I don't buy into it, but I'll gladly eat those words. Howerdel has the spare time as Ashes Divide was a bit of a flop. I saw them open up for the Stone Temple Pilots and the crowd was just dead. It was pretty sad. And I believe the album landed in the top 50 on the U.S. Billboard 200 but didn't do much after that. Howerdel does a good portion of the writing for APC so maybe he's working on new stuff, although that stuff might never see the light of day.
Maynard's side project Puscifer is playing shows right now, and it's within good word that TOOL will be back in the studio this year
. If that is the case you wont see any talk of APC for at least three more years, minimum.
This is the typical cycle of the TOOL-APC relationship..
TOOL released "Lateralus" in 2001 and toured for a good two years. In 2003 it was back to APC as "Thirteenth Step" dropped that year. A year of touring and it was back to TOOL as "10,000 Days" was recorded in 2005, released in 2006 and then two years of touring. And that brings us to 2009 with much talk of TOOL going back into the studio. So if.. and it's a big if.. they do head into the studio you can say goodbye to any new APC stuff. At least with Maynard in it, but really I can't see Howerdel doing it without him.
But who knows? Like you said, it might be exclusive to the net and no tour. That's a possibility. But I don't see Maynard being involved as he's too busy right now. Sidenote, I just love this quote by him about the politics of TOOL:
"It's like 60,000 meetings before we can even say that we're pretty sure that we might have a meeting to discuss the possibility of having a meeting to talk about maybe possibly getting in and having a discussion about possibly getting in and starting to write about some stuff that might be writing toward the next...you know, it's convoluted."