Maynard James Keenan Reveals Why He Takes Deaths Like Chris Cornell ‘Pretty Seriously’


In a new interview with Rolling Stone, Tool and A Perfect Circle frontman Maynard James Keenan was asked about referencing recently deceased celebrities on A Perfect Circle’s new song “So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish.”

The song references the deaths of Muhammad Ali, Carrie Fisher and David Bowie. Many celebrities have died in the last couple of years especially in rock music, with Chris Cornell, Chester Bennington, and Tom Petty dying in 2017.

“I think it was a big curveball for a lot of people to have that concentration of celebrities, people that are iconic, exit. I’m sure it’s happened in prior generations – all of a sudden, an exodus – but the immediacy of social media made it more impactful with more of a rapid fire to be able to see that list every day of people that you were familiar with over the years passing. And at the age of 53, you start to take it pretty seriously.”

He was then asked if he has taken any of these deaths particularly hard personally.

“Not necessarily hard. I mean, that’s life. It is temporary. It’s always been something that I’ve embraced. But you only have so much time, do stuff with it. When all those people are leaving, I guess it’s a good opportunity to remind people of that: Pay attention.”

Keenan discussed the deaths of Chris Cornell, David Bowie, and Alan Rickman in a recent Revolver video.

“Understand that you are on your fucking own, you are alone, do what makes you feel like you’re successful, or at least setting up the next level of okay, I’ve reached that understanding, now let’s go to the next level. Big fan of Chris Cornell, when was the last time, did you think about Chris Cornell this week? I didn’t. I loved the guy. Alan Rickman, David Bowie, there’s a bunch of posts on Facebook, and then you go about your way.

That’s what’s going to happen to you by the way, people are going to be upset that you’re gone, and then they’re going to move the fuck on with their lives. So be happy with what your decisions are, you are on your own, you don’t owe anybody anything. But if you’re doing your job and you’re doing it accurately enough and you’re expressing from the heart, from the core, from your experiences and intuition, it’s going to resonate with other people.

They’re going to get something out of it, their day might go better because of your true honest approach to what you’re doing. You’re going to help other people, you’re going to help yourself, you’re going to help your family. But just understand at the end of the day, nobody owes you as an artist any kind of accolades. You don’t owe them anything, they don’t owe you anything. You’re just doing.”