Maynard speaks about Puscifer with Metal Hammer

In an interview with British metal magazine Metal Hammer, Maynard James Keenan speaks mostly about his distinctly unmetal project: Puscifer and the coming album Money Shot. It’s an interesting read, though doesn’t really cover any ground that wasn’t done so in the recent Rolling Stone interview. It features an almost identical response to the inevitable Tool question as well.

What it does have going for it are some cool new photo’s with Travis Shinn, and a list of his favorite wins for all you wine buffs out there, and a relatively unknown winery Ochota Barrels from out my way in the Adelaide Hills seems to have come out on top!

Maynard James Keenan’s favourite wine Dons.

1. Ochota Barrels

(Adelaide Hills, Australia)

“Taras Ochota is doing things differently and, oddly enough, it’s what I’ve been doing here in Arizona – picking earlier, and putting less fruit on the vine to begin with, so that everything ripens evenly and all the acid is in balance so you can have Italian-style wines. Ochota Barrels wines are fantastic.”

2. Azienda Agricola Le Ragnaie

(Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy)

“Riccardo Campinoti is doing fantastic work with high-elevation wines.”

3. Azienda Agricola Edoardo Sobrino

(Cuneo, Piedmont, Italy)

“Edoardo Sobrino [makes] a pretty badass Barolo [a type of red wine made in northwest Italy].”

4. Azienda Agricola San Polino

(Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy)

“Luigi and his wife, if you go to their home, you see that it’s all built from the ground up. All this ‘local movement’ stuff, its funny – you have to put a name on it, you have to put out a pamphlet. I get that we have to do that to retune people to what’s happening. But you go to places in Europe, and it just kind of is and has been, for generations.”

5. Dos Cabezas Wineworks

(Sonoita, Arizona, USA)

“It’s family-run and operated, again, from the ground up, with kids running around. It’s fantastic wine.”

Maynard James Keenan by Travis Shinn

Maynard James Keenan by Travis Shinn

Maynard James Keenan by Travis Shinn

Maynard James Keenan by Travis Shinn

Maynard discusses Biography with Rolling Stone

There’s a new interview with Maynard James Keenan today, this time with Rolling Stone who speak to him regarding the biography coming out next year. It’s an interesting read, here’s a snippet:

Can you give me the backstory on this book? How did it come about?
One of my best friends in high school, we’re still close, his sister’s a writer, she’s 10 years older than we are; she’s kind of been around for a while, of course, seeing everything that went on pre–high school, high school, etc. So I approached her, because she’s a writer, to see if she was interested in helping me work on a semi-autobiography. Because I didn’t really want to write it as an autobiography, first-person — I’d rather have it be more in story form, like you’re kind of along for the journey, with sidebars by me throughout, in my voice, kind of expanding on particular instances or anecdotes. But for the most part, it’s just she and I on the phone a couple times a week, just going over timelines, going over stories, etc.

He also chats briefly about Tool, giving out the usual canned answer regarding the apparent lack of progress:

So there was a conversation you had a couple weeks back with one of our writers, and he asked about the progress of the new Tool album, and you mentioned that there was no music to work with. And last year, another Rolling Stone writer talked to Danny and Adam, and they said that there was some new material. Can you help us get to the bottom of where you’re at with the new record?
Do I seem like a lazy person to you?

Of course not.
OK — that’s all I can really say.

So …
They’re working hard in their own way; I’m working hard in my own way, and I’ve got nothin’ for ya.

So there we go!

Maynard James Keenan

Fourtheye Interview with Blair Mackenzie Blake

Fourtheye is back from it’s slightly longer than expected downtime, and I now present to you the interview with Blair MacKenzie Blair, who most you know as the web content manager of Toolband. Last week I collected a range of questions from the blog, the forum and even from Reddit. There was great response, with over 70 questions being posed. From that list I picked the most interesting of them, and sent them off to Blair for his response.

Thanks to Blair for giving us the answers, and thanks to all those Fourtheye readers who submitted questions.

Without further ado, I present the Fourtheye interview with Blair:

Can you give us any further info on the curveball? Is it something that is expected to be released anytime soon?

BMB: I don’t have a time table, and haven’t heard much about this as of late. When I first mentioned it way back when, I considered it to be just another Tool project in the works, albeit one that I wouldn’t have expected them to be involved with at that particular juncture. But they moved forward with it, and are excited with the results thus far. Some day I will receive an email with more info about it that I am to post on the websites. Until then, you’ll just have to keep guessing, which many are doing, with some having guessed correctly.

