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Personally, this song seems to be almost reminiscent of the theme presented in the songs Hooker with a Penis, and Swamp Song.

Allow me to explain myself more fully:

Ticks & Leeches is a masterful work of sound and I certainly haven't heard TOOL like this before (and I do own ALL of the TOOL albums). There is no doubt in my mind that Tool is constantly evolving and growing, and this song is a result of this beautiful metamorphosis. However, every album post Opiate seems to have one song that says "To hell with the poetry. Tool can be about HATE too." When I say this song is similar to Swamp Song and Hooker with a Penis, I am referring to the theme. All three of these songs are seemingly a narrative that emphasises an increasing intolerance for the person in question. Do these lyrics seem similar to you?


Noone told you to come.
I hope it sucks you down.

Is this what you wanted? Is this what you had in mind?
Cuz this is what you're getting
I hope, I hope you choke


Forgive me for trying to pyschoanalyse two works of art. I just saw these two lines as being inarguably similar. Don't get me wrong either. I think Ticks is one of the best songs on the new album, and provides a great line for screaming at people you don't like. Out of the three songs i mentioned (Swamp Song, Hooker, and Ticks & Leeches), I'd say the latter is now my favourite.

Nothing says "fuck off" quite like "I HOPE YOU CHOKE!"


Tool singer Maynard James Keenan was initially reluctant to perform this song live. The reason, according to what was said by band members in the May 2001 issue of Oor Magazine is that Keenan threw his voice out as a result of this song (the vocals for which were, luckily, recorded after all the others on Lateralus).

"He couldn't talk for a day after we recorded his vocals. There's never been a song in which he screamed like this. But maybe we should think of another solution for that live, that's another possibility." -Danny Carey (Tool's drummer)

"And they can hassle me all they want about 'Ticks & Leeches,' I won't do it live. Three weeks it cost me. I couldn't sing a high note." -Maynard James Keenan

Eventually the band did agree on another way to perform the song live. The first concert they performed it at was on 9 October, 2001 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. During the song, Keenan sings into some type of device that drastically distorts his voice, adding a lot of what sounds like white noise to it. This likely amplifies his voice in some way as well so Keenan can create something similar to the screeching on the studio recording of the song without throwing his voice out again.

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