Daniel Edwin "Danny" Carey (born May 10, 1961 in Paola, Kansas) is an American drummer, best known as his place as the drummer for American Grammy Award-winning progressive metal band Tool. He has also contributed to albums by artists such as ZAUM, Green Jell˙, Pigface, Skinny Puppy, Adrian Belew of King Crimson, Carole King, Collide, The Wild Blue Yonder, Lusk, and the Melvins. At 47 years old, Carey is the oldest member of Tool.
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 and began studying under the tutelage of drumming great, Ben Kelso. In his senior year of high school in Paola, Kansas, Carey joined the high school jazz band and began to study under a new teacher specifically for jazz drumming training. 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 Sacred Geometry and certain hidden aspects of life and the occult. Carey also played jazz while attending college and got to experience the jazz scene in Kansas City.
A friend and bandmate convinced Carey to leave Kansas for Portland, Oregon, where he played briefly in various clubs before leaving for Los Angeles, California after college 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 Jell˙ 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 Pigmy Love Circus, VOLTO!, and ZAUM.
Religion and the occult
Although Carey has not officially aligned himself with any particular school of philosophy or religion, he has projected a deep interest in and understanding for the magical arts and sciences, among them various occult teachings. Enochian symbols, geometric designs, and special symbolic percussive devices are featured on and in his drum kit.
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? 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 endeavours
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 Jell˙
- 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 Velvet Revolver 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.
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