Maynard James Keenan ‘Falls Apart’ On Tool Song


Tool producer Joe Baressi discussed being on the verge of an ’emotional breakdown’ while recording 10,000 Days in a new Dean Delray interview. A previous quote from Maynard James Keenan also surfaced about ‘falling apart’ recording “Wings For Marie.”

Maynard previously stated about the heartbreaking song, “I think probably the stupidest thing I could have done on ‘10,000 Days’ was put myself out there as much as I did with the tracks ‘Wings for Marie (Part 1)’ and ‘10,000 Days (Wings Part 2).’

“I’ll never make that mistake again. It just took too much out of me – too much emotionally, mentally, physically – all those manifestations. Those songs were exploited and misconstrued, people were flippant and dismissive. I won’t be doing that anymore.

“And technically, ‘Wings’ is very difficult to pull off. If any one of us is off, it falls apart and makes that thing tragic, and that’s not a good song for me to have fall apart. It’s just too personal.”

Joe now said, “I saw him [Maynard] in the studio when he sang ‘Wings for Marie,’ about his mom, on ‘10,000 days.’ I was on the verge of an emotional breakdown at that point.

“It’s very rare in the studio. You try to get the vibe right and you have the singer sing, and a lot of times you get an amazing performance but sometimes singers go in thinking, ‘I’ll just do it five or six times and we’ll comp it.’

“But he sang that song and you could tell he was drained because it meant so much to him, and I was listening to the lyrics and what he’s singing and how he’s singing it…”

Joe also discussed Maynard’s recording microphones, “On ‘10,000 days,’ he was using a Sound Deluxe mic – it’s a tube mic but he loved to hold it, and that’s not normal in a studio. But it’s not very physical or emotional to stand in front of a microphone and sing either.

“So we would wrap the microphone up in foam, and he would perform with it, and he had a mic stand, he could hold the mic stand and do whatever, but he was definitely emotional and physical when he sang it.

“On ‘Fear Inoculum,’ I drove to Arizona and we set up a couple of mikes in his room, so I’d have little stations, and this would be his Blue microphone, it would be a super, intimate, clean vocal sound.

“And then I’d have my 67 somewhere through another vocal chain, and a Soyuz tube mic for another vocal chain, and an SM7 for another vocal chain, and some handheld through a distortion pedal through a guitar amp, or the megaphone.

“And so, a lot of times I’ll just double it through that, or move over there, and grab some ambiance from here…

“And so a lot of the shit, like in ‘Tempest,’ you can hear where he says fuck, and it’s ambient, that’s just his room, there’s no reverb on him, that’s just a different take with him, a different microphone in the room open. So it was kind of cool like that.” Ultimate-Guitar transcribed his comments.