Aside from the stage production changes as mentioned in the last newsletter, can we expect any other surprises at Monster Mash? Perhaps a collaboration with Primus?

BMB: It wouldn’t be a surprise if I told you, now would it?

Can you reveal what the Golden Ticket holders from the recent Opiate re-issue received?

BMB: I think that we are still waiting for the final winner to respond to our email before making this known to the general public.

What is your favorite Tool song and album?

BMB: I don’t have a favorite song, but will go with Lateralus as my favorite album. I actually haven’t heard much from the first two records, so maybe I should give them a careful listen before deciding? As for Lateralus, when I first heard the early arrangements – those without vocals – I didn’t think that it was going to be nearly as good as AENIMA. But once Maynard added his stuff, and the finishing touches were put on, I was extremely impressed with the overall result. With that in mind, when I later heard the ‘rough drafts’ for 10,000 Days, I always tried to imagine what Maynard would be doing in certain sections, but when it actually came time for him to do so, it totally surpassed anything that I was envisioning. Especially the intro to “Rosetta Stoned” and the melodic passages in “Wings.”Even so, in my opinion, the right musical arrangement has to be there in the first place for him to do what he does so well – to make it all work. So, it is truly a collaborative effort, with each musician being of equal importance in order to create that which so many people love about the band. This is still true today. From the musical arrangements of the new material that I have heard so far, there are lots of places for Maynard to really shine, and I am really looking forward to hearing this once they get into a studio.

What was Adam doing in the studio when Motorhead caught him there in February?

BMB: He was either bugging his friends while they were trying to work, or working himself on what is now known as the “curve ball.”

Why hasn’t anyone found Problem 8 – The Riemann Hypothesis yet? Can it still be found? Has anyone been close to figuring it out? Any more clues?

BMB: It will be very difficult for anyone outside of the band to hear this unless someone wants them to do so some day.

Does there exist and/or will there be any official video of concerts pre-10,000 Days that will ever have an official release?

BMB: There is lots of unedited footage to make a live Tool dvd, but I have no clue as to if and when they will edit this for a release. Maybe after the new album is released?

Other than the obvious new material for the album, does tool have any unreleased or cut songs from any previous albums? Could they ever see the light of day?

BMB: Not that I am aware of, other than that previously mentioned.

Will 10,000 Days vinyl ever happen?

BMB: I really think so, as I have seen a test pressing.

Please elaborate on the progress of the album from when you believe you heard half of an album (sans Maynard) in Danny’s car several years back to what you have heard recently. Did they decide to scrap some of the music and start over?

BMB: Being that I am a lot older now, and don’t go to loft much (with a diabetic cat that wakes me up for her shot of insulin very early in the morning), I haven’t heard a lot of new material lately. I know that they are sticking to their work schedule, so am guessing things are progressing nicely. I don’t think anything has been scrapped, but intros and outros and such tend to get changed. They are perfectionists when it comes to arranging a particular song.

It is no secret that you insert clues into your posts/newsletters about all things Tool. Have you ever made any band members angry by giving away too much info (albeit cryptically)? Or are they pretty happy with you throwing a bone to any fan determined or smart enough decode your posts?

BMB: As far as I know they have never been angry about anything – at least I have never been asked to edit or delete anything. Maybe they haven’t deciphered such things yet, or, as the person suggested, are happy about my throwing their fans a bone. But then again, perhaps they don’t even read the newsletters, etc.

What was “the Deal” that was mentioned in the June 2015 Newsletter?

BMB: Let’s talk about this after the next show or shows.

Will there be another Tool webcast/podcast?

BMB: Your guess is as good as mine.

Will the new Tool album be available in some hi-res HD audio version? Are there any plans to release hi-res versions of any previous albums?

BMB: Such things are being discussed, but I am not privy to any details at this point.

Approximately how many Tool shows have you attended? What live Tool show was the most memorable for you and why?

BMB: I’ve been to several small club gigs in the early pre-signed days, including the show that they afterwards got their first manager, and one when they signed their first record deal, so that was pretty cool. I have been to about 30 shows I would guess. The 666 show in Germany stands out, as well as one of the Coachella shows that had particularly good catering by my chef friend. Hard to say, really, which was the most memorable due to backstage drinking, and that they are fairly consistent with their performances.

Do Tool plan to play in Europe any time soon? What about Puscifer?

