Sober (5:06)

Cover of Undertow

From Undertow and 58 other releases

Sober is a song on Tool’s first full-length album, Undertow.

Adam Jones has stated in an interview that the song is about a friend of the band whose artistic expression only comes out when he is under the influence. “A lot of people give him shit for that,” Jones explains. “If you become addicted and a junkie, well, that’s your fault.”


“Sober” was one of the earliest songs composed by its writer, Maynard James Keenan, with roots dating back to a 1987 live performance (released as Peace Day with his first band, Children of the Anachronistic Dynasty) in which the song was called “Burn About Out”. The song contains some lyrics from the first verse of “Sober”, with the same basic melody, although the melody is considerably faster and has an instrumental chorus.

The song was recorded by Keenan with Tool for the first time in mid-1991 on an untitled demo tape referred to as 72826.

A video for “Sober” was made in 1993. It was filmed using stop-motion animation, with characters’ models designed by Adam Jones and directed by Fred Stuhr. It was the first of Tool’s videos to be made in stop motion, the earlier promo video for “Hush” being live action and featuring all four band members. However, brief flashes of the musicians can be seen near the beginning, as well as a live-action figure twitching and vibrating violently (à la the film Jacob’s Ladder).


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There's a shadow just behind me,
Shrouding every step I take,
Making every promise empty,
Pointing every finger at me.

MetroLyrics Full lyrics at MetroLyrics


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