“One or more of us will be dead if we wait another 14 years”: Maynard James Keenan on the possibility of a new Tool album

2019’s Fear Inoculum marked their first album since 2006.

Maynard James Keenan on stage in 2017. He is wearing a helmet and combat suit and is stood next to a mic stand.

Image: Steven Ferdman / Getty

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Tool’s most recent album, Fear Inoculum, landed back in August 2019. That’s nearly five years ago, so is it time for another? Well, frontman Maynard James Keenan thinks the band should probably get a move on.

The record marked their fifth album release and was their first record since 2006’s 10,000 Days. Keenan argues that if the outfit can force themselves “to be in the creative space more often”, there won’t be such a colossal gap between now and their next body of work.

In the new print issue of Metal Hammer, Keenan is asked if the experience of making Fear Inoculum will have any impact on the making of their next record. He replies, “Well, considering one or more of us will be dead if we wait another 14 years, we might want to figure out a better way.

“So maybe figure out how to move faster. Make it the priority. You don’t have to skip any of the art part,” he argues. “You don’t have to skip any of the creative process. You just have to force yourself to be in the creative space more often and more consistently.”

He goes on to add that Tool “is a more complicated beast with a lot of egos and a lot of other things going on” in their lives, but he believes that “all the creativity’s there”: “The songs and the ideas can flow and the arguments ensue.

“As soon as we get past the arguments, we can get shit done! [Laughs] I think we could do it more efficiently. And I think everyone’s on the same page that we have to get through that, because we can’t drag this out another 14 years.”

In the same issue of Hammer, the band’s guitarist Adam Jones says that ​​they haven’t actually begun writing yet, but they are “jamming”: “We haven’t really hit that mark. At some point someone’s going to call another person and go, ‘Hey, what do you think?’ No. ‘OK.’ Sometime later, ‘Hey, you ready?’ And they go, ‘Yeah, I’m ready.’ ‘I’m ready too. Let’s start jamming.’”

Though the band are yet to get into full creative swing on a new record, they are however touring from this May. View their full list of live dates.

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