Maynard James Keenan explained why there has been a change in the mood

Maynard James Keenan

During a recent virtual interview with Flood Magazine, Tool and Puscifer were asked Maynard James Keenan to explain why there has been a change in the mood of their music, and Keenan’s response was surprising to listeners and readers.

As you probably know, Maynard James Keenan founded the rock supergroup Puscifer in 1995 and is the only permanent member as the other members change often. Maynard has worked with over 10 people and after a 5-year hiatus, the supergroup released a new album.

Puscifer’s fourth studio album, “Existential Reckoning” was released on Halloween this year, on October 30th. It has already garnered critical acclaim and received positive feedback. Although the music that Puscifer used to create was whimsical, humorous, and an amusing critique of important issues, his latest electro-rock album has a more serious tone.

In a recent interview, Maynard was asked why he decided to take a more serious tone on his latest album. Maynard’s response, along with vocalist Carina Round‘s response, cleared the air on why the supergroup has taken a different path.

When the interviewer asked Maynard why they had decided to adopt a new attitude, he said they did nothing deliberately, but was rather ‘reacting to what Mat put in front of me in a folder’. As you may recall, Mat Mitchel is the person who co-produced, recorded, and mixed the new album and he is also the musician who plays the guitar, bass, and keyboards.

Maynard said he only worked on what Mat gave him and the music he created was not a deliberate attempt at seriousness, but just a reaction to the work he found. He said that he just existed at that moment and created the music that he felt he should.

Here’s what Maynard said:

“I was just reacting to what Mat put in front of me in a folder. As far as headspace? That’s hard to put a finger on. It’s really just reacting to sound, the moment. The song. Anything now in hindsight.”

At this point, Carina Round chimed in and said Maynard was responsible for the lyrics, but everything else that can be found in “Existential Reckoning” is a product of her instincts. She added that perhaps they were the ones who got more serious, which in turn shaped the music they created.

Then Carina Round chimed in and added:

“The lyrics are down to Maynard. Everything else is just instinct. Each of us is reacting to what the other person is doing, and then reacting, instinctually, going back and forth between us. Either peeling away the layers or adding layers on. We’re just absorbing the world around us as artists. Maybe we just got more serious.”

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