Maynard James Keenan

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James Herbert Keenan (born 1964-04-17), known as Maynard James Keenan, is an American rock singer. He has been a member of the band Tool since 1990 and was a member of the band A Perfect Circle from 1999 to 2005.


On religion & blind faith

  • This sort of behavior is left to the psychotic, dogmatic, fundamentalist believers you see on T.V. everyday letting off bombs and killing people in the name of God. Beliefs are dangerous. Beliefs allow the mind to stop functioning. A non-functioning mind is clinically dead. Believe in nothing.

On drugs

  • I think psychedelics play a major part in what we do, but having said that, I feel that if somebody's going to experiment with those things they really need to educate themselves about them. People just taking the chemicals and diving in without having any kind of preparation about what they're about to experience tend to have no frame of reference, so they're missing everything flying by and all these new perspectives. It's just a waste. They reach a little bit of spiritual enlightenment, but they end up going, 'Well, now I need that drug to get back there again.' The trick is to use the drugs once to get there, and maybe spend the next ten years trying to get back there without the drug.

On his music

  • John 1:1--"In the beginning was the Word and the Word was God." In the original Aramaic text, that word was Yahweh or Jehovah, which means light and love. We've twisted it to mean this guy with a beard passing judgement, but it's not. In the beginning was the Word and the Word was Love and Light; infinite, unconditional, and without judgement. At that point you can pretty much close the book, you know?
    • DVD comentary for the song "Judith"
  • I consider myself a handicapped person in that I used to believe that everyone, uh, that their intention in the world was to learn more, to do better, to seek out the truth, and the older I get, I realize that’s not the case with most people. They’re pretty content with the way things are and to just kind of live day by day.
    • DVD commentary for the song "3 Libras"
  • Has anyone ever loved you so much that they tried to kill you, or perhaps sucked you down into a hole so that you had to kill them to get away? Yeah, me neither.
    • Introducing the song "Pushit"
  • So, any of you ever watch those Warner Brothers cartoons? Sometimes there's that one where the guy's having a tough time making a decision, he's got an angel on one shoulder, a devil on the other. It seems pretty obvious right? Usually the angel's the one that's going to give the good advice, and the devil's trying to get him to do what's going to be bad for him. It's not always that simple though. Most times they're not really angels or devils, they're just friends, giving you advice, looking out for your best interests but not really understanding what's going to be best for you, so it kind of comes down to you. You have to make the decision yourself.
    • Introducing the song "H"
  • I want you to take these feelings you are having right now... I want you to take these feelings, and in the coming weeks... turn them into something positive.
    • Introducing the song "Lateralus"
  • If you look at the cycles of the moon, it starts as a thin crescent and then gradually waxes until it becomes full; then it gradually wanes back into another crescent and then it is gone. The moon reflects sunlight like humans reflect information. We wax and wane and when we become full moons, our egos are full. We think we have this knowledge when in fact, the information we have is pure. And how it reflects or shines off of us, is something we take credit for as though the moon could take credit for its brightness when, in fact, it is only reflecting light from the sun. We have to understand that we are ego-less just as the moon is without light. It and we are simply reflectors. The ego is not responsible for the information. It can reflect the information in creative ways, but the information itself is pure.
    • On the song "Reflection"
  • That was a love song. This is a love song too. It's called: Rocking Hole - Yeah, yeah, yeah.
    • (08.01.92 - Phoenix, AZ, USA)
  • Hi - we're Tool, we're from Los Angeles, CA and we have one mission and that is to make the world a better place to live in. So, what I'd like you to do now, I want you, you completely intellectually-inept Beavis & Butthead lovers, I want you to turn to those punk-rock haircut dudes & you punk-rock haircut dudes I want you to turn to those happy, savvy, fucking dead-head hippie fucks, I want you all to give each other a big sloppy kiss & say: "I forgive you for being a fucking idiot! thank you, goodnight... so, you want us to play? We're the headliner's - so shut up!
    • (12.11.93 - Santa Ana, CA, USA)
  • So, uh, after the show, we're going to have a moustache-camaro contest, that's a moustache-camaro contest in the back, so all you young boys with too much energy can show up back there. I'm going to be honest with you, ok? I think, uh, this entire world revolves around honesty and taking risks so I'm just going to go ahead and do that. It were raining someplace and you were there, I wouldn't pay money to come and see you.
    • (05.28.94 - Bremerton, WA)
  • This is Easter, I think, isn't it? So, this is the day they nail that meat on a stick or is that another day? I don't know. Decent meals are hard to find on a day like this. That's shit. We're going to get some Chinese food later, yeah, believe that shit.
    • (04.16.95 - Melbourne, Australia)
  • People keep asking us where Paul is. That's a really funny question. See, if Paul was still in the band then we wouldn't have a new fucking record. That's why Paul isn't in the band anymore.
    • (10.21.96 - San Francisco, CA, USA)
  • So, I'd like to clear up a little misconception about the band if I could. A lot of people think that just because there's a lot of energy coming from off the stage like this that we're all about hate, violence and stuff like that. And that's just not the case. We're about a lot of things; unity, evolving thoughts and ideas, choosing compassion over fear, emotional, and, uh, anger. Which is ok. Anger is constructive, unlike hate - that is destructive.
    • (04.11.97 - Sydney, Australia)
  • Can ya feel it? Can I get a hallehuiah? Can I get an amen? Can I get a Jesus Fucking Chrissssst!? Turn with me, if you will, with your Bible's, I know you all have them. The Lord Almighty says, 'I will punish you, Ænima, I will strip you naked and & let the nations see you - see you in all your shame. What God is trying to say here is that you're wearing too many clothes. You need to take off some of your clothes & start fucking. Creative energy. Grab a pole, fill a hole. A Holy hole & a Holy pole. Tug & plug... Praise God!
    • (08.01.98 - Raleigh, NC, USA))
  • Are you happy? On three, can I get a big fat yes? One, two, three! How about in French, which is 'oui', in case you didn't know that. One, two, three! And in Spanish, 'si'. One, two, three!
    • (10.10.99 - Indio, CA, USA)
  • I'm assuming that everyone here would like to get home safely. So, we need the crowd, up in the front, to take two steps back. Two steps back. Two steps back. Now, add two more steps, four steps back. One more, five steps back. Two steps. Five steps. Good move. We are the 'Scottville Clown Band', thank you very much for coming.
    • (09.13.01 - Grand Rapids, MI, USA)
  • Good evening Long Beach. We assume you've come to have fun. We assume you've come to have fun. if you don't mind, we're gonna specify what kind of fun we have in mind. Not the, uh, not the WWF-MTV-dry-hump-dipshits gone wild on crack kind of fun. And of course, not the dick-Durst, Kid Cock, big-time Monster Truck Rally kind of fun either because we aren't going to under-estimate your intelligence. The kind of fun we have in mind tonight is intelligent fun, compassionate fun, psychadelic & introspective fun. Hopefully, the kind of fun that leaves you inspired, not just on a physical/sensual level but also on a mental/spiritual level. The kind of fun that scares the fuck out of religious fanatics and Republicans. In other words, dangerous fun. So, are you ready for that? Ok. Where were we?
    • (11.24.02 - Long Beach, CA, USA)
  • Who wants pizza?....I want waffles.... We got a new album's called 10,000 Days. Buy it so I can afford waffles.
    • Introducing "Jambi"

