Below is an excerpt from a new Phoenix New Times interview with Tool frontman Maynard James Keenan.
When you first started Caduceus Cellars and started to get your wine business off the ground, did it feel like you were shopping music to A&R reps when trying to find buyers?
It’s way worse. At least music is subjective and you can find an audience for it. With wine, there’s an army of people who think they know. And you’re up against people who are convinced they know, and if they realize they don’t know, their world falls apart. … It’s a struggle, and I thought for sure the nature of making wine and growing things would make this industry different.
You talk a little bit in the book about your sexual experiences with groupies and how at the time it seemed like the perfect thing to do but in the end proved unfulfilling. Do you ever feel like you were becoming the rock ‘n’ roll cliche that you hated?
Well, yeah. But you don’t care because you’re having fun. And then when you finally wake up you realize that this is not for me, this is not where I’m supposed to be, and this is not gonna help anyone.
The keyboard warriors on the internet got pissed off when you started A Perfect Circle and felt like you abandoned Tool. Did that bother you in the beginning, or did the fact that Mer De Noms was so well-received help you block them out?
I think at the end of the day as an artist, you just have to follow your heart. You have to figure out as a creative force that you create, that you do things. So for me just creating in general, no names attached to anything, I’m gonna create. I’m gonna do things. If the people I’m collaborating with have other things to do or we’re not lined up, I’m going to create something. I’m gonna go forward, no disrespect to anyone. I’m just going to move forward. I can’t really worry about what the world is gonna think about that.