Maynard James Keenan, the frontman of the prog-rock band Tool, is known for his introspective lyrics, and unique stage presence. Besides Tool, Keenan has been involved in other musical projects such as A Perfect Circle and Puscifer and is a successful winemaker. With this news, Maynard James Keenan’s top five favorite songs.
In an interview on BBC Radio 1 Rock Show With Daniel P Carter, Keenan shared that “The Pot,” one of the most well-known and approachable songs from Tool’s 2006 album 10,000 Days, is the band’s best “gateway song.”
He continued as follows:
“To me, that’s one of the examples of some of our earlier energy blending perfectly with our more mature energy and kind of nods to our influences over the years,” Keenan said. “I feel like we really kind of struggle to make sure that all four of us shine as best we can on everything we do, to exhaustion.”
Maynard James Keenan has also selected the tracks for his other bands, A Perfect Circle and Puscifer. He chose “The Contrarian” from A Perfect Circle’s 2018 album “Eat the Elephant” for the earlier project.
“Just even the first three songs on Eat the Elephant was a very difficult task to do because it was an exercise in Billy [Howerdel, APC guitarist] and I showing restraint. It’s hard to do a very restrained, focused song with a lot of space, it’s actually harder than filling in all the space. Especially with that song because there’s a subtlety attached to it and a lot of space.”
Maynard also added: “It was in a range that’s not necessarily comfortable for me, and to maintain character in those unfamiliar spaces is a challenge. And I think Billy, too. He had not to reinvent what he was doing but take a step back and not put forward his first reaction or his second reaction. He had to really dig deep and find how he served that song rather than just bringing Billy Howerdel to that song.”
Whether it’s the complex and atmospheric compositions of Tool, the dynamic and melodic soundscapes of A Perfect Circle, or the eclectic and experimental nature of Puscifer, Keenan continues to challenge the boundaries of rock music, pushing the envelope and inspiring generations of artists and fans alike.
Check out the “Fan First” audio conversation with Maynard James Keenan, in which he discussed discovering Black Sabbath and KISS, writing for Tool, collaborating with his Puscifer bandmates, and much more.