Tool Singer Maynard James Keenan Tells Sammy Hagar He Breathes In Odd Meter

By Andrew Magnotta @AndrewMagnotta

July 2, 2019

Tool and A Perfect Circle are two of the most unique-sounding rock bands of the last 30 years, and Maynard James Keenan recently offered Sammy Hagar some insight into why that is.

In a clip from an interview for Hagar's Rock & Roll Road Trip TV show, Hagar turns their discussion to songwriting, expressing bewilderment at how Keenan is able to write vocals accompanying such dynamic and rhythmically complex music in Tool and APC.

"Every time I listen to you phrasing, I'm sitting there going, 'Listen to this guy!'" Hagar tells Keenan. "You get words that work rhythmically, and they're so odd-ball, and you're saying something important... Is that a struggle for you?"

Keenan replied that his fit in both bands is a natural one, admitting he actually struggles writing over simple music because he body just doesn't groove that way.

"I remember running cross-country in high school, and everybody has their own breathing rhythms, right?" Keenan says. "But I found myself running, for the four years of high school, I actually had odd rhythms; it wasn't just in/out. I was actually running [and breathing] to the steps ... my breath would follow those rhythms, which is weird."

He continued, noting that he also gravitated towards unconventional music, citing artists like Joni Mitchell, Pink Floyd and King Crimson as having worked their way into his mix tapes at the time, along side 4/4 devotees AC/DC.

The new episode of Rock & Roll Road Trip airs on AXS TV this Sunday, July 7, at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.

Sammy Hagar & The Circle get back on the road in support of their debut studio album, Space Between, this August. Get all the tour dates here.

Tool revealed during a run of live dates this spring that its highly-anticipated fifth studio album — and first new album in 14 years — will be available August 30.

The band has yet to announce a tour in support of the forthcoming new album.

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