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Tool’s Maynard James Keenan Speaks On The Second-Guessing Of “Fear Inoculum” And Why He Had To “Step Out Of The Room”


Tool‘s newly released album “Fear Inoculum” is the focal point of today’s (September 01st) newly aired episode of the BBC Radio 1‘s ‘Rock Show With Daniel P Carter‘. In addition to musicians from Bring Me The Horizon, Slipknot, Rage Against The Machine and more discussing the impact Tool and their music have had on them in their own lives, the band’s own frontman Maynard James Keenan and bassist Justin Chancellor appear on the program.

Speaking of why the album took 13 years to be created and released—outside of their legal woes and health issuesKeenan responded:

“I think a lot of it just that age where you want it to be right and we’ve had some success in the past and the fear of this thing coming out and not being accepted—the fear that it’s not as good as it can be—that can be detrimentally crippling.

Probably in if I had to ‘psychology 101’ [it], I would have to say ‘Well yeah, that’s why it would take 13 years to write something, because you’re paranoid that it’s not gonna be the best that it can be and then you second guess every single step that you make’; when it was probably good enough—I shouldn’t say good enough—it was fantastic 8 years ago.

But then the crippling second guessing of yourself sets in and that psychology and that spiral you get in, it can be extremely daunting. And you can actually not even feel it happening.

All of a sudden you wake up and it’s 13 years later. The hard part is accepting the fact that maybe you’re not as important as you think you are and you should probably just get on with it.”

When it was brought up that the band’s reluctance to embrace the modern trends of music consumption only came to an end in early August when their catalog became available digitally, Keenan commented:

“We’re on iTunes. That’s pretty much the seventh seal of hell breaking opening, isn’t it?…”

“I think the hard part with bands like ours that want to control every element of everything; they forget that all you needed to control was the writing and recording. Once that thing’s done, let other people do what they do with it.

iTunes is just another record store. Amazon Music is just another record store. Everything you did is done, you did it…”

His bandmate, drummer Danny Carey previously spoke of the matter, revealing that the band also had to  somewhate recently negotiate the digital aspect of their record contract as it wasn’t an avenue they had to consider when the deal was originally worked out.

Meanwhile, Keenan spoke of how sometimes removing himself from the initial writing and recording process for the band’s music has turned out for the better. When asked if intentionally removing himself from that process was always in place or if it was a recent development, he stated:

“I would say way more so now. Because you have four strong personalities all fighting for space. So over the years I’ve had to just step out of the room just to let them fight it out.

Because just to have another opinion in the room; If you think it’s gridlocked now, to have a fourth arrogant person in the room is not gonna help anybody.

So, you have to understand when there’s too many chefs and just step out. Let them get there and then step in and do your magic when they’re done.”

Chancellor also spoke of how the band refused to compromise on the album and wouldn’t release it until each member of the band was happy. He further revealed that some of the ideas that were used on the record had been in the band’s vault prior to his joining the lineup back in 1995. You can hear the whole Tool special online over at this location.

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