Tool have never been a band to mince words when it comes to religion. That goes doubly so for Scientology, the Ænima line 'Fuck L. Ron Hubbard and fuck all his clones' pretty open and shut, while many fans speculate Hubbard was the subject of the scathing Eulogy.
The enmity seems to go right back to Tool's early days as a band, when they played two nights at a Scientology Celebrity Centre in Los Angeles in 1993. During their performance of Opiate the band were joined by an exotic dancer, who only added to the surreality of the gig, with the crowd bouncing and crowd-surfing throughout the set.
Its decidedly more in tune with what you'd expect from a hardcore punk band than Tool's usual fare, but also highlights just how brilliantly subversive they have been right from their early days.
Tool vocalist Maynard James Keenan later discussed the show with actor and comedian David Cross for Revolver. “The best part of it was The Lounge Lizards opened for us," he says.
"We were like ‘we’re just going to do our set, we’re not going to adjust what we’re doing to accommodate where we are or who we’re in front of. But the Lounge Lizards were wide open, so we put them in front of us and they pissed the Scientology people off so much that on the second they came up and put their hand over the mics and said ‘you’re done’.”
As for why the band played in the first place, subsequent interviews have suggested that Tool were unaware when the show was originally booked that it was a building owned by the Church of Scientology. When they were made aware, they asked that the Church not try to recruit any fans who attended.
Keenan expanded some more when talking to Cross, "There was a guy who thought ‘if we get some young blood in here maybe we can help recruit people into Scientology, maybe we can get the Tool guys into Scientology'," he explains.
"They took me on the tour, which I was just like ‘come on dude, anyone with a decent high school education is going to go you’re so full of shit’."
Unable to resist a good jab, Maynard even got the crowd to bleat like sheep further into the set. Watch the full show above.
Tool recently released a re-recorded version of Opiate to celebrate the EP's 30th anniversary. The band are due to tour the UK and Europe in April and May 2022.