Thirteen years is a long time between records, but Tool finally paid it off in 2019 with Fear Inoculum. Still, it's not out of the question to think there was some concern if it would ever come to fruition. Speaking about the title, Tool bassist Justin Chancellor told Metal Hammer that the band's fears definitely play into the meaning.

He explained, “It means immunizing yourself against the things that make you afraid. As you grow older, you want to learn, you want to change, you want to evolve and you don’t want to live in fear. Fear is the mind killer."

Asked for the band's own fears, Chancellor offered his own take on the matter. "I can’t speak for everybody, but I guess it would be: Do you have anything left to give? What’s your purpose," said the bassist. “When you’re getting older, you think about what you have to offer, and what’s the point of your life. We are all musicians and we’re not really good musicians. But we have this gracious gift that has been bestowed on us, and we don’t want to disappoint. So I guess our biggest fear would be, just giving up."

Chancellor went on to say, "I’m not self-deprecating really ... I think it’s an accident. The chemistry and the alchemy of this band, we’re very lucky to have fallen together."

Bandmate Danny Carey added of the Fear Inoculum title, "We were kind of feeling like we were growing into our next level as a band, making progress in the way we composed, and just not giving a **** any more about what anybody thinks. Kind of conquering our fears about critics."

The drummer continued, "The Fear Inoculum thing was, ‘Get rid of the fear and don’t worry about it,’ especially after we had taken so long, because we knew we were going to take heat."

While the band's lengthy stint between albums did become the stuff of meme legend, the fears over their album response were quelled rather quickly as Fear Inoculum helped the band become both chart and critical successes yet again in 2019.

See Tool in the 50 Best Metal Albums of 2019