If you’re a fan of comedy or insightful interviews, you’re likely already familiar with the WTF with Marc Maron podcast. While the comedian/podcaster usually interviews fellow comedians or writers, he’ll also interview musicians, with Thom Yorke, Henry Rollins, and Iggy Pop among those he’s had by his garage. His current podcast features Tool/Puscifer/A Perfect Circle frontman Maynard James Keenan. The almost 90-minute interview is insightful, with Keenan talking about his upbringing, joining bands, his ventures into comedy, and becoming a winemaker in more detail than he usually does.
Most Tool fans recognize the connection between comedian Bill Hicks and the band’s second full-length, Aenima. In addition to the image above, Hicks is sampled on the album’s 15-minute epic, “Third Eye,” quoted on the album’s title track (Arizona Bay was the name of a Hicks album), and eulogized in “Eulogy.” Unfortunately, just as he was starting to reach mainstream acceptance, Hicks died at the age of 32 from pancreatic cancer in 1994. On the podcast, Keenan mentions that before Hicks had died, the two struck up a friendship at Lollapalooza 1993, and they were discussing plans to tour together.
We were going to put together a tour. It was still when the band was young and still kind of up and coming, way before Aenima, we were still at that level where we could probably pull something like that off… We were trying to figure out what we were going to do. We were trying to figure out how we would work it in to where it would somehow be accepted in that forum. Even then, it was hard for us to be accepted. We would play somewhere and we’d have these moshing skinheads dudes saying ‘play faster,’ and we’d be like “listen slower.” I don’t know, this is what we’re doing. You came here to see us, I’m not sure why I’m supposed to give you what you want… Bill and I discussed this. It was early enough on in our career that we think we could at least weed out the people that didn’t want to see that, somehow resonate on that level.
Of course, Hicks passed before that tour came to be. Keenan said he had a dream that served as a premonition that Hicks wasn’t doing well, which was confirmed by his manager. For the rest of the interview, in which he talks about the expectations that Tool fans have of him, his disguising himself onstage, and much more, head over to Maron’s site and listen for yourself.