Maynard James Keenan, the frontman of Tool, recently revealed that he struggles to play older Tool songs because of the physical demands of singing them.
Maynard also explains that his vocal range has changed over time, making it difficult for him to hit some of the higher notes in older songs. This is not uncommon for singers, as the human voice changes with age and experience. However, Keenan also noted that he has found ways to work around these challenges. For example, he has experimented with alternate tunings and different vocal techniques to make the songs more manageable for him to perform live. This is a testament to his dedication to his craft and his desire to give Tool fans the best possible live experience.
During a recent interview on Steve-O’s podcast, he and Tool singer discussed several issues. At one point, Steve-O mentioned Keenan’s Tool concerts and asked him how it felt to perform the more difficult Tool songs.
“…Old cars… Ya know, just like an old Barracuda man, just tearing up the streets. You try to do that with an old Barracuda now and it’s gonna break.
Something is… Ya know, you just can’t do that. So I think with age you find ways to sing the thing where it’s not creating damage. You can actually recreate it without having to pick a scab, emotionally and literally, like hurting yourself.
So I think my writing has changed over the years, and I can do some of those songs. I can’t do a whole set of those songs. I can pepper them in, so I can still do some of those things, but you can’t…
If you’re actually sitting down and thinking about it. You can’t expect some of those dudes, [from] back in the day, to do the thing they did… 30 years ago, 40 years ago. You can’t expect that out of that body. Your body doesn’t do those things forever.”
As Tool has evolved over the years, so too has their sound. The band’s early work was heavily influenced by heavy metal and progressive rock, while their later albums have explored more experimental and atmospheric territory. This evolution is reflected not only in their music but also in Keenan’s vocal style.
While some fans may lament the fact that Keenan can no longer hit the high notes in older Tool songs, it is important to remember that his voice has also evolved and matured over time. His unique vocal style, with its haunting melodies and poetic lyrics, is an essential part of what makes Tool such a beloved and influential band.
At the end of the day, it is important to remember that art is not static. Artists grow and change over time, and their work reflects that evolution. While it can be tempting to cling to the past and demand that artists continue to produce work that fits a certain mold, this approach ultimately stifles creativity and artistic freedom.
In the case of Tool, it is clear that the band has always been dedicated to pushing the boundaries of their sound and exploring new territory. This is evident in their latest album, Fear Inoculum, which was released after a 13-year hiatus. Also, we are still waiting for the new Tool album and also Tool touring this year starting this summer. You can watch the full interview below!