Tool’s first album since 2006 is becoming one of those Detox/Chinese Democracy situations — it’s been 3,467 days since 10,000 Days came out, in case you’re wondering. But exactly one year ago we posted visual evidence of the band members in the studio together, and earlier this year we learned the legal drama that plagued the band’s recent history is over.
Still, if there’s Tool news to share, frontman Maynard James Keenan is not being very forthcoming about it. Keenan, whose comical art-rock project Puscifer is releasing an album called Money Shot this Friday, spoke with Phoenix New Times about his recent activities, and when the subject of Tool came up, things got very awkward. Here’s the relevant excerpt from writer David Accomazzo’s feature:
You’d think Keenan hates Tool. In fact, his reputation as a recluse comes largely from his stubborn refusal to answer questions about Tool, including the undying question: “When’s the next Tool album coming out?” New Times pointed out to him that he seems freer to express his less serious side in Puscifer, as critics and fans tend to view his other projects more seriously.
“It’s weird. It shouldn’t be,” Keenan says. “I mean, this one’s named dick, this one’s named vagina. That’s the start there, okay?”
He acknowledges that there was indeed humor in the Tool albums. But as with any time he’s asked about Tool, his answers quickly become curt. A hint of exasperation creeps into his voice and he exhales heavily through his nose.
“Yeah, it’s there,” he says. “But people miss it because they’re so focused on the other bullshit.”
He shakes his head.
“It’s lost. Insufferable people . . . It’s just ridiculous, retards. I’m sorry. Can’t help them. Way too serious. Too much. Lighten up.”
Did he have to corral the other band members to play this one show in 2015?
“No, they had to con me into it.”
Sounds like Keenan might be one of the factors holding up that Tool album.
UPDATE: Longtime commenter and one-time Coachella correspondent Raptor Jesus points out this Rolling Stone interview, in which Keenan explains, “I write lyrics and melodies to music. If I don’t have music, I can’t.” So maybe the other members are the ones holding up the process? Who even knows with these guys.
UPDATE 2: Keenan clarifies on Twitter…
@nathan_felts Our core fanbase aren't fanatics. They're music lovers & artists & good people. Its the fanatics that are insufferable.
— Maynard J Keenan (@mjkeenan) October 28, 2015