Taking without giving | Reviewer: Tommy | 5/23/13

Such a powerful song; I love a lot of different metal but I think it's incredibly hard to convey anger as a "purified" emotion without undermining it with self-indulgence. This song absolutely nails it and is something written with such care, craft and emotion. I hope they f*cking choke as well, whoever they are.

Anyway, it's undoubtedly inspired by a personal relationship, whether that is with a record company or someone within that structure, or just a friend or family or who/whatever (it could even be applied to the relationship between human beings and their environment, music fans with their favourite band etc). I don't think it really matters, the lyrics can be applied to a multitude of situations.

The idea seems to be straight forward; someone/thing takes and takes and takes from a host who is giving support (i.e. their blood as the metaphor) through kindness (or perhaps is afraid to say "no" due to the damage it will do, probably a combination of both) and like with anything in this life, if you take without giving then you will destroy what you are taking from.

If you use an established relationship to take advantage of someone that you should be sharing and building with and do this repeatedly then eventually they will react, in this case it's pure anger. Hope this is what you wanted, hope this is what you had in mind, cos this is what you're getting. It seems to be a similar theme to The Patient, only the reaction in that circumstance is to walk away to save both of you.

Perhaps that is just how I relate to it, that's the beauty and mystery of Tool; there's so many personal relations you can find within their music.

Opinion | Reviewer: Franco | 2/19/13

I think Tool is a band full of meanings in all them songs! Nobody has the reason of a lyric, you can take it as you want. Your life, your experiences and your dissires. Is about how you want to take this lyrics... Take it or leave it.

The irony! | Reviewer: Tiffanie | 10/25/12

I thought Ticks & Leeches was a little out of place in this album for a while, but the more I thought about it, the more it makes sense - stuck between Parabola (realizing the gift that is life) and Lateralus (evolving to a higher conscience). I laughed a little when I read Bob Frissell’s book ‘Nothing In This Book Is True, But It’s Exactly How Things Are’ when I got to his term “victim consciousness.” It’s exactly how I thought of this song.

“In victim consciousness, the ultimate victim is one who doesn’t know that he or she is creating reality, and believes that things just happen”. (pg. 224)

“If you buy into the illusion of separation and “good vs. evil,” you are stepping into victim consciousness. You will then be confronted by a very powerful universal principle, one that works unerringly. It is: Resistance leads to persistence. This means that you will keep re-creating what (on a conscious level) you don’t want; and it will only increase in intensity.” (pg. 227)

Ticks & Leeches represents a particularly destructive flaw of the domesticated primate- spiritual ignorance. Anger, self loathing, depression, despondency, tribulation, pain... You GET what you GIVE. What you give is a manifestation of your sub(un)conscious that is projected outward and onto others; but you don’t perceive reality in that way. It’s just how things are, after all... We endure the cycle to move to the next step. It’s the state of mind that most of the modern world is stuck in and too few are struggling to get out of. You create what you don’t want and it will intensify with time. Is that what YOU want? Is it what YOU have in mind? Well, that is what YOU are getting. The only way out of the cycle is to acknowledge that you are actually creating it. You can’t go from Parablola to Lateralus without Ticks & Leeches. Now, stop choking…

blood cold and bitter | Reviewer: Nihilist | 10/12/12

While I think the basic meaning of this song is pretty obvious, I find the interesting aspect of the lyrics to revolve around the transformation of the person being drained. Personality leeches suck, we all know that, but I think Maynard is pointing out the the decay that happens to the poor victims, turning their blood "cold and bitter," making them useless finally to the people trying to exploit them.

Nope | Reviewer: Anonymous | 6/28/12

James, you are wrong. Sort of. Hooker with a Penis is about one specific fan who accused them of selling out by releasing a full length album. Jambi is about making wishes, and I think it is somehow related to MJK's mother. As for Ticks and Leeches itself, I haven't read anything about the meaning, but it is an awesome song.

Sorry... | Reviewer: James | 3/6/12

Sorry to burst everyone's bubble, but I'm pretty sure the following Tool songs are all about the same thing: Hooker With a Penis, Jambi, Ticks and Leeches. All about Maynard wishing fans/ all fans/ most fans/ fanatical fans would go away and leave him alone. He loves the money but doesn't want the fame or adoration. Having a private life is one thing, but obsessing over us obsessing over him is a waste of time. That is all.

Haha | Reviewer: Damblo | 12/29/11

Guuys, there's no point struggling to find an answer for this song, it's a pretty straight forward and universal idea, and I think whatever is being sucked dry by the evils is up to you! I guess it's pretty interesting to read some of these though :3

give and give and give | Reviewer: SilvanusRaul | 11/11/11

my point bout is his reason for writting this song. think of it as giving food or h3elp to someone, and them sonstantly squandering it, and abusing your a.wealth, and b. compassion. that's what the song is truly about. people are greedy,

Meaning | Reviewer: I disagree | 10/16/11

I think he is talking about human beings, we consume everything, natural resources, spirit, mind, etc, eveything, because of this we often get in trouble. We must control then erradicate our inner Demons in order to reach the next level.

i doubt its as deep as you think | Reviewer: christian Richey | 8/11/11

i used to believe a few of the ideas previously stated, well, except for the "demons" bit, but after reading the lyrics, i think its his (maynard),, funny way of talking shit to the bugs eating on his grape vines. whats now in my head when i hear the song is maynard spraying aphids (or what ever bugs eat grapes) with some bug spray. maybe its deeper than that, believe me i certainly feel that way w/ some people, but i still feel its about some bugs on his grapes.

meaning | Reviewer: Anonymous | 7/23/11

cant you people see?..like cant you really see it? or i suppose maybe you dont want to look at it but in all truth this song is about demons and more directly santan..and these lyrics arent even correct he says my fruit bruised and borrowed you demon passed unto hell turned my blood cold and bitter..beat my compassion black and blue...takin all you can take exc..and then goes to say oh this is what you wanted this is what you had in mind. well ive got nothing left to give to you...i meen in jambi his last words are silence leigon save your posion silence leigon stay out of my way so you know he believes in it and all santan and demons do is take all they can take..so yea listen to it again closely.

truth | Reviewer: Tyler leonard | 4/22/11

in this song he is not talking about people stilling his music he is talk about the people contuling the world taking what they want when you lisin to there music dont just think about the song you are lising to at the time think of all there music at ones

Audience | Reviewer: Anonymous | 11/3/10

Sounds to me like he's pissed off with people getting his music for free.

"My fruit is bruised and borrowed. You thieving bastards"

Note the plural. He's talking to a group, right?

Either way, tool songs are probably written with something in mind but they want you to take it how you hear it.

Great band!

Making a varied point... | Reviewer: Dani | 10/29/10

I could send the lyrics to a certain someone who I considered a good friend and an absolute gentleman...who screwed me over. Had me feeling on top of the world, then to turn around and tell me its over. In terms of 'sucking the life out of me' I was willing to dump everything for him, he used my vulnrability to his advantage, giving me this hope that I would be OK. Well... I hope you choke... no one deserved false hope spoon fed to them, to then be dragged through a bed of rocks.

great song | Reviewer: Anonymous | 7/22/10

this song is about the record company if you remember there was a big gap between aenima and Lateralus albums because the record company was ripping the band off i guess the band was trying to get out of contract so the band pretty much was saying that the record lable was sucking them dry taking all of their money and everybody knows how record companys they take your money...