by Tool

Album: Lateralus (2001)


  • The sound for this unusual short instrumental was created by Tool lead singer Maynard James Keenan's cat, at least according to Keenan. The sound is actually Maynard's cat being squeezed and the resulting sound slowed down to create the low-pitched noise. He says it was a gentle squeeze - no animals were harmed in the making of "Mantra." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Craig - Blairgowrie, Scotland
  • The Mantra is the subtle hum of the soul and spirit it brings all communication of the body to one. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Dan - Stourbridge, England
  • "Mantra" is about 1:10 long, and maybe 25 seconds are featured in the "Schism" video.

Comments: 17

  • Trenton from Oklahoma City, OkPerhaps another meaning is at hand..
  • Matt from Auburn, Wa"I read the long explanation of the supposed Fibonacci in Lateralus that appeared all over the web written by an unknown fan. The guy seems to know what he's talking about and his comment on mantra was that the sound is meant to symbolize dry heaves or choking."

    i heard the same thing about the intro to aenima in fact i believe it was an mjk quote. are you sure you didnt skip a few lines or somthing when you read that article?
  • Neil from Boulder, Coya its his cat being squeezed and the sound played in slow motion
  • Nathan from Defiance, OhMantras can be any repeated phrase or sound that calm the mind and bring enlightenment of the soul.
  • Renee from Johnstown, PaI read the long explanation of the supposed Fibonacci in Lateralus that appeared all over the web written by an unknown fan. The guy seems to know what he's talking about and his comment on mantra was that the sound is meant to symbolize dry heaves or choking. In the re-ordered version of the album, mantra begins right after Ticks & Leeches ends, and the last line in Ticks & Leeches is, ironically, "I hope you choke." I listened to Mantra with that idea in mind and the ups-and-downs of the moaning noises do indeed seem to echo the "rhythm" (for lack of a better word) of terrible dry-heaving. I don't know who's right about what was used to make the sound, but I feel pretty certain that it is meant to represent choking sounds.
  • Sina from Chevy Chase, MdI recorded the song and sped it up, it's available here:

    It doesn't sound like a cat to me, but it may be that I set it to be too fast or too slow.
  • 7van from Brooklyn Park, MnMantra is a Tibetan Buddhist form of meditation or a prayer performed to provoke a powerful attention of, or the blessing of Chenrezig, the embodiment of compassion.
  • Matthias from The Hague, NetherlandsI think Blairgowrie is correct to. I heard it many times, from different people. That it was indeed his cat. I did it ones to one a song. We took a breath of someone. Time stretch it, reversed it and then put a distortion on it. If you heard it, you would not ever reconize it as a breath.
    But why they did it like this? i don't know. Tool is just that kind of band that likes to screw around with the human mind, let you think alot about there music, thats why i like them so much.
  • Dan from Stourbridge, EnglandUNTRUE!!! The Mantra are monks, making their chant, recorded in slow motion backwards.
  • Randall from Dallas, TxSorry... realized I only answered half of it...
    With the sound artifacts present, it could not be whale sounds without some major, and I mean MAJOR, sound filters.
  • Randall from Dallas, TxAbout the whale sounds... if you listen closely to the sound on this track, you can hear the artifacts that are created when you slow down a digital sample by a very significant amount. Maynard also appeared to use a lower sample rate than would be normally used to make sure those artifacts are present, and very noticeable.

    Incidentally... Maynard has a hairless cat. Not sure if that's a siamese breed or not.
  • Chris from Novi, MiJust Myanards cat in slow motion :)
  • James from Coffs Harbour, Australiaif you reverse the sound, it is exactly the same as if you played it forwards
  • Ben from Clemmons, NdI read in an interview of Danney Carey the the sounds in mantra were him blowing through some kind of tube and altering it with that funky sound board but thats just me . . .
  • Nick from Paramus, NjI can make the sound with my guitar. Well, pretty close to the sound, anyway.
  • Andrew from Indianapolis, InBlairgowrie is correct. And it's a siamese cat, to be exact. Though I thought it was whales at first, too.
  • Stefano from Old Bridge, NjI don't know which is really the truth, but I have also heard that the sound is that of whale calls, which by the way scientists have concluded are highly sophisticated and have many qualities of human music (look it up on
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