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Maynard James Keenan says Tool’s ‘Fear Inoculum’ was “fantastic eight years ago”

Posted by on September 3, 2019

Maynard James Keenan and bassist Justin Chancellor appeared on the BBC Radio 1‘s Rock Show With Daniel P Carter program where they discussed Tool’s first new album in 13 yrs Fear Inoculum (read our review here).

Keenan spoke to the question of why it took thirteen years:

“I think a lot of it just that age where 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 in 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 and 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 8 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 13 years later. The hard part is accepting the fact that maybe you’re not as important as you think you are and you should probably just get on with it.”

Keenan was asked about the group’s decision to release their entire back catalog on streaming services:

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

Keenan talked about how he had sometimes removed himself from the writing and recording process and if it had been premeditated or more spontaneous…

“I would say way more so now. Because you have four strong personalities all fighting for space. So over the years I’ve had to just step out of the room just to let them fight it out. Because just to have another opinion in the room; If you think it’s gridlocked now, to have a fourth arrogant person in the room is not gonna help anybody. So, you have to understand when there’s too many chefs and just step out. Let them get there and then step in and do your magic when they’re done.”

Chancellor added how the band refused to compromise on the album and wouldn’t release it until each member of the band was happy.

This Fall, Tool will embark on a North American trek in support of Fear Inoculum, check out the tour dates here

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