Tool Frontman Talks Music Industry, Downloading

Maynard James Keenan

I have a lot of respect for Maynard James Keenan, the dude from Tool and A Perfect Circle. He’s an intelligent dude who doesn’t give a shit that people are basically constantly aching for new Tool.

He lives life at his own pace and on his own terms. I like that. Maynard recently spoke at length with Phoenix New Times, who he also writes a blog for. He discussed everything but Tool’s next album.


“There’s a disconnect between people not buying music and not understanding why [bands] go away,” says Maynard of illegal downloading. “There are people who are like monkeys in a cage just hitting the coke button. They don’t really get that for [musicians and artists] to do these things, they have to fund them. They have to have something to pay the rent.”

The industry, in general, is fucked. But you already knew that, and so does Maynard.

“It’s going to have to default back to people who are willing to do more work for less money, basically,” he says. “You have to kind of do it out of love, and doing it by living within your means and getting to an end of what you want to do, other than worrying about 401(k)s and insurance and all that crap that comes with being paid by someone else [so] you [can] coast.

“The illusion is gone. There’s no longer blank checkbooks. I remember playing a show ages ago, where Helmet got offered a [record deal worth a] million dollars. Oh, my God! A million dollars. Of course, all that did was make every other band with ego throw its dicks on the table and say, ‘Well, I want a million five.’ ‘Well, I want two million; I’m more popular.’

“There was never any rhyme or reason to what those numbers ended up translating to at the end of the day.
If you go back and track what somebody actually paid for something, it’s not nearly as dialed-in as, say, a video-game corporation saying, ‘No, we’re going to sell exactly this many units of this game.’ It was never that calculated. The people running [the business] weren’t qualified to run it.”

Dang. Tell us how you really feel, dude.

Read more of what Maynard had to say here.

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