Maynard James KeenanRick Beato

Tool, Etc. Frontman Maynard James Keenan Is Alright With Not Being Relevant On TikTok, Says For Some “It Turns To Desperation Very Quickly”


As recent months have shown us, social media platform TikTok has become a powerhouse that can help break a band to a whole new audience. Back in 2020, Papa Roach embraced tan emergent rework of their 2000 nü-metal anthem “Last Resort” done by Jeris Johnson that gained traction on the service. The success of that remix actually led to Papa Roach and Johnson collaborating on a new version of the song.

This year, Swedish theatrically inclined metal band Ghost found a seemingly forgotten b-side track of theirs, “Mary On A Cross“, unexpectedly become their most-streamed track after a fan-edited slowed & reverbed version of the song went viral on TikTok. The band themselves dove into the newfound fame headfirst,  releasing their own similarly altered version of the song.

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This year has also seen the likes of The Plot In You and Bad Omens both significantly increase their profile as well thanks to tracks of theirs having gone viral on the social media platform.

However, TikTok itself has tended to skew towards a younger generation and there’s certainly no shortage of cringe to be found upon it, especially from musicians who are perhaps trying a bit too hard to engineer their own moment in the sun.

Maynard James Keenan, the frontman of Tool, A Perfect Circle and Puscifer, who himself is a TikToker is well aware of that and isn’t interested in entirely debasing himself for some potentially fleeting fame—though admittedly at this point in his career, he certainly doesn’t need to either.

Appearing on ‘The Joe Rogan Experience‘ late last month, Keenan spoke of favoring his art over attempting to artificially create viral fame in an attempt to appeal to wider audiences. he offered:

“I won’t be relevant with the TikTokers of the world because it’s just not on their radar. The things they respond to now…I’m not necessarily relevant. But there’s an entire generation of people that’s not my generation. They’ve grown with this thing, so as they’re aging, they’re going to be discovering it.”

Host Joe Rogan asked Keenan his thoughts on relevancy, to which he replied:

“You can’t [think about that], because then you’ll be desperate and get plastic surgery and look an alien trying to insert yourself into some stupid fucking thing. It turns to desperation really quickly, so just maintain your art.”

Keenan later added of those who prioritize relevancy over their craft:

“It turns to desperation very quickly. It reeks. So just maintain your art, dude.”


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