When Tool took more than a decade to release Fear Inoculum following 2006’s 10,000 Days, it became a running joke that fans didn’t think it would actually take 10,000 days until the band released a new album. If it had, that would have been more than 27 years, so at least we didn’t have to wait that long.
Still, there was a noticeable hiatus between Tool albums. Frontman Maynard James Keenan recently spoke with Rick Beato about the break between records and noted that it’s frustrating that Tool’s creative process can be as slow as a tortoise. That said, the upside is that it allows him time to work on other creative projects. After all, Keenan also fronts two other bands: A Perfect Circle and Puscifer.
“The guys in Tool, they just take longer to process information and get it together and present me something that I can start building on,” Keenan said in the interview. “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 change the foundation. If I’m trying to decorate the house and then you move where the doors are or the windows or add a floor, I gotta start over, as an interior decorator. I have to wait for them to do it, so there’s time. I have time to do all these other things in between because I can and I should.”
Keenan added that you can’t really rush the creative process.
“One could argue a little bit of discipline and a little prodding, a little cattle prod or a taser would help move these guys along a little faster, but that’s their process, you just have to kind of respect it,” Keenan said. “It’s frustrating. I’m sure they’re frustrated with me because they hand it to me and I’m like, ‘It’s done.’ [They’re] like, ‘You didn’t take any time with it?’ Yes, I took 50 years 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 — on all the songs, on all the projects.”
View the full interview below.