Maynard James Keenan has revealed the he’s most proud of
Maynard James Keenan has given us a rare insight into his musical opinion, revealing the song that he’s most proud of.
No matter how you look at it, Maynard James Keenan has been involved in some pretty amazing tunes. Whether you think Tool’s ‘Lateralus’ was a masterful mix of mathematics and music, or A Perfect Circle’s ‘Judith’ was a cathartic rage against religion, there’s no denying the man’s level of talent.
However, while we’ve been waiting quite a long time now for Tool’s fifth record, the enigmatic singer has taken some time to open up on the records that influenced him, and the song he takes the most pride in.
Speaking on BBC 1 Radio’s Music Ruined My Life segment, the vocalist explained that Puscifer’s ‘Grand Canyon’ is the tune he’s most fond of.
“I feel like it’s one of the few tracks that’s actually capturing landscape and soundscape altogether; and a difficult puzzle to put together ’cause it wasn’t easy to put all those elements vocally together,” he explained of the 2015 track.
“To really make it work, it was very clunky. If you heard some of the early versions of it, what we we’re trying to do, it was like ‘Oh, bench this thing. It’s not working’.”
“It really took a long time to kind of…—not a long time, I shouldn’t say… The first initial attacks were like ‘This is a disaster. Like no wait, no it’s not. Move this part over to here, move this part over to here’ like now it measures up. Now the soundscape and the landscape starts to unveil.”
Check out Puscifer’s ‘Grand Canyon’:
Elsewhere in the interview, Maynard explained how he’s been influenced by a number of albums, including Joni Mitchell’s Blue, Devo’s Q: Are We Not Men? We Are Devo!, Pink Floyd‘s Animals and Swans‘ Greed/Holy Money, among others.
“I was watching—all jacked up on sugar at grandma’s house…—cause on Saturdays on you’d have those monster movies,” Maynard recalled. “And so I think that’s when my aunt came up and was like ‘Oh you gotta check this out. If you’re going to watch vampire movies, check out this soundtrack.’”
“And it was Black Sabbath [self-titled], pretty amazing. So I just had that. I would just turn the sound down on TV and I was just listening to the album watching the monster movies.”
Likewise, he also sung the praises of Minnesota indie-rockers Low, and their seminal Things We Lost In The Fire record.
“The restraint and the patience. I’ve had a lot of friends over the years—all my projects—I’m always the guy going ‘If we slow this down, it could be such an intense thing’,” he noted.
“That discipline is so difficult for musicians because they’re looking for the payoff right away. So in this album, Things We Lost In The Fire, there is so much patience and restraint.”
“Just the patience between notes and hits. It’s such a gorgeous display of ‘No, there’s a bigger picture here. We’re creating a mood'”
If you’re keen on hearing Maynard James Keenan’s answers in greater detail, head over to the BBC to hear the full interview.