The Guitar World magazine article Kirk Hammett & Adam Jones: Bad Religion (May 04, 2009 AD by Brad Angle) is a discussion with Kirk Hammett, guitarist of Metallica and Adam Jones guitarist of Tool.
At one point, Hammett mentions Jones’ use of a device which causes colors to be displayed during concerts which correspond to his guitar playing, “you dial in certain colors with effects.” This bring up the issue of attempting to get the audience into a trance via rhythms, tones, colors, etc.
In fact, to quote the article Psychedelia in Diabolus Part III:
Tool's music, which typically consists of…profane and perverse lyrics, and an all-encompassing aurora of darkness…What's more, Tool's lyrics are heavily laced with references to the occult and other arcane subjects. The title of their breakthrough album, Aenima, is a play on enema and anima, a Jungian archetype. The followup, Lateralus, is a rough concept album revolving around alchemical transformation.
Drummer Danny Carey has acknowledged a keen interest in the occult, especially branches relating to Aleister Crowley. Carey claims to have incorporated elements of sacred geometry into his drumming and even to have performed a Crowley-derived ritual which put him in contact with a daimon…
[The song] "Third Eye,"…seemingly deals with an experience singer Maynard James Keenan had on peyote, and details an encounter he has with a being on the psychedelic plain. Whether this being is itself supposed to be some kind of daimon or Maynard's shadow is left open to interpretation.
Kirk Hammett states:
I also have a big fascination with the occult and esoteric subjects. I know Adam is into sacred geometry [the relationship between mathematical ratios and music, architecture, cosmology and so on], which is something I’m way into, too, as well as quantum physics and all that sort of stuff. So we’re connecting on quite a few levels.
Brad Angle notes Hammett’s the “pretty tripped-out ESP guitar” which he says “goes well with this issue’s cult heroes theme,” to which Hammett replies:
More like occult heroes. [laughs] Basically, for this guitar, I gave the artist [American painter] Mark Ryden a list of topics, and I said, “Translate these ideas into your vision and paint it onto the guitar.” There’s a bee, which is symbolic of knowledge; the raven, symbolizing secret knowledge; and then the all-seeing eye, symbolic of universal knowledge. Caduceus [a symbol formed by a short staff entwined by two serpents] symbolizes the tree of life, but if you notice it also resembles a DNA strand [a double helix]. Then there’s the hand from heaven, the Rosicrucian rose and my astrological sign, Scorpio, as well as assorted skulls and a yin-yang. It’s full of numerology, astrology, occult and religious symbolism.
It also has a “light sources beaming off of the female shape.”
The thing about symbols is that they have various levels of meaning, as it is, and this is compounded by the fact that secret societies / mystery schools purposefully revel one meaning to their adherents at one level, another meaning at another level, etc. Bottom line is that he is communicating vie occult symbolism.
Apparently, according to Adam Jones, “Mark Ryden is really the icon of this current underground, up-and-coming art movement, and he’s paved the way for a lot of people who have similar approaches.”
Any actual relation is unknown to this Examiner however, judging by his “art” he is either MK Ultra / Monarch programmed or a programmer himself. Much of his work is of baby doll looking young children who are placed into very abstract and nightmarish circumstances—in other words, he mostly depicts helpless, sad children being traumatized.
They are asked:
It seems you’re both very thoughtful when it comes to studying hermetic philosophies. Do you find them useful in adding order to your lives outside of the musical realm, too?
“Hermetic” is a PR way of saying that they are either interested in or actually actively practicing witchcraft.
JONES: The order is already there. It’s just that we’re making ourselves aware of it. Sacred geometry is basically studying anything and breaking it down to its purist form, be it a symbol, shape, color, vibration or sound. That’s what our life is. It goes outside who we are as people, the earth or the universe, into the spiritual realm or even an unconscious collective realm.
Kirk Hammett then elucidates more about symbolism:
Well, as far as symbolism goes, there are different schools of thought, like how colors can influence your mood or perspective. Different symbols, like the all-seeing eye or the rose, will trigger different things in your psyche or unconscious.
All this stuff is influential on some level and has an impact on the person surveying it, whether on a quantum level or a more overt level. I’m really interested in that sort of thing. Another good example of this is Jimmy Page’s use of the ZoSo sigil, which he had written on his outfit.
[A sigil is a word or symbol of supposed occult power. Page’s ZoSo symbol first appeared on the packaging of Led Zeppelin IV and later on his stage outfits.]
He thought that it helped his music and artistic direction. I’m totally into how certain images can influence the subconscious mind. On a very basic level, if this guitar was stark white I would feel completely different about it. The fact that it has this amazing graphic on it inspires me and moves me. [Bracketed statement in original]
Hammett goes on to say:
For me, music is vibration, and the universe seems to be created based on numbers and vibrations. If you want to get down to quantum physics, string theory and other dimensions, it seems to me that vibration is what holds the entire universe together.
The fact that we’re musicians and we use vibrations to conjure up moods, atmospheres, emotions, thoughts and concepts—well, a lot of times I think musicians are magicians in that sense! But I’m just getting way out there on the ledge now. [laughs]
He is not on the ledge, he is merely, consciously or not, participating in the externalization of the hierarchy: placing out in open that which has been the secrets of the ages.
Not surprisingly, Adam Jones agrees:
No, you’re absolutely right. There’s an emotional bond that Kirk’s talking about that comes from what influences him and what influences me. That kind of bond is partially why I think Metallica are so successful.
The four members are very different from each other, but they bring all these different perspectives and influences together and meet in the middle—and then it becomes something else altogether…
I love my bandmates in Tool for that same reason: we all think about where things come from. Like I was talking about before with sacred geometry: if you can break something down into its basic form—like the vibrations Kirk mentions—and you can apply that to what you do, then people will get it, without even knowing they’re getting it!
There’s a harmonic vibration that reaches out and affects people consciously or unconsciously. I’m completely inspired by this type of thinking, including Kirk’s views of the universe, and what I talk about as the “unconscious collective” and how all the different perceptions are interwoven.
It’s almost like a sweater: there are many different threads along different paths, but they are all woven together. It’s a nice way of looking at the perception of things.
You see, when people speak of the media at large—books, magazines, movies, news, music, etc.—are out to indoctrinate us, brain wash us, program us, etc. they are not exaggerating in the least bit.
Here we have two musicians who are open about their manipulation of their audiences even if they consider that what they are doing is benevolent. Of course, how could it be since they are purposefully manipulating their audiences?