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Biography


Rhythmic expression came early to Danny Carey – at the age of nine with a junior school band in the American heartland. While taking to sticks and snare with a curious affinity, his father introduced him to classical orchestral works as well as to the greats of the big-band swing era. As the phonograph spun Mussorgsky, Prokofiev, Copeland, Brubeck, Davis and Buddy Rich, divergent musical textures resonated in his neural circuitry. FM station Rock & Roll of the 60s and 70s that his older brother was listening to further energized his passion and dedication. Soon, the golden age of progressive rock captured his ears – fantastic conceptual pieces with symphonic elements that inspired the multi-percussionist in him. And then there were the polyrhythms of fusion jazz. Along with the thunderous racket in the cramped garret in Paola, Kansas came cohesion, a prowess that was recognized and encouraged by supportive parents. His academic training continued through high school, followed by four years of intense study into ethnic, classical, jazz and experimental percussion at the UMKC Conservatory. As he honed his skills playing with local cover bands, an inner voice told him to go west – to take a chance in that city of mostly broken dreams… L.A.

While eking out a living doing session work that included music icon Carole King, playing sporadic gigs in Hollywood clubs with Green Jello and Pigmy Love Circus and sitting in with television bands, Danny opted to rent part of his loft space to like-minded musicians hoping to sign a record deal in the heyday of Alt-Metal. For one of these groups, he included his drumming in the package. The result was TOOL, a band destined for greatness as they crafted the early arrangements of what would become a critically acclaimed discography spanning over a quarter of a century. Known for his speed, dexterity and uncommon time signatures, Danny also incorporated his other interests into the Grammy award-winning, multi-platinum band’s recordings, videos and unparalleled live performances. Occult principles and psychedelic traditions pervade the Tool experience – magical imagery that is not gratuitous or employed to create a dark mystique, but, rather, as a genuine esoteric arcana that is rendered useful for specific artistic endeavors.

When not performing with Tool in large venues, Danny provides odd meters with jazz luminaries in intimate club settings, participates in drum clinics and takes part in raucous jamming parties with his former drum heroes. He is currently a member of The Doug Webb All Stars, Legends of the Seagullmen and Volto.

After nearly 50 years of training and performing, with all the respect and accolades in his field, Danny strives to further develop techniques infusing the ceremonial functions of African and East Indian rhythms into prog-metal music, taking the ancient concept of drum telegraphy to higher levels for trans-mundane purposes. He has been endorsed by PAISTE since 1992, and considers the precision and construction of their instruments to be an invaluable component to the development of his sound. The list of his prog stickmen influences include many PAISTE users, among them Bill Bruford, Terry Bozzio, Stuart Copeland, Carl Palmer, John Bonham and Phil Collins.