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33 things you should know about TOOL

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33 Things You Should Know About Tool
Turns out these chart-topping art-metal weirdos are down-to-earth sophisticates who enjoy fine wine, sailing and rare satanic literature. We’re shocked, too — sailing?

By Jon Dolan

Blender, August 2006

1 THEIR FRONTMAN WAS ON THE FRONT LINES
Before he was a prog-goth guru, Maynard James Keenan was a restless teenager in sleepy Ravenna, Ohio, hungering to forge his own identity. So he joined the army. “They saw I could read and count, so I got an appointment to West Point,” recalls Keenan. “I declined.”

2 IF YOU THINK TOOL ARE FREAKY, MEET THEIR PARENTS
Back in Paola, Kansas, future Tool drummer Danny Carey often noticed his dad doing odd things with swords in the backyard. Turned out Pops was a member of the Freemasons, a fraternal order who divide their time between running the world and reenacting Bible scenes in secret. “For 99% of those guys it was just an excuse to get away from their wives,” says Carey.

3 THEY’RE SENSITIVE FOLK FANS
They may sing about prison sex and severed vital organs, but they’re really softies. In high school, Keenan hid his Joni Mitchell records from the other hard rockers. Today he’s more open. “I’ve met her. She’s what we in the art world call ‘reclusive.’”

4 THEY STRESS OVER THEIR WIKIPEDIA ENTRY
The band’s Wikipedia page states that Keenan met Tool guitarist Adam Jones through Rage Against the Machine shredder Tom Morello. “That is untrue,” says Jones, who went to high school with Morello in Libertyville, Illinois. “We played together in a band called the Electric Sheep. We were terrible.”

5 JONES LOVES THE GOVERNATOR
Before wielding an axe, Jones carried a mascara wand, the tool of a Hollywood makeup artist. His credits include Jurassic Park and Terminator 2: Judgment Day, during which he developed an admiration for Herr Schwarzenegger. “Arnold was a total pro, the kind of guy who’d do anything for a shot.”

6 THEY DISCOVERED KEENAN’S CRAZY SINGING VOICE BY ACCIDENT
Future bandmates Keenan and Carey struck up a friendship when they moved into the same seedy Los Angeles apartment complex in the late ’80s. “We spent most of the time trying to keep the bums from defecating on our front steps,” says Carey. “We’d communicate by yelling across the parking lot. He’d scream at me from his window in that amazing Maynard scream. I told him, ‘Man, you should sing in a band.’”

7 MAYNARD’S ROOM WAS A ZOO
“I love working with animals,” says Keenan, a former pet-store employee. Apparently, he brought his work home. “He’d created this weird menagerie in his room,” says Carey. “He had all these lizards and birds, all running amok. He’d go buy crickets and turn them loose in there for all these different things to eat.”

8 JONES PREFERS HIS WILDLIFE SOMEWHAT LESS LIVE
Jones is also an animal lover. “I’m really into taxidermy. I have 30 mounted four-horned sheep on my wall. I have birds, fish, a moose, a bear, a huge horned elk and goats.”

9 LOLLAPALOOZA + LSD = LUV
Riding the success of their emotionally brutal full-length debut, Undertow, Tool landed a gig on the 1993 Lollapalooza tour, where Keenan discovered “the real alt-rock” in Primus and Fishbone. Jones found something more: his future wife, who was there with acid guru Timothy Leary, then in his final years. “She did whatever he needed, including running his website,” he says. “That was Tim’s final wish. He wanted to live on — on the web.”

10 KEENAN CROSS-DRESSES TO SAVE HIS FAMILY
Many assume Maynard’s onstage kabuki transvestite look is about getting in touch with his feminine clown side. In fact, obscuring his identity with costumes occurred to him after his son was born in 1995. “I’m a very private person.” He also just plain likes getting dolled up. “I wouldn’t change one stitch of it. It’s ridiculous, but I’m proud of it.”

11 A BROTHERLY ASS-KICKING GOT THEM A BASSIST
It’s hard to imagine Tool without their low-end rumble, but they were rendered momentarily rumble-less in 1995 when original bassist Paul D’Amour left the band. Their choice for a replacement, Justin Chancellor of the English band Peach, initially had reservations about joining team Tool. “It was a little overwhelming,” he recalls. “Joining a band you completely respect. My brother kicked me in the ass. He said, ‘You’ll regret it for the rest of your life if you don’t go try.’”

