To say that I listen to Tool while I’m writing is an understatement. I consider Tool to be as influential on my writing and on the development of James Black as any author I’d count among my influences. Even when James was a Mage: The Ascension character, Tool was one of the bands that provided the soundtrack to his life, and also to my own story of abuse survival. Tool was a band I liked before the whole situation, and it was his (I won’t say his name) favorite band ever. Afterward, I started listening to Tool again despite the fact that it reminded me of him because I wanted to reclaim the band, the music, make it mine again. Lateralus was their most recent album at the time, and the reclamation started with the title track.
I still get a rush of empowerment every time I listen to it, and I wanted to share that with James Black.