Maynard James Keenan Opens Up About Playing Earlier Tool Songs Later in Life


Maynard James Keenan might seem timeless, but in a recent interview for the Steve-O Wild Ride podcast, he admits that some of Tool‘s older material is a lot to keep up with.

In the interview transcribed by The PRP, the prolific singer broke down a lot of insights into his past, including the issues he had with Puscifer when they dropped their V Is For Vagina record.

“From the time that we started recording V Is For Vagina until the day that we actually released it, the record industry fucking collapsed. So all the record stores were open when we started recording; when we released, Tower and Virgin had all closed.

Like, all those mom and pops had all closed. We were stuck with Target, Best Buy, K-Mart, and Target sent our albums back because it said vagina on it. I was like ‘What?’ ‘You don’t like vagina? I love them.’”

Also during the interview, Steve-O brought up the energy of Maynard at a Tool show in 1996, and then asked how he’s still able to play these faster songs now. Maynard was honest in his answer:

“…Old cars… Ya know, just like an old Barracuda man, just tearing up the streets. You try to do that with an old Barracuda now, and it’s gonna break. Some thing is… Ya know, you just can’t do that. So I think with age you find ways to sing the thing where it’s not creating damage. You can actually recreate it without having to pick a scab, emotionally and literally, like hurting yourself.

“So I think my writing has changed over the years, and I can do some of those songs. I can’t do a whole set of those songs. I can pepper them in, so I can still do some of those things, but you can’t… If you’re actually sitting down and thinking about it, you can’t expect some of those dudes, [from] back in the day, to do the thing they did… 30 years ago, 40 years ago. You can’t expect that out of that body. Your body doesn’t do those things forever

He compared performing later in life to Mike Tyson’s return to the boxing ring in 2020:

“That [fight] is an absolute expiration date. Your body is not going to allow you to perform the way you used to perform at certain ages. You can apply that to pretty much anybody.”

Puscifer’s new remix album, Existential Reckoning: Re-Wired is out as of March 31 and features contributions from members of Nine Inch Nails, Tool, Queens Of The Stone Age, Bring Me The Horizon, and more.

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