Tool’s Maynard James Keenan Discusses The Worry Of Not Living Up to Their Expectations

Maynard James Keenan

Last week, the world went crazy with Tool. They released their new album Fear Inoculum after 13 years, announced a tour of North America, uploaded official music videos to YouTube and mixed with Taylor Swift.

On the issue of why it took them 13 years to launch the 10,000-day follow-up, leader Maynard James Keenan said:

“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 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.’ 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 eight 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 thirteen years later. The hard part is accepting the fact that maybe you’re not nearly as important as you think you are and you should probably just get on with it.”

Maynard continues to discuss Tool’s sudden (and indeed welcome) decision to adopt the transmission and digital downloads of his music.

“We’re on iTunes now. That’s pretty much the seventh seal of hell breaking opening, isn’t it?” he says.

“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.”

Tool’s new album Fear Inoculum is out now. They head out on tour this October.

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