Tool singer Maynard James Keenan reacted to Axl Rose and Guns N’ Roses being called ‘hair metal’ in a new interview on the Joe Rogan Experience. Maynard recently detailed feeling hurt badly on Tool’s last tour.
Joe Rogan: Do you remember when ‘Jump’ came out and everyone was like, ‘What the fuck has happened to Van Halen?! Have they lost their mind?!’ Meanwhile, one of the biggest songs they’ve put out, a massive, super-blockbuster!
Maynard James Keenan: I remember living in Boston, we had the classic rock station, I think it was BCN, this was in ’87 or ’88, and I remember people losing their shit because they tried playing Van Halen on that station.
Joe: ‘That’s not classic rock, bro!’ They were very adamant about Van Halen, like, No, no, no, Van Halen is a hair-band, it’s a glam-rock thing!’
Yeah, there was a real resistance to hair metal when those bands came around. Even Guns N’ Roses, people put into the hair-band category. And I’m like splitting hairs – it’s hardly hair-band music, like, ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine,’ ‘Welcome to the Jungle’ – these are fucking great songs! I understand what people think, but hair bands to me are like a piece of candy, whereas Guns N’ Roses have put up some fine meals, they were well-crafted pieces. I don’t want to name some bands, but those bands with eyelash extensions and fucking crazy hair…
“Bowie! But no one is giving him shit.”
Maynard: Yeah, Bowie, good point! But no giving him shit.
Ultimate-Guitar transcribed Maynard’s comments. Tool released their latest album Fear Inoculum last year, embarking on a massive tour until the pandemic stopped it early in March. Keenan will soon release a new album called Existential Reckoning with Puscifer.
Guns N’ Roses were rumored to release a new album this year, but they have been on hiatus since the pandemic, though they had plans to tour North American stadiums this past summer with The Smashing Pumpkins. Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators have confirmed that they will release a new album next year, following up 2018’s Living the Dream.