12 TOM CRUISE ISN'T LIKELY TO HAVE KEENAN OVER FOR DINNER
The man who penned the lyrics “Fuck L. Ron Hubbard and all his clones” recalls a 1993 gig at the Church of Scientology’s Celebrity’s Centre, where he spent most of the show baa-ing like a sheep at the audience. “Before our set this guy tries to intimidate me by showing me a gun in his jacket. I explained to him that if he pissed me off I’d start a riot.”

13 MTV IS SCARED OF THEIR VIDEOS
Jones directs Tool’s creepy claymation videos. Not that they see much airtime. Programmers shied away from clips for songs like “Stinkfist,” from the band’s 1996 Aenima, due to the song’s icky subject. Jones shrugs it off: “They just don’t play ’em ’cause it’s not Britney.”

14 THEY’LL BE SAFE IF CALIFORNIA FALLS INTO THE OCEAN
On Aenima’s “Aenema,” Keenan prayed for L.A. to be “flushed away.” If his dream comes true, Chancellor can deliver Tool to safety. “I learned how to sail,” he says. “I just went to the Caribbean in November and crewed on a 43-foot catamaran.”

15 KEENAN CAN ACT
Keenan isn’t tight with Ohio homie Marilyn Manson, but he has played murderous cult leader Charles Manson on The Ben Stiller Show. He also appeared on the mid-’90s HBO sketch comedy series Mr. Show, and as Satan in the 2002 film Bikini Bandits. So what’s harder, playing the prince of darkness or a hippie serial killer? “Oh, Manson. He’s a real person. People know what he looks like, how he talked. With Satan there’s so much gray area.”

16 A POX ON THE NET
Carey collects the writings of famous English occultist Aleister Crowley. “I have a copy of White Stains worth about $10,000. I used to find stuff when we were first touring, complete gems for five bucks. It’s like an addiction. But the Internet kind of ruined it.”

17 KEENAN’S A CORK-SNIFFER
Celebs from Madonna to Dave Matthews have slapped their names on cheap vino, but Keenan is rock’s biggest oenophile by a mile. He owns a vinyard, Caduceus, in Northern Arizona and he’s even discovered a grape, the Orelia. “It’s in my blood. My great-grandfather made wine and it’s a tradition I want to pass on to my son. It’s a safeguard against funneling into Crystal Meth hell.”

18 EVEN KEENAN’S SIDE PROJECTS HAVE SIDE PROJECTS
Keenan’s musical moonlighting extends beyond his chart-topping spin-off A Perfect Circle. He’s also in art-metal maniacs Puscifer, which at one point spun off to become Umlaut, “L.A.’s Premier Improvisational Hardcore Band.” Says Keenan: “We’d come out dressed all DC punk, and I’d shout, ‘Gimme a person, place or thing.’ And whatever they said — ‘butcher at an airport’ — we’d turn into a 15-second punk song.”

19 THE OTHER GUYS WEREN’T JEALOUS
“I’ve always had faith in the power of our music,” says Carey. “Even if Maynard wouldn’t admit it, he knew A Perfect Circle was a side project.”

20 DJS LOVE LIL’ MAYN
While Tool were on hiatus, gloom merchants like Staind and Disturbed tried to horn in on their fans. A few mod rock jocks tried to keep hope alive by playing “Maynard’s Dick,” a hidden track on the 2000 outtakes boxset, Salival. Big Maynard was not amused by his third eye’s moment in the sun. “It was a stupid song,” he says. “They shouldn’t have played it. That’s why it was a hidden track.”

21 FAVORITE BAND HOBBY: PUNK THE INTERVIEWER
Tool like it when writers do research beyond the bio provided by their record label. So for Lateralus, Keenan decided to slip a few untruths into their press kit. “If someone would say, ‘So, I hear you guys all bake pies together,’ it was obvious they knew nothing,” says Jones.

22 THEIR PAL WANTS JT SNUFFED
Carey also has a side gig, Pigmy Love Circus, known for its confrontational attitude. How confrontational? Singer Mike Savage publicly put out a hit on Justin Timberlake for $73.82. “I think it was his bar tab at the time,” says Carey. “Mike’s a big guy; he could crush Timberlake between two fingers anyway.”

