Tool's Maynard James Keenan: Metaphorically speaking, I just had a baby

Maynard James Keenan on recruiting Dave Matthews fans and getting the Scissor Sisters drunk
River's Edge Music Festival 2012 at Harriet Island lineup & schedule

There are very few people with the mix of wit, intelligence, and eccentricity so honed as Tool frontman Maynard James Keenan. All will be on display this weekend as his bands (weirdo art project Puscifer plays too) will take over the River's Edge Festival at St. Paul's Harriet Island.

Over the course of a recent 20-minute conversation with Gimme Noise -- plenty of which is documented in this week's print edition here -- Keenan also gave a brief, delightfully vulgar update on new Tool material, and then settled into a frank discussion of how creating wine and Puscifer's latest album are tasks that go hand-in-hand.  

CP: Various reports state you're going to be working with Tool in the studio this summer.

Maynard James Keenan: We've been writing for quite a while. I don't know. I wouldn't use the word "studio." It's our rehearsal space. We're just writing.

CP: Would it be safe to say that the writing process is continuing over the summer as well?

MK: Possibly. Yes. It would be kind of safe to say that the writing process is continuing.

CP: Anything else you'd like to say about new Tool material?

MK: I'm right in the middle of an album cycle. Metaphorically speaking, I just had a baby. You know, getting pregnant right now just isn't on the menu. My vagina is swollen and sore.

CP: You're, of course, referring to Puscifer's Conditions of My Parole?

M: Yeah. The new album. We're touring it. We're out there. We're selling records. We're doing this right now.

CP: So this material feels really fresh to you right now? I'm really fascinated by it.

MK: Thank you. (pauses) I think it's just, in a way. People have asked, when it comes to the wine-making, how I have many, many different blends. Not just like a house that does one Cabernet and a Chardonnay. I've got usually fifteen wines. And I've been asked how it is that I can keep those all separate. And I've related it to actually writing an album. Where at any given time, when you are writing an album, you have twelve to fifteen different stories all developing at the same time.

You have to kind of just turn one off to work on another. And in a way it compartmentalizes. There's gonna be a common thread throughout all that you're doing and expressing in that way, but each one is going to shine individually. And so, in a way, that's what I'm used to: 20-some years of creating 12 to 15 different stories in time.

So with the winemaking, having that many wines, I've already been trained to keep those separate. That's how the wines and Conditions of My Parole kind of come together. Kind of existing in a similar space. Everything, every story is different, but in some way related to the others.

Read more from our interview with Maynard James Keenan here.

TOOL play on Saturday, June 23, PUSCIFER play on Sunday, June 24, at River's Edge Festival at Harriet Island. View the whole lineup and ticket info here.

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