On Tool's Influence

  • I don't really see the connection. Because there is some intensity in some of our songs, I think these bands pick up the surface noise, and that's their influence. [...] When I hear these loud, goofy posturing idiots jumping up and down, more concerned about their hairdos than their music, it's just we don't do that, what am I missing? There's nothing to the music that moves me, or compels me to want to sit down and listen to it, which is unfortunate. Maybe I'm just a cynical old bastard.


  • Ignorant heterosexuals are right to fear the gay community. They are the future. Our future. The next step in our evolution.
  • Hold on just a second,we're going to turn those frowns upside-down. Let's pretend that we're having deviant sex, and im peeing in your mouths.
    • On the rain at the concert (9.28.06 - Camden, NJ Tweeter Centre)
  • Go home and have sex with a condom, its not the law...just a suggestion.
    • (10-7-06 Long Island, NY)
  • For those of you out there who can see it, there is a huge gap between between us and you. And the reason for this is this a historic landmark. This is where Moses led his people to the promised land. Right here. A land where every home has cable TV and there’s a Starbucks on every corner. Hallelujah.
    • (8-26-98 San Jose, CA)
  • I notice you people weren’t naked and fucking. That’s a problem. If you’re too intimidated or just too damn ugly to find a partner, do it yourself.
    • (8-26-98 San Jose, CA)
  • I want to have a threesome with Rupert Murdoch and George Bush Jr.
    • (5-8-06 Dallas, TX)

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