Danny Carey on stage with Tool in 2019.
|Birth name||Daniel Edwin Carey|
|Born||May 10, 1961|
Lawrence, Kansas, U.S.
Daniel Edwin Carey (born May 10, 1961) is an American musician and songwriter. He is the drummer for the American rock band Tool. He has also contributed to albums by artists such as Zaum, Green Jellö, Pigface, Skinny Puppy, Adrian Belew of King Crimson, Carole King, Collide, Lusk, and the Melvins.
Born in Lawrence, Kansas, Carey's first encounter with the drums began at the age of ten by joining the school band and taking private lessons on the snare drum. Two years later, Carey began to practice on a drum set. In his senior year of high school in Paola, Kansas, Carey joined the high school jazz band. Jazz would later play a huge role in his signature approach to the drum set in a rock setting. As Carey progressed through high school and later college at the University of Missouri–Kansas City, he began expanding his studies in percussion with theory into the principles of geometry, science, and metaphysics as well as delving into the occult.  Carey also played jazz while attending college and got to experience the jazz scene in Kansas City.
After college, a friend and bandmate convinced Carey to leave Kansas for Portland, Oregon, where he played briefly in various bands before moving to Los Angeles, where he was able to perform as a studio drummer with Carole King and perform live sets with Pigmy Love Circus. He also played in Green Jellö as Danny Longlegs and recorded the album Cereal Killer. He would later find his way to Tool after coming to know singer Maynard James Keenan and guitarist Adam Jones and practicing with them in place of drummers the two had requested but had never shown up. Besides Tool, Carey also finds time for other projects new and old such as Legend of the Seagullmen, Pigmy Love Circus, Volto!, and Zaum.
Carey has laid claim to various drumming techniques that use sacred geometric figures such as the unicursal hexagram. The final product is very recognizable, fluent drumming, although to him it is much more: the official Tool website claims that Danny uses drumming as a ritual similar to occult rituals, with purposes varying from spiritual exploration to "a gateway [which] summoned a daemon he has contained...that has been delivering short parables similar to passages within The Book of Lies". Another geometric reference from the website was the inclusion of Nothing in This Book Is True, But It's Exactly How Things Are by Bob Frissell on the band's recommended reading list, a book that deals with sacred geometry and the evolution of human consciousness.
Side projects and other musical endeavors
In his time away from Tool, Carey has contributed (and still regularly does) to a vast number of projects:
- Fusion band Volto!, which regularly plays shows in the Los Angeles area, consisting of both covers and original material.
- Pigmy Love Circus, which has recorded several albums
- Electronica-oriented project Zaum
- Green Jellö
- Drums on the track "Use Less" from the album The Greater Wrong of the Right by Skinny Puppy
- Contributed to Adrian Belew's Side One and Side Three projects with bassist Les Claypool
- Drums on certain tracks of the Carole King album Colour of Your Dreams (as a session drummer) with Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash playing on select tracks
- Drums on the track "Somewhere" from the Collide album Some Kind of Strange and several tracks from Two Headed Monster
- Made an appearance on the 1997 album Free Mars by former Tool bassist Paul D'Amour's band Lusk
- Drums on the track Bird's Eye, (2008, from the movie Body of Lies): Serj Tankian (System Of A Down, vocals), Mike Patton (Faith No More, vocals), Daron Malakian (guitar), Les Claypool (bass)
- Drums on the track "The Fourth" on the self-titled album from Feersum Ennjin, the band of former Tool Bassist Paul D'Amour
- Drums with psychedelic rock supergroup Legend of the Seagullmen along with Brent Hinds of Mastodon and others, their eponymous debut album is set to be released on February 9, 2018 on Dine Alone Records.
- Drums on Forever Love's Fool, a 22-minute progressive rock track recorded with Canadian musician Daniel Romano.
Carey uses the wood tip version of his own signature model of drumstick made by Vic Firth. He previously had endorsed a signature model with Trueline Drumsticks (now Trueline's Tribal Assault model.)
Carey also uses Paiste cymbals, Evans Drumheads, Hammerax Percussion, and Korg and Roland electronics. Danny also uses VK drums handmade in the U.K by Alan Van Kleef. The Monad Aluminium kit and the 7empest, a snare made of bronze weighing almost 20kg.
Carey's popularity among drummers and non-drummers alike stems from the diversity of his sound and dynamics through his years of learning jazz music, his technical ability, frequent use of odd time signatures, polyrhythms and polymeters. He has stated in interviews that he effectively treats his feet as he does his hands: he practices rudiments (used for sticking techniques) and even snare drum solos with his feet to improve his double bass drumming, hi-hat control and foot independence.
In search of new techniques, Carey has studied tabla with Aloke Dutta, who can be heard playing on the live version of the song "Pushit" (from Salival). This is especially apparent on tracks such as "Disposition" (Lateralus) or "Right in Two" (10,000 Days), for which Carey has recorded the tabla parts himself in the studio. The tabla (and other percussive instruments) used in Tool's music are replicated live using the Mandala pads (in fact the pads are also used when recording in the studio, a notable example being the tabla solo of "Right in Two" from 10,000 Days).
He has also stated that when he is playing to an odd time signature, he tries to drum to the "feel" of the song and establish general "inner pulse" for the given time signature instead of fully counting it out.
Carey has been featured in many drum and music magazines.
- Mahaffey, Joel (August 6, 2001). "The Tool Page: Danny Carey Biography". The Tool Page (t.d.n).
- "Tool's Danny Carey on New Album, Sacred Geometry, Being Band's "Enforcer"". August 15, 2019.
- "Official Tool website – Danny Carey's personal profile". Toolband.com. Archived from the original on October 3, 2011. Retrieved October 9, 2011.
- "Bob Frissell's home page". Bobfrissell.com. October 1, 2011. Retrieved October 9, 2011.
- "Fall 1994 newsletter". Toolshed.down.net. Retrieved October 9, 2011.
- "Tool Drummer Danny Carey to Release Album With New Project Volto!". Loudwire.com. May 31, 2013.
- Geist, Brandon (November 17, 2011). "Exclusive: Feersum Ennjin Premiere "The Fourth," Featuring Tool's Danny Carey". Revolver Magazine. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved October 9, 2012.
- Calum Slingerland, "Daniel Romano's Outfit Share New Song with Tool's Danny Carey". Exclaim!, May 6, 2020.
- "vicfirth.com". vicfirth.com. Retrieved November 10, 2014.
- "truelinedrumsticks.com". truelinedrumsticks.com. Retrieved October 9, 2012.
- "Danny Carey: Artists: Modern Drummer Magazine". Moderndrummer.com. Archived from the original on September 13, 2009. Retrieved October 9, 2011.