TOOL’s Maynard Keenan Breaks on His Touring Life: “You wake up exhausted” – 2022 – Interview

Maynard J Keenan:

The Maynard James Keenan Interview

An excerpt from the interview can be found below.


Life on the Road:

Maynard J Keenan:

You are only technically working two to three hours a night, but, for me, that’s not the case. I’m preparing my body for two days from now, based on what I’m eating, based on my sleep regimen, not going out, going out. You’ve got to remember, your average day on the road, you’re going to be waking up at 10 AM, kind of, because you’re traveling. I have to prepare.

Right away, I have to figure out what I’m having that morning to start my day. Is it going to be a walk? Is it going to be yoga? Is it going to be jujutsu? You have to prepare for soundcheck, and that tunes you to the room, tunes you to the space.

Then after that, again, some kind of training to prepare for that night. Again, if it’s a walk, yoga, jujutsu, if it’s muay Thai, something to prepare for that night.

Then I have to eat, either at 3 PM, or not until 11:30 PM. I can’t eat too close to the show because I’m carrying it around, and you risk reflux. Now you’ve compromised your voice for the next three shows. So, I have to eat early in the day. Knock that out, and then after the show (laughs)…you talk to any dieticians – you’re eating at 11:30 at night or midnight? What’s wrong with you? Now you are going to go to bed on a full stomach, which is terrible, but that’s when you get to eat. Otherwise, I’m not eating from 3 PM to 10 AM the next day. You have to time all that stuff, so you get it in.

Then you’re going to bed, usually on a bus. If you can imagine having a nice cozy bed, that’s not the bus. It’s not a cozy bed. But then having four weightlifters on each corner of the bed, shaking it while you’re trying to sleep. That’s bus life. You wake up exhausted. Did we go through a corn field last night? You just have to get an extra half-hour of quiet, solid sleep. On your days off, go to bed. That’s it, go to bed. Don’t do anything, maybe a little workout. Don’t eat anything heavy.

Guitar players/drummers, they don’t have to worry about these things.

No, because they don’t have this delicate set of vocal cords that can be damaged and then the show’s gone. But guitar players and drummers, if they mess around and break a finger because they’re being flippant, then, yeah, the show’s compromised. So, it’s similar, but it’s not as vulnerable as the vocal cords when it comes to diet and sleep because sleep is a huge piece of the puzzle.