Maynard James KeenanRick Beato

Maynard James Keenan Admits To Stealing Ideas From Nine Inch Nails’ “The Fragile” For A Perfect Circle: “I’m Stealing From His Stolen Goods”


Maynard James Keenan, the enigmatic vocalist for Tool, A Perfect Circle and Puscifer, recently took part in an interview with Rick Beato. That chat, which is available to view in full below, covered a wide range of topics in Keenan‘s day-to day-life, from his dietary regimen prior to performing with his various bands to his wine making and more.

When Beato mentioned during the chat how much he enjoys the juxtaposition of the songs “Weak And Powerless” & “The Noose” from A Perfect Circle‘s platinum-certified sophomore album “Thirteenth Step“, Keenan admitted that he borrowed some of those ideas from a certain Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame-inducted industrial metal band.

In addition to works from the likes of PJ Harvey and the Swans, Keenan admitted that Nine Inch Nails‘ sprawling 2x multi-platinum double album “The Fragile” served as a bevy of inspiration for his songwriting approach.

He said of that:

“…That’s again stealing—professionals steal, right?—and so, really looking at the work of people like PJ Harvey, Trent [Reznor] on ‘The Fragile‘—he’s stealing shit all over that album, but I’m stealing from his stolen goods. I think space was the thing that really… I wanted to hear more space in some of the A Perfect Circle stuff. So going back to my original influences of The Swans‘ early ‘Holy Money‘ & ‘Greed‘ albums, just the huge cavern of space that are in those albums. Simple rhythms, just primal in their approach.

I wanted to see more of that in… I mean when you think of A Perfect Circle and Swans, they’re not the same thing. But logistically if you look at the waveforms on a screen of those songs, you see the space in ‘The Noose‘ that might match the space on the screen of a Swans song. And that was the point of like leaving space, to let your brain keep going in the middle of the spaces.

And Josh [Freese] is a great drummer, but I remember on ‘The Noose‘ going ‘stop playing right there. Don’t play through, stop.’ And he was like ‘Ohhh.’ ‘Cause he’s already done that in other things, but you have to remind him, you’ve already done something like this. Do that again, leave space. And it really sells the atmosphere of the track. As contrasting to ‘Weak And Powerless‘, which is like a metronome just right through your head. Again, stolen from Trent. Don’t tell him. Don’t watch this Trent.”

Later in the chat, Keenan spoke of his upcoming plans for Puscifer this fall and beyond. Stating of what’s to come, he offered:

“During COVID we shot four pay-per-views, two of which are coming out this fall. We got ‘Conditions Of My Parole‘—the whole album start to finish with a bunch of Billy D and Hildy bits mixed in. We’ve got a whole set of—we’re calling it ‘V Is For Versatile’—it’s the [‘V Is For Vagina‘] era of music, completely revamped again, and we did it at Sunset Sound. We recorded a whole concert film/studio documentary.

Those two things are coming out right around Halloween, so I’m very excited about those and then of course simultaneously released the audio for those as well.”

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