BMB: I would say once the record is released they will for sure tour in Europe.

What got you interested into the occult, and how has this changed your life?

BMB: I have long been interested in the mysteries of the human mind, and what else might be out there, if there is anything else that is totally independent of the human mind? As for changing my life, it just makes me think deeper at times with regards to certain things that I might not otherwise have considered. However, I don’t let any ideas concerning borderland phenomena get in the way of other things of a ‘simpler’ or more mundane nature that I also enjoy, such as sports and such. In other words, there is a balance in my life, and I don’t let any occult pursuits control what I do or think (unless, of course, I am perfectly possessed!) I certainly don’t take it to the level that others do, or at least, claim to do. I don’t want to wind up joining “The Flat Moon Society” or some ‘we have all the answers’ group that insists on everyone wearing silver tennis shoes.

Do you have any upcoming books/projects that fans would be interested in?

BMB: There are a couple of things, including a new project with Danny. Hint: It’s not about collecting books this time. More about both projects in a few weeks.

What are your top 10 albums?

BMB: “Night on Bald Mountain” and “Two, Too” by Fireballet, “Grand Canyon Suite” by Grofe, “The Snow Goose” by Camel, “Tales of Heaven and Hell” by Wendy Carlos, “Brain Salad Surgery” by ELP, “Scheherazade” by Renaissance, “The Dark Side of the Moon” by Pink Floyd, “The Planets” by Holst, and “In The Court of The Crimson King” by King Crimson.

What is the spookiest thing you have ever encountered?

BMB: A Carolina Wolf spider while removing bricks from an old house in the mid-west. No, actually, something that I can’t describe very well at all that I glimpsed in my parent’s basement in the early morning of January 5, 2000 as a nearby police officer witnessed a strange triangular shaped aeroform pass overhead.

Is the Maynard autobiography still happening?

BMB: I haven’t heard about this, but it sounds like a great read if it happens. It’s not something that I mentioned, is it?

Being from the Midwest and all, can you please tell us how old you were when you caught your first sheep tangled up in a fence?

BMB: I don’t recall having ever seen a sheep while living there. I don’t even think that I counted any sheep while trying to fall asleep at nights back there. It seems kind of sad though that the person who asks this question would have to resort to finding a sheep tangled in a fence in order to make it with the poor thing, as opposed to properly courting it with special clover and forbs and other niceties. The times are a changing, I guess.

Do you still have the original Coleman?

BMB: Yes, it is in a closet waiting for some opportunity to be used again.

Blair MacKenzie Blake

Ask Blair stuff!

Update: Thanks all for the responses. I have a huge list of questions for Blair that I will sort through over the next couple of days, and then send to him. Thanks for everyone’s input!

I was speaking with Blair today via email, and asked him if he’d be interested in answering some questions from Fourtheye readers. The answer was yes!

So here’s what we’ll do – you guys will suggest questions you’d like answer, discuss them below (or in the Fourtheye forum) and then I’ll email them to Blair and see what he responds with. Bear in mind that we’re interviewing Blair, not Tool, so while I expect he can answer some questions about Tool, he may not be able to answer them all.

Fire away, but to help me collate the questions try and keep the smart arse comments to a mimimum!

Blair Blake and Danny Carey

Tool August 2015 Newsletter

Blair has posted the Tool August 2015 Newsletter this morning, and this time around it’s an interview with Tool video designer Breckinridge ‘Breck’ Haggerty. Here’s an excerpt:

BMB: What is the usual process of putting together the video clips and such for a Tool show or tour? The starting point and finishing touches? How much of the material used in the projections do you create, and do you get input from the band members? I’m guessing that Adam Jones is involved?

BRECK: Adam has always been very involved in the design, and all of the other band members contribute in different ways. Generally, Adam will give us the big picture, and Junior and I put the show together from there. The visuals are made up of small looped segments that I weave and layer through the show. There must be 2000 clips in the collection at this point, so there’s a lot to work with. The iconic images you remember from the shows are the works of far greater talent than my own. By name: Camella Grace is responsible for the psychedelic nudes and swimmers, Chet Czar creates the fish-skinned creatures of your nightmares, Meats Meier crafts the intricate mechanical/spiritual beings that populate the show, Matt Santoro, Kevin Willis, Robyn Breen Shinn, I could go on and on… My role is in the arrangement and mortar, and I build the abstract visuals that bind all these great artworks together as a whole.

BMB: What are the usual preparations for putting together and syncing up the video design for a Tool show or tour? How long does it normally take before you are good to go?

