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MAYNARD JAMES KEENAN Explains Why He Sings From The Back Of The Stage Live With TOOL


If you’ve ever seen Tool live (or one of the elusive videos online), you’ve noticed that vocalist Maynard James Keenan generally performs toward the back of the stage. Rumors have long circulated about why this is, from general shyness to long-winded theories about Keenan trying to be mysterious. The answer is none of these.

According to Keenan himself in an interview with Kerrang!, the reason he’s back there is to take and give cues to the rest of the band.

“With Tool, Danny‘s drums are so loud, he has like 17 arms and 15 legs, and then you’ve got Adam‘s row of amps and Justin‘s wall of bass. It just makes it way harder for the front-of-house to have a mix if [I’m] down front. And the position up top is also great, visually, because I can see what’s going on, we can connect with each other by looking at each other. If I was facing the audience, my back would be to what’s happening, so I can’t take cues.”

Sorry to all the Tool conspiracy theorists out there that wanted this to be about the Fibonacci sequence or whatever. Keenan also touched on the topic of new Tool – as he does in every single interview – saying that once again, the band can’t take forever like they normally do.

“We can’t fucking wait 14 fucking years to release a thing! That’s insane! So we just have to figure out a different way. With the other projects it’s easier, but we still have to set the time aside. Aside from your children and your wife or husband, the next priority has to be writing. Otherwise this is not going to get done.”

Keenan continued: “But ask yourself: if you’re writing a book and you spend an hour a week on it, how the fuck is that ever going to get done?! If you’re only working on that thing for five to six hours a week, then it’s not a priority for you.”

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