If there’s one thing certain from a Maynard James Keenan interview with the Phoenix New Times, it’s that he’s the singer of a band. That band, for all intents and purposes, is Puscifer. It’s all he wants to talk about in the profile, and given that the band has their third album, Money Shot, coming out on Friday, that’s a perfectly reasonable request. Given his deadpan sense of humor, you feel that anything that Keenan does, there’s at least some cheekiness to it. But when the interviewer brings up Tool, Keenan’s tone of voice changes:

He acknowledges that there was indeed humor in the Tool albums. But as with any time he’s asked about Tool, his answers quickly become curt. A hint of exasperation creeps into his voice and he exhales heavily through his nose.

“Yeah, it’s there,” he says. “But people miss it because they’re so focused on the other bullshit.”

He shakes his head.

“It’s lost. Insufferable people . . . It’s just ridiculous, retards. I’m sorry. Can’t help them. Way too serious. Too much. Lighten up.”

The interviewer also brings up the Monster Mash Music Festival, taking place this weekend in Tempe AZ, asking if he had to corral the rest of Tool to play a show in his home state. “No, they had to con me into it,” he replies. He also vigorously shakes his head when asked if he’ll perform “Passenger” with Deftones, who are also on the bill, like he did on 2000’s White Pony. Is Keenan really that resentful of Tool fans, one of the most rabid fan bases in current music, or is he just trolling the interviewer? It sure seems like it’s for real, but we’ll likely get the first Tool album since 2006 before we hear Keenan apologize for his words, or come clean about what the interview means. It’s not like he just recently developed contempt for some of his fans, though. Just listen to “Hooker With a Penis,” from 1996’s Aenima, a song about being accused of selling out. There was a lot of humor in that song when it came out, but it seems like Keenan has really come to hate his fans. Calling them “retards,” even out of context, is something that might lose him some of them before the next Tool album comes out – if it ever comes out.

Money Shot is out this Friday on the band’s own Puscifer Entertainment. Enjoy it, because it’s not like he appears ready to make another Tool album anytime soon.The rest of the interview, Tool notwithstanding, is a pretty interesting profile of the 51 year-old.

[via Consequence of Sound]