BRECK: The prep time depends on how much the show needs to change. When we made big leaps in design like with a new album, it can take months. If we’re just on to another leg with the same design, it may only take a day. This time around, we’re starting with a new overall concept from Adam, and we’re going to re-work the entire thing, so we’re starting to build the Halloween show now.

Seem like a lot of effort to go to just for one show…

Some of Brecks work with Tool

Maynard on Alt-Nation

ebackwardse from Toolarmy tells us that Maynard is appearing on (or has possibly already been on)  Alt-Nation on the 12th of February:

Maynard James Keenan of Puscifer on Alt-Nation!
Thurs., Feb 12 @ 1 – 1:30 am ET
Alt Nation welcomes Maynard James Keenan of Puscifer, A Perfect Circle and Tool, to the Cane show! Find out what Maynard and Puscifer are planning to unleash on Las Vegas this Valentine’s Day weekend, also learn about his wine making and what he feels dinosaurs have in common with the music industry.

Guitar World Excerpt

Blabbermouth posted and excerpt from the issue of Guitar World featuring Adam Jones and Kirk Hammett.  The magazine comes out in the USA on Tuesday the 10th of February.

Jones: “We opened for METALLICA in Korea and decided to hit Hawaii on our way back to do a couple shows. Kirk was heading to Hawaii, too, but I didn’t see him on our plane. After we landed, I was getting my luggage and I felt this tap on my shoulder. It was Kirk, and he said, ‘Are you the guitarist in TOOL? I love your band. Would you like to come to dinner?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah!'”

“He lent me a long board and took me out to this spot where all the old-timers surf. I’m from California, so I’ve never had to paddle 30 minutes anywhere. [laughs] And you have to go out real far in Waikiki to catch the good waves. My arms were getting so tired, and I was so worried I was gonna look like a pussy!”

Guitar World: I’m wondering what, in your opinions, are the upsides and downsides to becoming a cult phenomenon?

Jones: “[laughs] I know, sorry. I think the downside is that there’s a real potential to forget your roots and why you started playing in the first place. It’s important to remember where your head was when you first started, because when you get successful and spoiled it’s easy to forget the excitement of when you were first writing songs. And that’s why his band and my band go into hiding­to write songs and try to find that spot again. We do this so we don’t just keep writing what we wrote last time that was successful and start sounding like a cover band of ourselves. We have to constantly go back and find ourselves.”

Hammett: “I guess you can say ‘Death Magnetic’ is METALLICA reaching back to our cultish days, as well. I don’t know if you can even call us a ‘cult band’ now, because we’re a very popular band. Can you be a cult band and still be popular? I don’t know.”

Jones: “It probably depends on who you ask. I think the word ‘cult’ comes from an outsider’s perspective. When someone on the outside looks at METALLICA, they would say they have a cult following. Because METALLICA have had years of success and have a dedicated fan base, it could almost seem like people are following them out of blind faith, but I don’t think this is exactly correct. TOOL has had that too. I’ve heard stuff like, ‘How can a band that a lot of people never heard of have gold and platinum records?’ That’s when they’ll say, ‘It’s because TOOL has a weird cult following.’ To me it’s just a term people use to describe something they don’t quite know how to explain…which is not necessarily a bad thing.”

Guitar World: It also seems a cult band can become an easy target for disgruntled fans when it grows beyond being their “pet band.”

Hammett: “I know that a lot of people who are cultish types are really obsessive. They really want a certain thing, or feeling, and they find this thing in a band. When the band grows bigger­and maybe more personally inaccessible as a result­these cultish people try even harder to get this thing or feeling from the band. There’s a certain type of person who is obsessed with METALLICA who spends all of their time trying to get this one thing outta our music, and when they don’t get it they become passionately pissed off. [laughs]”

Jones: “For me, there’s nothing wrong with obsession as long as you’re getting something out of it that’s positive. And when your expectations are let down because you didn’t like this record as much as the last record…well, you just have to be a little more forgiving, or move on.”

Hammett: “‘Forgiving’ is totally the right word, because after all it is just music. You can live through it.”

Guitar World: Speaking of mysterious subject matter, Kirk, you brought a pretty tripped-out ESP guitar with you today, which goes well with this issue’s cult heroes theme.

