Tool’s Maynard Reveals Why Band Takes So Much Time to Release New Albums, Explains His ‘Mistake’ in the Process

During the infamous wait between “10,000 Days” and “Fear Inoculum,” Tool fans have been enjoying countless memes about the band’s practice to delay things so much. Fortunately, they released the last one right before the pandemic started so we didn’t have to wait a few more years.

TOOL - Pneuma (Audio)

Nonetheless, their fans are both hungry for new material and also baffled by this strange practice. In a recent interview with  Rick Beato, Tool singer Maynard James Keenan reflected on this particular issue. In order to sit down and pen the lyrics, Maynard prefers to have the rest of the band finalize the instrumental parts and put his magic on top of it. As he explained (transcript via Metal Injection):

“[The guys in Tool], they just take longer to process information and get it together and then present me something that I can start building on. I’ve made the mistake in the past of trying to build on something that wasn’t ready yet, and then all the work I put into building on ‘the thing’, they changed the foundation.

“I’m trying to decorate the house and then you move where the doors are and move the windows or add a floor. I got to start over as an interior decorator. So I have to wait for them to do it.”

He also adds:

“So there’s time [for other musical projects]. I have time to do all these other things in between because I can and I should.

“One could argue a little bit of discipline and a little prodding… A little cattle prod or a taser would help move those guys along a little faster, but that’s their process.

“You just kind of respect it. You know it’s frustrating. I’m sure they’re frustrated with me because they hand it to me and I’m like ‘It’s done’ — [and the band is] like, ‘You didn’t take any time with it?’

“Yes, I took 50 years—right?—for this reaction to these things. I’ve been preparing for decades to hear these things and be able to react honestly and I riff on them.”

When Rick asked whether he has the final say on the new music that the band has created, Maynard replied:

“No… it has to be by committee. Even if it’s fucking death by committee. It has to be by committee because you have to trust each other at the end of the day for it to be the full-encompassing piece with several sets of eyes and ears on it.”

Photo: Markus Felix (20180602 Nürnberg Rock im Park A Perfect Circle 0011)


  • David Slavkovic

    David always planned for music to be nothing more than a hobby. However, after a short career as an agricultural engineer he ended up news editor at KillerGuitarRigs, senior editor at, as well as a freelance contributor to online magazines such as GuitaristNextdoor.