“Invincible” by Tool

Tool’s “Invincible” tells the tale of an aging warrior who refuses to retire from the “fray” or “battle”. And the title is based on the idea that, despite being well pass his prime, he sees no need to call it quits. Actually he considers himself to be “invincible”, as in unable to be defeated, at least in terms of not giving up on himself by throwing in the towel.

And the specific battle he is referring to is an attempt to remain “consequential”, as in relevant, in the music industry. Thus all of the elaborate metaphors used throughout ultimately point to the idea of the singer basically recognizing that he is an old man whose current goal is to thrive in a field dominated by youth. (Tool’s lead singer, Maynard James Keenan, is 55-years old as of the release of this song.) He had his glory days in the past, which are obviously the inspiration which makes him believe he can still make it today. Indeed in a way, it can be argued that the desired result of Maynard’s efforts is to relive his glory days of yesteryear.

But overall, this is not necessarily an exercise in fantasizing or positive thinking. For, despite feeling the inevitable effects of aging, Maynard has already entered the battlefield yet again. And in the process of doing so – although he does express some doubts – for the most part, judging from the track’s title, he is confident that he will experience victory, even though the odds may be against him. Indeed he obviously considers himself and his bandmates, at least to some extent, to be “invincible”. That is to say that they have defied convention as well as the test of time.

Lyrics of "Invincible"

Debut and Release Date of “Invincible”

Tool debuted this song on the 5th day of May 2019 during their appearance at the Welcome to Rockville concert. That concert took place in Jacksonville, Florida.

“Invincible” was officially released by RCA Records alongside Volcano Entertainment on the 30th day of August 2019 as a feature on the Fear Inoculum album. The aforementioned album is the fifth studio album of Tool’s. The hit single “Fear Inoculum” was released from this album as its lead single.

Writing and Production

Every single member of Tool is credited with writing “Invincible”. Hence the official writing credits go to the following:

  • Danny Carey
  • Justin Chancellor
  • Adam Jones
  • Maynard James Keenan

And the production credits for “Invincible” go to Joe Barresi.

24 Responses

  1. Michael says:

    Tool will always be relevant, as they are the best band musicians in the industry. It is an experience when you listen to their music. The relaxation feeling you get with some of the songs.

  2. Ken says:

    I think he’s talking about Miyamoto Musashi

  3. Dope Rider says:

    Maynard’s relevance in the music industry is indisputable. He and his band are revered by many and likely always will be. that said, I think the idea of staying relevant – of dwelling on past victories – hits home for anyone. It certainly did for me. When I first listened to it, I felt like the song was written specifically for me haha.

    I’m a military veteran. In my youth, my relevance was never in question – I felt on top of the world! But that shit was just a tiny blip in a long, boring, and ultimately inconsequential life. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve found myself struggling to “matter” in the world – like many other vets. I have no doubt that these same feelings apply to EVERYONE as they age. We all feel like a somebody until we grow up and realize, well, we aren’t!

    • XANI says:

      Well said ,its all just memories of what we were now it’s so much of a struggle to fit,but l had my time a great [expletive] time and l don’t need to fit into this [expletive] up brainwashed world to belong I’m proud of what l am and the experience I’ve had growing up I’ll just keep on going on in my own way till it’s my time

    • Henry Chapman says:

      Great song, They have captured the essence of our struggle and motivation to survive the inevitable. It goes way beyond our physical presence. This is my new anthem.

  4. Forever Trill says:

    This is asinine. Like they would make a song about themselves is ridiculous.
    I think its about a soldier. Possibly with ptsd.

    • Nate says:

      I’m with you here, the closest they got to putting themselves out there was on wings of marie and MJK flat out said he’d never do it again. I too feel it is about an aging, possibly retired, soldier with PTSD. It is definitely what the song will always mean to me. My father was a Vietnam Vet and has struggled with it his entire life. He saw things he will talk about with NO ONE. Seeing him go from ‘Invincible’ to ‘struggling to remain consequential’ has been very difficult for me and my brother.

    • Dude says:

      The notion that this is actually about a soldier is at least as asinine, especially considering that all of Tool’s literal work is full of metaphors and philosophy. The song starts to talk about an old person, way past their peak, having to deal with their diminishing relevance. All this long before even mentioning the word “warrior”, which I would find offensive if I were a soldier; we don’t live in the middle ages where military work is just about battle. Aside from that; bad as it may be to experience PTSD, it is one of the most cliché subjects you could possibly think of for a song, rivalled only by songs about relationships.

  5. Onthewhole says:

    I was thinking CTE in football, mma soccer. Soldiers make a lot of sense as well. It is ridiculous to think this song is about Maynard.

  6. speck says:

    I heard an interview with Maynard that made me think of this song. I suggest reading the entire thing, (don’t pick and choose parts of it for your own benefit), and then afterwards, come to your own conclusions. Remember, Maynard is not a fan of ANY politicians, he says that all the time, and this interview was from before the 2016 elections.

