Tool’s new album, Fear Inoculum, is set to be released later this month after an absurd 13-year wait. He could have left before, if singer Maynard James Keenan did not perform several tasks at the same time while recording his precious wine grapes.
In an interview that the band gave to the Australian music site Tone Deaf, Keenan talked about the delicate balance between working on the new Tool album in his home studio and caring for grapes in his Arizona vineyard.
As Keenan tells it, producer Joe Barresi and engineer Matt Mitchell traveled to the home of the progressive metal leader in Arizona and worked on recording his voice when Keenan was not harvesting grapes for his Caduceus Cellars wine brand.
“It was during [wine] harvest. I would spend time on the forklift, do some inoculating, do some wild ferments, whatever we were doing in the cellar while [Barresi and Mitchell] gathered things together,” Keenan told Tone Deaf. “Then I would come in and do about an hour of vocals, two hours of vocals, and then they’d take a beat to organize it and comp [the takes] and figure out some of the better takes.”
“Then [we’d] listen back and go, ‘I can beat that, let’s beat that.’ Meanwhile I’m in the cellar working on the wines. That’s just logistically what it had to be. I didn’t have the luxury of time. So I made time.”
At this point, Keenan collaborators must be accustomed to the fact that the singer’s day work making wine will have priority over their musical projects. Such was the case when I was working on the 2018 Perfect Circle album Eat the Elephant.
“Once the [wine grape] harvest was out of the way, we started to get things done with the music in between picking and processing.”
-Keenan told Rolling Stone last year.