prog and progressive music.....and until Max decides which way the wind blows, we're destined to deal with these sort of threads.</span>




nah. [email protected] has nothing to do with it.. what does he do .. change a banner.

People have the tendency to see less in the bands they don't like. [email protected] whipping out his magic wand and making this progressive archives isn't going to make those who don't like Tool.. or metal in general.. suddenly see the light in questions exactly like this.

the nail was hit squarely on the head... it has everything to do with a dislike manifested into a notion that only 'good' bands can be included here, and if a person doesn't like them..  they are not worthy of being here.

I'm not a fan at ALL of the group, but years ago I was encouraged by some friends to explore them,  I didn't like it.. but I'd be out of my f**king mind to deny they should be here.   Anyone who fails themselves to see it...is not exercizing his god given right to use his f**king brain instead of just running their mouths.  hah.


That is part of it Micky, but would you call most of the bands found in post rock, avant, Kraut, PE or folk Prog bands? I'd call them progressive sure but prog? Nope, but then again that's just me. If Max changed the banner to Progressive Music Archives we wouldn't have a need for these discussions - or not as many

Alright I'm done now. I am going on hiatus in regards to this subject. It all ends in different posters posting various ways of explaining what prog is to them or similarly what prog isn't. We're never going to find a common ground for all.



you are pretty hot yourself btw.  purple did look good on you.

yes.. but so many do not distinguish between prog and progressive..they are used interchangeably.  I think it is wrong to do so,  but who is to say I am right? Tongue It is all up to the individual listener. Which brings us back to the subject at hand. The site is not a prog rock site IMO, and it appears that many do not think so, however honestly David. How many really care about that. My point, making this site progressive music archives will not  stop those who dislike groups or styles of music from doubting they belong on the site no matter what we call it. Some take an almost mystical .. better yet ..f**king EVANGELICAL...view of prog.. as if it is by its very nature BETTER than other forms of music and to have bands that are borderline.. or worse.. bands that one doesn't feel belong.. is some kind of goddamned crime again music and all that is right and good in the world. LOLLOL

As I see it.. it is a generally inclusive site, it could be a lot more.. but damnit man it could be a LOT worse.  I don't think we will ever find common ground.. as I've posted before.. the music, its fans, and the whole remnants of the scene itself have fragmented to the point where (outside of 70's prog rock for the vast majority of the members) there is little common ground to ever be found.  Opinion will forever vary on the modern bands.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 07 2015 at 18:04
Interesting reading in this thread - well done lads .
Now, if I may relate my experience with this band : I'd heard through the grapevine of this band, Tool, and as an observation, noticed most fans were pimply little skater dudes and chemically altered metalheads. I thought with a name like 'Tool', and these nutters advocating them, they must be pus.....
Anyway, my good mate Michael (Aussie Byrd Brother, to most folks here) had the CD of Lateralus in his car and I requested he play me some.......not sure which tracks he played, but I really was impressed and stated loudly " f**k me ! These guys are Prog " (or words to that effect). Took me a while to score me a nice vinyl version of the album but I enjoy it heaps every time I spin it. And I did feel a smidge of Crimso in their music.......
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