Tool’s Maynard James Keenan on Police Brutality and Snowflake Culture: “Don’t Believe the Hype, Dumb-Dumbs, We’re All in This Together.”
5/30/17, 9:47 pm EDT
By John Corry, photo by Thyrd Eye Photography
Never one to shy away from consistent awe-inspiring levels of attention and star-power, Tool frontman/vocalist/lyricist Maynard James Keenan had some potent bipartisan words for disdainers of logic at said band’s headlining appearance at the Boston Calling Festival Sunday night.
“As artists, we interpret and report, that’s our job. We are merchants of emotion. We have the privilege to do that because of active and former law enforcement and military defending our right to do so,” Maynard said, to get on to the kicker: “To those of you who are law enforcement and military, your job is to defend our right to act like whining, entitled snowflake assholes, myself being one. Snowflakes, your job is to respect them doing that for you. Divided we fall. Don’t believe the hype, dumb-dumbs, we’re all in this together.”
While this may be an obvious redirecting, taken advantage of by everybody from Tiger Woods to Anthony Weiner, to avoid talking about the only thing anyone should ever fucking care about (the new Tool album ($)) #BelieveTheHype , the rant comes at an interesting time in American pop culture/politics. Regardless of one’s political views or what one may define oneself as, politically or otherwise, both the issues of law enforcement/military and the right to emotional sovereignty are issues of great importance at this point in time, for a number of reasons, so it’s nice to hear the views of a relatively ‘legendary’ artistic figure with a long history of bipartisan controversy speak his mind. If there’s one guy (or girl? (Kathy Griffin?)) who’s fought for thought and emotional rights and balances through the back of his own responsibility and hard-won status, it’s Maynard James Keenan (Eminem? #WhoSpeaksInAbsolutes? #ArtDoesNeedFocus )
Maynard grew up in Ohio, served in the military for several years after high school and attributes much of his later successes to many of the things he learned throughout his experiences there. As for his artistic endeavors, his bands Puscifer and A Perfect Circle have become internationally known, while his most successful band, Tool, has become one of the very few bands to survive the nineties and not sell out. The duality of these two distinct and, politically speaking, (at least in super-fucking-duper divided ‘Trump’s America’, that is #WereWeDividedBefore? ) opposing mindsets, makes for a unique philosophical understanding of what Maynard might be trying to say here, one that can’t be grasped without at least attempting to let go of one’s personal preferences and biases, and recognizing that despite what your favorite YouTube stars may say, you, and admittedly they, do not know everything (sorry :/ #MaybeTryDoingYourOwnThinking? ). (I say this with great regret :(.)
Clearly, Maynard thinks more like an artist than he does a hard-assed military man. In an interview with Rolling Stone promoting his recently released biography, A Perfect Union of Contrary Things, Maynard said: “Of course, you know the big pick-up we usually see when it comes to military is of course the entire globalization and our invasion of other areas for our own interests. That’s not really what I embraced about the military. What I embraced about the military is that that warrior’s mindset that you’re competing against yourself and just understanding that you have to be able to get into the mindset in certain situations. But at the end of the day, you’re competing against yourself.”
Perhaps this clarifies the thought that Maynard considers himself a ‘snowflake’ #TheMostOffensiveInsultInTheWorld and even understands the never-ending battle against one’s inner demons as juxtaposed with the need to grow as a human, and let others grow as well, within the context that is the recognition that we all need to grow? Perhaps this tells us that even the great, unchanging, always-standing-by-his-morals ‘Lord of the Philosophical Spirit’ Maynard James Keenan is finally selling out, and just stating his opinion as if randomly stating one’s opinion is the only thing worth doing anymore #TheNewWarriorMentality ; or maybe this is a just a simple quote from a simple man #Simple=Complex? (I mean, you can’t have one without the other, similar to the black-white/up-down paradox), using his various experiences throughout life–regardless of the political implications–to say something that somebody might get something out of, even if that person is only one person.
Just imagine what ‘art’ could do #‘Art’IsBullshitAnywayXD , if people stopped making it about ‘what ‘art’ is’, and how it relates to everything outside of the undefined, always-changing Individual, and started thinking more about how it affects competition between different people, and where that starts, evolves, and projects outward #InConstantCompetitionWithYourself .
Important Note: My favorite Tool song is ‘Hooker with a Penis’. It is because of this song that I do not care that Tool has not released a new album in ten years, for a multitude of reasons (one reason: they have a lot of good songs, dude, like, get over it).