    “I’m going to put on my tinfoil hat now and I’m going to talk metaphysically, um, about it all. I’m going to step way back, you can call me crazy, I’m just giving you the tinfoil hat version of this. We have moved from that patriarchal mindset, into a matriarchal mindset, and I think there is a, you can talk to some of the woo-woo’s and they will tell you that there is like a cycle, I think it is a 10000 year cycle or something like that, and which is very much the patriarchal warring, you know protective masculine mindset. Um, you know, we’ve moved, we’ve shifted now, where it’s not that survival mode as much anymore as it has been over the last thousands of thousands of years, and it’s moved into a more matriarchal mindset. This is according to the woo-woo’s, you know, that’s my tinfoil hat talk. So this could be, just everything that’s going on for the last 10 years, 15 years, it could be that, not that last dying grasp, but a struggle for the old dog’s in charge, you know, of the above and beyond the scope of, you know, the governments, and whatnot. It’s a metaphor for that last gasp of that old mindset.”

    “With the trump thing I just kinda feel like it’s that last, that old way of thinking is gonna get loud, it’s not going to go quietly into the night, it’s going to shriek a little bit. And that’s what you’re seeing… especially with all the religious, you know the Isis and everything else, a lot of that is the same kind of thing, it’s just really, um, it’s more present, um, and I’m not a big fan of any of the candidates really, but I feel like from a metaphysical stepping way out of it perspective, I think the 8 years of having the first african-american president was a, is a step in the right direction, spiritually. Nevermind whatever you thought about the candidate or whatever was going on, whatever was accomplished right, or not accomplished, or undermined, whatever, that’s not really the big point.”

    “I think, I think, I’m not really a huge fan of Hillary Clinton, either, but I feel like that’s probably going to happen, having a female president, is if nothing else a step in the right direction, even though she may be an asshole, I don’t know, it might be what’s going to happen.”

    Then the interviewer says how it must all be scripted, because surely no one is that much of an idiot, to which Maynard answers:

    “Please, yes, we are that dumb.”

    • Dope Rider says:

      Well that makes a lot of sense, and I can definitely see the relationship between the song and what he’s saying here.

  7. Matthew says:

    Tool was being sued by the artist Cam De Leon for his art work in anemia, which is why the album took 13 years to make.. anyways, by using the name Ponce De Leon, it is pretty on the nose what he is talking about. A man chasing after victories from his past/trying to get paid royalties for his past work despite already being paid. Maynard wouldn’t be chasing after his past “glory” of tool. It seems like he’d much rather be over with it and move on to a different passion project.

    • That Guy You Hate says:

      “Anemia”? You meant Ænima, mate. The former is a condition marked by a lack of red blood cells or of hemoglobin in the blood, resulting in pallor and weariness. The latter is a Tool song. 😉

  8. Dave says:

    Sounds to me like he’s telling a tale of a wounded warrior beating his tired bones trying to stop the Conquistadors. How he set Caligula would grin. And Ponce de Leon was the European invader that discovered Florida therefore I believe it is a tale of a war fought between Warriors and Pilgrimers

  9. ALX8721 says:

    It’s a culmination of warriors but mainly Spaniard invaders into the country we call the US. “ Chasing Ponce de Leon’s phantom” it’s funny how you left that entire part out “I can taste mythical fountains” oh and don’t forget “…of things we’ve done
    Caligula would grin” these are all references to what a Spaniard soldier would have thought in the time of the “invasion” of the americas. I once spoke to a dude who had all of this mapped out (you wanna tank tinfoil) who stated most of tools songs are in reference to the evolution of the americas. Maynard paying homage to the times, sort of a heed to times that have been. This country was stolen from a people via mass murder, sickness, and manipulation. Look at the song “tempest” it was designed to envision how the indigenous people looked at the catholic missionaries. “Lulling” then before “the havoc begins.” It’s all there man. Here we are closing our borders like this land is ours, it’s a land of invaders.

  10. Lance Kraft says:

    Why does he say “revelent” instead of “relevant”?

  11. Slorc says:

    I feel like it shouldn’t be specific.
    Everyone fights he’s own fight here.
    Everyone can relate to this song

  12. Dan says:

    Anyone else hears “eating child bones again”
    instead of “Beating tired bones again”?

  13. Dan says:

    Anyone else hears “Eating child bones again” instead of “Beating tired bones again”?

  14. Andrew says:

    I was listening to this a couple days ago, the last lyrics “but the truth, never got, in my way, before now, feel the sting, feeling time, bearing down. Bearing down” it made me feel like how I don’t have the time I think I do, and the sting is like my gut telling me that I need to make changes, time bearing down like a sense of urgency, or a “fire under my seat” dope song.

  15. Natron Fiends says:

    Its up to the listener to decide what the song means. Thats why tOOl does not include lyrics in any of their albums. And Dope Rider is incorrect when he states Maynard and his band. tOOl is Adams project. Maynard was asked to join. I know these guys well. I was a guitar tech for the Lateralus world tour.

    • Anonymous says:

      Best answer I’ve seen. Whether they are making a song of an old tired warrior that is dying to go to war but is past his glory days or it’s meant to be metaphorical and about something totally different than the literal words.
      Who cares? It’s BOTH! SO many people can relate to this as we age. I’m 54 and way past my prime what I wouldn’t give to drink of that fountain! But, only if it restores your youth AND cures disease. Who wants to live forever with cancer? lol There’s always another way to look at things. Just about anything song can be a metaphor it’s all about perspective.

  16. it's a disorder.... GAD.... says:

    You lost me at …. “….the inspiration which makes him believe he can still make it today.”

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