Tool Singer Admits To Stealing From Nine Inch Nails

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Tool frontman Maynard James Keenan recently talked about creative theft which has been around. It is noted that if it is done moderately – and consciously – it’s acceptable. A musician can draw inspiration from the art that is being “stolen” belongs to a similar tradition as one’s own.

Maynard James Keenan talks about stealing from Trent Reznor

Keenan talked about ahem, “borrowing” stuff from his A Perfect Circle bandmate Billy Howerdel’s former boss, especially given the visionary status that both Keenan and Trent Reznor enjoy in the milieu of ’90s alternative scene.

Speaking to Rick Beato in a new interview, Maynard gave a tongue-in-cheek justification for stealing from Nine Inch Nails’ 1999 double album “The Fragile” (among others). Arguing how he was actually stealing from “Reznor’s stolen goods,” Maynard says how the Nine Inch Nails stuff that A Perfect Circle heavily borrowed from wasn’t all original Trent Reznor either:

“Professionals steal, right? And so, really looking at the work of people like PJ Harvey, Trent [Reznor] on ‘The Fragile’ – he’s stealing shit all over that album, but I’m stealing from his stolen goods…

“I wanted to hear more space in some of the A Perfect Circle stuff. So going back to my original influences of The Swans’ early ‘Holy Money’ and ‘Greed’ albums, just the huge cavern of space that are in those albums. Simple rhythms, just primal in their approach.”

Speaking of the connection between Swans and APC, Keenan continued:

“I mean when you think of A Perfect Circle and Swans, they’re not the same thing. But logistically if you look at the waveforms on a screen of those songs, you see the space in ‘The Noose’ [song from APC’s sophomore LP ‘Thirteenth Step’] that might match the space on the screen of a Swans song.

“And that was the point of like leaving space, to let your brain keep going in the middle of the spaces.”