Maynard James Keenan Has Had a Complicated Relationship with Tool Fans Over the Years

Maynard James Keenan Photo by Roberto Finizio/NurPhoto via Getty Images
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Tool fans can be quite demanding, and to some extent, we get it. Having to wait 13 years just for a new album is friggin’ intense; this is the amount of time that took place between Tool releasing 10,000 Days and that of Fear Inoculum.  But while we can understand impatience and excitement while looking forward to new music, some aspects of the Tool fanbase have been a tad intense (at least per band frontman Maynard James Keenan).

When Maynard James Keenan Tackled a Fan and Put Him in a Chokehold

In 2015, Maynard James Keenan once called out a portion of the band’s fanbase in a really cringe way. During a past conversation with the Phoenix New Times, the topic of a new Tool album came up; at this point in time, it would be four more years until the band released Fear Inoculum.

Per the Phoenix New Times story, the following is shared: “You’d think Keenan hates Tool. In fact, his reputation as a recluse comes largely from his stubborn refusal to answer questions about Tool, including the undying question: ‘When’s the next Tool album coming out?’ New Times pointed out to him that he seems freer to express his less serious side in Puscifer, as critics and fans tend to view his other projects more seriously.”

Speaking to this, Maynard James Keenan says, “It’s weird. It shouldn’t be. I mean, this one’s named dick, this one’s named vagina. That’s the start there, okay?”

The article goes on to share: “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.”

Keenan then says, “Yeah, it’s there. But people miss it because they’re so focused on the other bullshit.” He then adds, “It’s lost. Insufferable people . . . It’s just ridiculous, retards. I’m sorry. Can’t help them. Way too serious. Too much. Lighten up.”

As you can imagine, this pissed people off! Along with Maynard using a hurtful and ignorant slur, you got him bashing his fans. The Tool singer did eventually provide a response when other outlets at the time reported on this story.

A Twitter user called out Maynard for bashing his core fanbase, to which the Tool frontman wrote the following in response: “Our core fanbase aren’t fanatics. They’re music lovers & artists & good people. Its the fanatics that are insufferable.”

The gap between 10,000 Days and Fear Inoculum was quite intense… who knows how long we’ll be waiting for the next Tool album (if there is to be one). What do you make of this past incident?

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