Hammett: “More like occult heroes. [laughs] Basically, for this guitar, I gave the artist [American painter] Mark Ryden a list of topics, and I said, ‘Translate these ideas into your vision and paint it onto the guitar.’ There’s a bee, which is symbolic of knowledge; the raven, symbolizing secret knowledge; and then the all-seeing eye, symbolic of universal knowledge. Caduceus [a symbol formed by a short staff entwined by two serpents] symbolizes the tree of life, but if you notice it also resembles a DNA strand [a double helix]. Then there’s the hand from heaven, the Rosicrucian rose and my astrological sign, Scorpio, as well as assorted skulls and a yin-yang. It’s full of numerology, astrology, occult and religious symbolism.”

Jones: “It’s an amazing-looking guitar. I love all the light sources beaming off of the female shape, and the design at the center, over the pickups, which I see as a life-and-death thing. Mark Ryden is really the icon of this current underground, up-and-coming art movement, and he’s paved the way for a lot of people who have similar approaches. I’ve seen his paintings in person in Seattle, and he is a master at what he does. I’m glad he’s now getting the recognition. And Kirk‘s going to play it and scratch it all up? He should just put it under glass and hang it on his wall. Or better yet, give it to me. [laughs]”

Hammett: “It’s gonna see some wear and tear, but that’s its purpose. Plus, Mark said he’d do touch-ups when they’re needed.”

Guitar World: It seems you’re both very thoughtful when it comes to studying hermetic philosophies. Do you find them useful in adding order to your lives outside of the musical realm, too?

Jones: “The order is already there. It’s just that we’re making ourselves aware of it. Sacred geometry is basically studying anything and breaking it down to its purist form, be it a symbol, shape, color, vibration or sound. That’s what our life is. It goes outside who we are as people, the earth or the universe, into the spiritual realm or even an unconscious collective realm.”

Guitar World: Going back to your guitar, Kirk, what specifically fascinates you about symbolism?

Hammett: “Well, as far as symbolism goes, there are different schools of thought, like how colors can influence your mood or perspective. Different symbols, like the all-seeing eye or the rose, will trigger different things in your psyche or unconscious. All this stuff is influential on some level and has an impact on the person surveying it, whether on a quantum level or a more overt level. I’m really interested in that sort of thing. Another good example of this is Jimmy Page‘s use of the ZoSo sigil, which he had written on his outfit. [A sigil is a word or symbol of supposed occult power. Page‘s ZoSo symbol first appeared on the packaging of ‘Led Zeppelin IV’ and later on his stage outfits.] He thought that it helped his music and artistic direction. I’m totally into how certain images can influence the subconscious mind. On a very basic level, if this guitar was stark white I would feel completely different about it. The fact that it has this amazing graphic on it inspires me and moves me.”

Adam in Guitar World April 2009

Adam Jones will be in the April edition (though it’s coming out in February) of Guitar World, as part of a special on Cults, and Cult Guitar players.  Also in the magazine according to the cover are transcripts, including bass for The Pot.  Thanks to Bellami for the details.

Adam Jones & Kirk Hammett in Guitar World

Maynard talks Puscifer Shows, Tool (briefly)

Here’s an interview with Maynard I found today on Las Vegas Weekly, where he talks about the upcoming Puscifer shows:

“It will be a revolving door of artists in a cornucopia of chaos,” he promises,” but I don’t know what it will all be except exploring creative energy and performance — mainly music but also sketch comedy. We simply don’t know how to describe it, so we’re leaving it open-ended.”

It could involve:

“In theory, Gil and Ronnie Sharom, a band called Stolen Babies, Johnny Polanski, a guitar player that could play an empty water bottle, Trey Gunn and Matt Stiletto, Tim Alexander. They all may or may not. This is going to be an ongoing thing. If it sounds Frank Zappa, it is a work in progress and art with no end product in mind. We are going to make it cohesive, but the next day will be different. We will approach the songs differently, the comedy will be different. We have a lot of friends that have penciled their names in: Sponge Bob, Laura Milligan, Bob Odenkirk and Dave Cross. They have done Tool shows. Basically everyone is going yes, if I am available.”

And on Tool recording a new album:

Maynard said that fans have been asking for a new record from Tool and A Perfect Circle, but “nothing is going on presently.” “When we know what we are doing with a new record, everyone else will know at the same time,”

Check out the interview for more.


Maynard on

I’ve only watched the first few minutes of this video (and none of part 2) on Wine Library TV, but it would appear to have an extensive interview with Maynard and Eric in regards to their wine making exploits.  Thanks to Justin for the tip!

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