When asked about Tool’s commercial success, Maynard James Keenan discussed Nirvana and the Grunge explosion in a new Yahoo interview.
Surely your ideas and your creativity were a major part of your success.
But it could be just circumstances. It just happened to be a perfect time for Nirvana to emerge ‘cause people were tired of hair bands. I don’t know. It might have had nothing to do with Nirvana. It was just timing. I’m not taking anything away from any of the musicians that were on those waves that were about to crest. All due respect to all of those musicians, but I feel that the problem then is that generally those musicians feel like they actually created the wave, when they were just on it and were prepared as it crested. That starts to be the poison.
Do you think as an artist, the forethought you’ve put into your actions helped you rise to the crest of that wave?
I would love to take credit for that statement. Hell, yeah. That’s me… No, that’s totally not me… I guess it could be perceived as calculated, but a lot of it really is following instincts and flying by the seat of your pants, and then when it works out you point backwards and go, “Yeah, I meant to do that.” From my perspective, that’s what it feels like. With hindsight, when you’re looking at it, it looks like it was calculated. But I think a lot of those things that appear to be calculated, there’s no way, standing in the shoes you’re in and you’re about to take that step, you truly know what’s gonna happen. It really is more like, “Well, I’m just gonna jump.”