The last time we checked in with Tool frontman Maynard James Keenan he was writing for the Phoenix New Times, Now he’s the subject of a lengthy profile by the paper. A decent amount of what the article covers is Arizona-centric – his winery, Merkin Vineyards is there, his Caduceus Cellars Tasting Room is in Jerome, and the feeling he got upon first arriving in the area he would make his home. In addition to being an interesting profile of a private man, there are some interesting nuggets of information. Mainly, that Keenan enjoyed blogging so much that he’s working on an autobiography.””I think there are a lot of misconceptions with some people that, all of a sudden, I was born when my first band came out,” Keenan told the Times. “I actually had a life before that, and there were a lot of accomplishments. [The book] will kind of chronicle why it is I got to where I am, and why I got to where you knew about me.”
And while Tool’s webmaster claimed just last month that the band’s first album since 2006 might be half done, Keenan had “nothing to say regarding a new Tool album” in the article. You’d think that if he was anywhere near done with the album, or even close to it in any way, he’d at least give an inkling of what was going on. Instead, he more anxious to talk about Puscifer, who will be touring Australia and South America with A Perfect Circle. Apparently, instead of working on Tool music, much of this month and last were spent in “the Bunker,” a studio at Caduceus Cellars, prepping both bands for the road. Puscifer’s EP, Donkey Punch the Night, will be out on February 19 and contain covers of Accept’s “Balls to the Wall” and Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
Keenan also bemoans the current state of the music industry. “There’s a disconnect between people not buying music and not understanding why [bands] go away,” Keenan says. “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.” He says that the nature of the industry will “default back to people who are willing to do more work for less money.” As far as digital distribution is concerned, Keenan is torn. He says he’s for it from a sustainability standpoint, but understands “connecting with that physical piece of property” and the art and images contained in it. The whole article is worth a read, and you can do that here.