- There’s a hidden song at the end of the title track called “The Gaping Lotus Experience”.
- The line from “Sweat”, “Slipping into a dream within a dream” references Edgar Allan Poe’s poem “A Dream Within a Dream”.
- The discordant sounds at the start of the track “Disgustipated” were created by the band smashing up and hitting three pianos and some shotguns with a sledgehammer. You can watch footage of this on YouTube.
- The ‘spoken word’ section in the song “Bottom” is the voice of Henry Rollins.
- The song “4 Degrees” is based on the fact that the anus is 4 degrees warmer than the vagina. Hence the line “4 degrees warmer”.
- The album art was designed by Adam Jones.
- The comedian Bill Hicks is noted as “inspiration” for the album in the liner notes.
- The title of the album Aenima comes from a combination of the words ‘enema’ (removing waste from your intestine by means on a tube) and ‘Anima’ (a concept in Jungian psychology which stands for a man’s inner feminine personality).
- The band dedicated the album to comedian Bill Hicks, who in the inner sleeve of the album is described as “Another Dead Hero”.
- The song “Die Eier Von Satan” which translates as “The Balls of Satan”, the name of a German dessert. The lyrics in the song are descriptions of the recipe.
- Danny Carey has said that the subject of “Eulogy” is the founder of Scientology L. Ron Hubbard.
- During a show in 1997, Maynard introduced the song “H.” by referring to having an angel and devil on each of your shoulders and also said it’s about a hurtful yet dependent relationship. In a show in 1996, Maynard said a lot of the time they’re not really angels or devils, but friends giving you advice. And in an interview in 1996, when discussing the song, Maynard said: “My son’s name is Devo H. That’s all I’ll say.”
- The concept behind the title track “Aenima” comes from Bill Hicks and his “Arizona Bay” set. This is obvious from the chorus of the song:
“Here in this hopeless fucking hole we call LA.
The only way to fix it is to flush it all away.
Any fucking time. Any fucking day.
Learn to swim, I’ll see you down in Arizona bay.”
- In the song “Third Eye”, the “man on acid” bit is taken from Bill Hicks’ stand-up “Revelations”. The name of the track refers to Bill Hicks’ claim that magic mushrooms could “squeegee [one’s] third eye clean.”
- The song “Forty Six & 2” is based on Jung’s concept of the “shadow” and the ideas of Drunvalo Melchizedek. The “shadow” represents the part of the personality that the individual hates and fears. Melchizedek believed that the next step of our evolution would involve a change in our DNA. Currently, humans have 44 autosomes and 2 sex chromosomes. In the next step of our evolution, DNA would re-organise itself into 46 and 2 chromosomes, according to Melchizedek.
- The idea behind “Stinkfist” is that the most powerful way to show your love for someone is to touch their heart, their real heart, by means of the butthole. That’s why the song progresses with the lyrics: “Finger deep within the borderline”, then “Elbow deep within the borderline” and finally “Shoulder deep within the borderline”, at which point the person’s hand could probably reach the person’s heart. What probably isn’t true is that you could touch someone’s heart this way. Travelling through the intestines would not lead you to the person’s heart.
- Danny said that in recording the album, King Crimson’s album “Discipline” (1980) was a big influence. Danny has said that King Crimson’s drummer Bill Bruford influenced his style.
- The song “Jimmy” refers to an event in Maynard James (aka Jimmy) Kennan’s life. “11 and she was gone” – 11 is how old Maynard was when his mother became disabled. “Under a dead Ohio sky” – Maynard is from Ohio.
- The track “Useful Idiot” features the sound of the needle skipping at the end of a gramophone record growing louder as the track progresses. The track was set at the end of side 1 of the vinyl version of Aenima as a joke to fool those who owned this version.
- In the live version of “Third Eye”, the man speaking at the start is Timothy Leary, taken from “How to Operate Your Brain” (1994), a guided meditation spoken by Leary and set to music.
