Tool Singer Maynard James Keenan Names the Song New Fans Need to Hear


Press photo of prog-metal band Tool.

Tool – Story by Cat Badra, photo by Travis Shinn

What’s the “gateway song” that new Tool listeners should listen to before anything else? Maynard James Keenan answers

Tool has a massive worldwide following, and it’s hard to believe there’s a rock fan out there that hasn’t heard songs such as “Sober” and “Schism.” If you’ve never heard any Tool music, vocalist Maynard James Keenan has a suggestion, as he recently named the Tool song that new listeners should listen to before anything else.

Tool got their start in the 1990s, so one would think that Keenan’s pick would be an early Tool song, but it’s not. In a new interview with BBC Radio 1 Rock Show host Daniel P. Carter, Keenen revealed that that new, prospective fans should start with “The Pot” from the band’s 2006 album, “10,000 Days.”

“To me, that’s one of the examples of some of our earlier energy blending perfectly with our more mature energy and kind of nods to our influences over the year,” Keenan said on the show. “I feel like we really kind of struggle to make sure that all four of us shine as best we can on everything we do, to exhaustion. But I feel like this one is one of the one’s that felt, not effortless, but fresh and conscious consciously effortless, if that makes sense? It just captures that vibe that I think.”

He continued, “If you’re gonna play a song for people to kind of get them into our band, I don’t think you should start with the 27-minute one. Calm down. Don’t get all QAnon on us. Focus on ‘The Pot,’ that will be the introduction to all the other possibilities that happen in this project.”

“The Pot” is one of Tool’s most popular songs, so it makes sense that it’s Keenan favorite. The track shot to No. 1 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Chart in 2006 and also reached No. 5 for Alternative Airplay. “The Pot” also scored a Grammy nomination for Best Hard Rock Performance in 2008.

In other news, Tool are lining up shows for 2022. The band will being their latest North American tour starting Jan. 10 in Eugene, Oregon, and the trek is scheduled to run into March. Following the U.S. shows, the band will hit Europe beginning in April. See 2022 tour dates for Tool here.

Cat Badra
Posted by Cat Badra | Metal, Music, Rock, Rock News

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