Schism (song)

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"Schism"
SCHISMBIG.jpg
Single by Tool
from the album Lateralus
Released January 15, 2001
Format Compact Disc, DVD
Recorded 2000
Genre Progressive metal
Length 6:46
Label Volcano
Songwriter(s) Adam Jones, Maynard James Keenan, Justin Chancellor, Danny Carey
Producer(s) David Bottrill
Tool singles chronology
"Forty Six & 2"
(1998)
"Schism"
(2001)
"Parabola"
(2002)
Promotional cover
Cover for the promotional single of "Schism".
Cover for the promotional single of "Schism".
Audio sample

"Schism" is a song by American rock band Tool. It was the first single and music video from their third full-length album, Lateralus. In 2002, Tool won the Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance for the song.[1] "Schism" was released as a DVD single on December 20, 2005. The DVD contains the music video, audio commentary by David Yow, and a remix by Lustmord.

Overview[edit]

"Schism" is known as a prime example of Tool's use of complex rhythms and changing meters. It is also well known for its distinctive bass line throughout. An extended version of the song is performed live.[2] "Schism" is Tool's only entry on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number 67 and staying on the charts for 20 weeks.[3] It also hit number 2 on both the Alternative Songs and Mainstream Rock Tracks charts. It almost reached number 1 on both charts, but was blocked behind Staind's "It's Been Awhile".

The song is featured in the video game Guitar Hero World Tour.

Time signature[edit]

"Schism" is renowned for its use of uncommon time signatures and the frequency of its meter changes. In one analysis of the song, the song alters meter 47 times.[4] The song begins with two bars of 5
4
, followed by one bar of 4
4
, followed by bars of alternating 5
8
and 7
8
, until the first interlude, which consists of alternating bars of 6
8
and 7
8
.

The following verse exhibits a similar pattern to the first, alternating bars of 5
8
and 7
8
. The next section is bars of 6
4
followed by one bar of 11
8
. This takes the song back into alternating 5
8
and 7
8
. Another 6
8
and 7
8
section follows, and after this the song goes into repeating 9
8
bars. The section ends with the music hanging suspended over a bar of 9
8
.

The middle section is subsequently introduced at 3:29, maintaining a group of three bars of 6
8
then one of 9
8
until 5:02. Then a series of 8
4
, 10
4
, 8
4
, 8
4
, then 9
8
heading into "Between supposed lovers..." which is a three bar group of 9
8
, 10
8
and 9
8
, played twice.

It breaks down with a measure of 13
8
then 9
8
. 5
8
then 9
8
repeats 3 times then 5
8
and 6
8
once. The signature riff takes over again, 5
8
then 7
8
. The final riff is 8
8
.

The band has referred to the time signature as 6 12
8
.[5]

Track listing[edit]

Promotional single
No.TitleLength
1."Schism"6:46
DVD
No.TitleLength
1."Schism" (music video)7:29
2."Schism" (music video commentary)7:29
3."Schism" (Lustmord remix)20:13

Credits and personnel[edit]

Tool

Production

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (2001) Peak

position

US Billboard Hot 100[6] 67
US Alternative Songs (Billboard)[7] 2
US Mainstream Rock (Billboard)[8] 2

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Grammy Award Winners". The Recording Academy. Retrieved 2007-04-28. 
  2. ^ Rothman, Robin (August 14, 2002). "Tool Take Radio City". Rolling Stone. Retrieved May 20, 2018. 
  3. ^ Billboard.com Retrieved 2009-09-18
  4. ^ August 2001 issue of Guitar One magazine, transcribed by Adam Perlmutter
  5. ^ Wagner, Jeff (2010). Mean Deviation. Bazillion Points. pp. 312–313. ISBN 978-0-9796163-3-4. 
  6. ^ "Tool Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved August 7, 2017.
  7. ^ "Tool Chart History (Alternative Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved August 7, 2017.
  8. ^ "Tool Chart History (Mainstream Rock)". Billboard. Retrieved August 7, 2017.