- “Merkaba” or “Merkabah” is a school of early Jewish mysticism which focuses on the ‘visions’ found in the Book of Ezekiel.
- “L.A.M.C.” contains a hidden track called “Maynard’s Dick”.
- The sound in “Mantra” was created by Maynard slowly squeezing his cat.
- The line “Transmutate these leaden grudges into gold” from “The Grudge” references the practice of alchemy, in trying to transform lead into gold.
- The “Buddhist chanting” noise in the song “Parabol” was created by drummer Danny Carey blowing into plastic tubes.
- The title track “Lateralus” makes use of the “Fibonacci sequence”. The Fibonacci numbers go 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144… and when plotted as squares, a “golden spiral” can be drawn. Fibonacci numbers are prevalent in nature: in pine cones, the arrangement of leaves, the centre of a sunflower, and so on. The number of syllables in each line in “Lateralus” are all Fibonacci numbers. “Black (1) Then (1) White are (2) All I see (3) In my infancy (5) Red and yellow then came to be (8) Reaching out to me (5) Let’s me see (3)”. “Ride the spiral” most likely refers to the “golden spiral”.
- “Disposition”, “Reflection” and “Triad” were originally meant to be one long song.
- In search of new techniques, Danny studied tabla under Aloke Dutta (famous tabla player). The tabla features heavily in songs such as “Disposition”.
- The album art was a unique design created by artist Alex Grey. The art is different layers of patterns with the different layers of the human body. In Alex Grey’s book Transfigurations, he says the “saw blade” made of eyes “represents the primordial spirit of emptiness and awareness. The next layer was a vajra emitting energy, the subtle essence of soul around which the physical body coagulates. The next several layers detail the physical systems of viscera, skeletal, muscular, nervous, and cardiovascular systems.”
- Ideas in the book “Nothing in This Book is True, But it’s Exactly How Things Are” by Bob Frissell are used for some of the concepts in the album. The book looks at sacred geometry, extra-terrestrial life and meditations on rebirth.
- The song “Faaip De Oaid” is Enochian for “The Voice of God”. The song features a recording of a radio show hosted by Art Bell in 1997. Art Bell receives a frantic phone call from an anonymous, ex-employee from Area 51 describing a secret about Area 51. The caller says the government are in a conspiracy with aliens, aliens who are “extra-dimensional beings”. The caller is cut off when he starts to describe the plans of this alien/government coalition.
- “Eon Blue Apocalypse” is about guitarist Adam Jones’ Great Dane named “Eon” who died from bone cancer.
- 10,000 days was supposed to be the length of time that Maynard’s mother, Judith Marie Keenan, was partially paralysed for after she suffered a stroke.
- “Wings for Marie (Part 1)” refers to Maynard’s mother. “Marie” is her middle name.
- The music video for “Vicarious” was developed with artist Alex Grey and features a 3D animation of his painting “Net of Being”. As for all of Tool’s videos, Adam Jones was the creative force behind the creation and production of it.
- The name “Jambi” was taken from the name of a genie in the children’s television program “Pee-wee’s Playhouse”.
- “Rosetta Stone” refers to a stone made of black granite, with a decree inscribed on it issued by King Ptolemy V in 196 BC. The decree is in three different kinds of script: Egyptian hieroglyphs, Demotic (ancient Egyptian language) and Ancient Greek. It was because of the Rosetta Stone, by having Egyptian hieroglyphs alongside Ancient Greek, that hieroglyphs could be understood by the Western world for the first time.
- The song “Lipan Conjuring” features Native American chanting. The “Lipan Apache” people traditionally live in Texas, New Mexico and Colorado.
- The album art is again by artist Alex Grey, making use of his paintings “Net of Being” and “Inner Being”.
- Maynard compares this album to the previous two. In an interview, he said: “On the last couple of albums, we had an inherent sense that if we presented these higher meditations, it would open people up in some way and help open their third eye and help them on a path. I think there is an inherent sense of sadness on this album compared to the other ones.”