23 KEENAN IS IMMUNE TO NSA WIRETAPPING …
Maynard’s never been shy about his political beliefs (see A Perfect Circle’s Bush-blasting 2004 emotive) and he’s certain Dick Cheney would love to tap his phone. But he’s a gun nut, making him safe: “They can collect any information they want for their records — unless you own a weapon. Because if you’re part of the NRA, those records can’t be accessed.”

24 … AND HATES ILLEGAL DOWNLOADING
Some have speculated that the 10,000 Days cover art and cinematic musical flow are incentive to purchase, rather than download, the album. And Keenan takes a decidedly Lars Ulrichian view of file-sharing. “It’s stealing,” he says. “You can’t go into Wal-mart and take a jar of food.”

25 KENNAN’S NOT ALONE IN THE TOOL MILITIA
Jones is strapped to the max. “I have a lot of old guns. I’m fascinated by World War II,” he says. Don’t worry, highway lane-hoppers, he’s armed and courteous. “California’s a liberal state, so it has all these weird laws about where you can shoot.”

26 CAREY CAN’T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT HIS HOG
When he’s not boning up on the occult or sending drumheads to the ER, Tool’s skin-slapper likes to hit the open road in his favorite vintage BMW motorcycle. “I have a big case for it so I can bring it on tour,” he says. “I don’t have to sit around the smelly venue all day. I can go out on my bike and explore.”

27 KEENAN IS LOOKING OUT FOR FRANCES BEAN
Keenan, a big Kurt Cobain fan, was troubled by Courtney Love’s suspect parenting techniques, so he designed a T-shirt emblazoned with the phrase FREE FRANCES BEAN. “I heard Frances saw one and asked if she could have it. Courtney had to stop and explain to her what an asshole I was.”

28 THEY OFTEN GOT LUMPED IN WITH KORN BUT THEY’RE MORE LIKE THE DOORS
The cover art for 10,000 Days — a psychedelic flipbook to be viewed through a stereoscopic lens — is influenced by “sacred geometry,” the belief that combinations of shapes reflect the harmony of the universe. “There’s a universal consciousness,” says Jones. “Some of us are more conscious than others.” Carey is also a big fan of transcendence. “An artist should be a shaman,” he says.

29 CHANCELLOR DISPENSES ADVICE ON DENTAL HYGIENE
He and his fiancée recently opened a record and bookstore called Lobal Orning in Topanga, California, “focusing on authors and artists other shops rarely stock.” What’s the most obscure find in the crates? “A record called Captain Tooth Decay, with Muhammad Ali on it. Some guy had about 500 of these things and he was like, ‘Can you move these somehow?’ I only took one.”

30 TORI AMOS IS A SUCKER FOR MAYNARD’S COOKING
Amos says nobody bakes better cookies than Keenan. His tastiest? “Balls of Satan, Mexican Wedding Cakes, Snowballs,” he says. He also co-owns a well-reviewed eatery, Cobras & Matadors, in Hollywood. “I recommend the Sugar Chili Prawns.”

31 THEY’RE SPORTS NUTS …
Justin grew up playing soccer and supports U.K. football club Chelsea. “With satellite TV I can watch five or six games a weekend.” Danny, a hoops head, is still grieving over the Kansas Jayhawks’ early departure from the last two NCAA tournaments. “Oh, I was in anguish.”

32 … BUT NOT JESUS FREAKS
A few years ago, Keenan announced that he’d converted to Christianity, a surprising move for a guy who sang “Fuck your God/Your Lord your Christ” on A Perfect Circle’s “Judith,” a song named after his mother. Shocked fans might have saved themselves some heartburn if they’d bothered to check the calendar. “It was April Fools’,” says Keenan. “If you fall for that on April Fools’ Day, there’s nothing I can do for you.”

33 HE’S REALLY NAMED MAYNARD
Gotcha! Keenan was born James Herbert Keenan. We don’t know why he changed his name, and he won’t tell us. But now you know. And knowing is 1/33rd of the battle.
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  • Unsu...
     
    pretty cool ...

    another Maynard/Charles Manson fact... he played Manson in a graphic novel as well - they ran a couple pages of it in the now-defunct magazine Popsmear.

    sweet post, johnny

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