Enlarge Photo Credit: Travis Shinn

Maynard James Keenan Explains Why New Tool Album Took So Long to Make


The latest episode of BBC Radio 1‘s Rock Show With Daniel P Carter features Tool vocalist Maynard James Keenan and bassist Justin Chancellor, and the duo dives deep on the band’s new record, Fear Inoculum, and why it took 13 years to make.

Speaking on the difficulties of the creative process involving four strong personalities, Keenan stated:

“I think a lot of it is just that age where you want it to be right and we’ve had some success in the past and the fear of this thing coming out and not being accepted—the fear that it’s not as good as it can be—that can be detrimentally crippling.

“Probably in if I had to ‘psychology 101’ [it], I would have to say ‘Well yeah, that’s why it would take 13 years to write something, because you’re paranoid that it’s not gonna be the best that it can be and then you second guess every single step that you make’; when it was probably good enough—I shouldn’t say good enough—it was fantastic 8 years ago.
But then the crippling second guessing of yourself sets in and that psychology and that spiral you get in, it can be extremely daunting. And you can actually not even feel it happening.

“All of a sudden you wake up and it’s 13 years later. The hard part is accepting the fact that maybe you’re not as important as you think you are and you should probably just get on with it.”

On removing himself from the writing process at times and letting the other three members duke it out:

“I would say way more so now. Because you have four strong personalities all fighting for space. So over the years I’ve had to just step out of the room just to let them fight it out. Because just to have another opinion in the room; If you think it’s gridlocked now, to have a fourth arrogant person in the room is not gonna help anybody. So, you have to understand when there’s too many chefs and just step out. Let them get there and then step in and do your magic when they’re done.”

Speaking on the band’s very belated entry into the digital space, Keenan said:

“We’re on iTunes. That’s pretty much the seventh seal of hell breaking opening, isn’t it? I think the hard part with bands like ours that want to control every element of everything; they forget that all you needed to control was the writing and recording. Once that thing’s done, let other people do what they do with it. iTunes is just another record store. Amazon Music is just another record store. Everything you did is done, you did it.”

Chancellor, meanwhile, stated that each member refused to compromise and wanted to make sure everyone was happy with the final product, and revealed that some of the musical ideas on the album came from the band’s riff vault prior to him joining back in 1995.

[via The PRP]

Show Comments
Metal Sucks Greatest Hits