Although the gestation period was long, the band have reaped the rewards, with the album dislodging Taylor Swift from the top of the Billboard 200 chart – clocking up 270,000 equivalent album units (248,000 of those in sales) and audio streams hitting the 27.6 million mark in its first week alone.
And with Tool the cover stars of the last issue of Metal Hammer magazine, drummer Danny Carey was asked what the future holds for the band.
Carey replies: “It’s hard to say. We’re going to tour on this probably for two or three years at least, I imagine. It feels like what we’ve done on every album, and then I guess we’ll see where we’re sitting after that.
“My hope is we get in and knock out another record. We have tons of material. It’s not going to take 12 years, or if it does, I’ll probably be so old I probably can’t pick up my sticks any more! But my hope is we’ll do another record and just keep moving forward.”
Fear Inoculum also marks the end of a five-album deal for the band, with Carey reporting that they are now “free agents” which will allow them to do "whatever we want now."
He says: “There’s more motivation. The carrot on the stick has gotten larger because now we’ll be free agents – we don’t have to deal with a record company or if we do, we deal with it on our terms, because we can do whatever we want now.
"This is the last record of a five-album deal, so that’s a good feeling and I hope that will be motivational in the writing processes.”
As for how much material Tool have after the Fear Inoculum sessions, Carey replies: “There are no leftover Tool songs because of the process it takes to compose our songs – the way we hash it out in a room with all three or four of us, that there’s tons of riffs and jams and things. But there’s no put-together songs that are sitting in the eaves.
"It’ll take a process of doing it. And if we do do another album, it’ll take three years after touring. That’s just the way it is with our band.”
The full interview with Carey and Tool can be found in issue 326 of Metal Hammer magazine. Click here to find your nearest stockist.