Tool’s Maynard James Keenan on the Success of Nirvana: “It Was Just Timing”

Besides calling out negative Tool fans and asking everyone to hold tight on the band’s new album, Tool frontman Maynard James Keenan has also been out promoting his new book A Perfect Union Contrary Things. And as Keenan so ten does, he’s now stirred the pot again in a new interview — this time by reflecting on the success Nirvana and the ’90s grunge era.

In a recent interview with Yahoo! Music, Keenan was asked about his views regarding the grunge explosion. Like it or not, here’s what he had to say:

But it could be just circumstances. It just happened to be a perfect time for Nirvana to emerge ’cause people were tired hair bands. I don’t know. It might have had nothing to do with Nirvana. It was just timing. I’m not taking anything away from any the musicians that were on those waves that were about to crest. All due respect to all those musicians, but I feel that the problem then is that generally those musicians feel like they actually created the wave, when they were just on it and were prepared as it crested. That starts to be the poison.

That said, when asked if he’s consciously tried to rise to the crest that wave, he replied with this:

I would love to take credit for that statement. Hell, yeah. That’s me… No, that’s totally not me… I guess it could be perceived as calculated, but a lot it really is following instincts and flying by the seat your pants, and then when it works out you point backwards and go, “Yeah, I meant to do that.” From my perspective, that’s what it feels like. With hindsight, when you’re looking at it, it looks like it was calculated. But I think a lot those things that appear to be calculated, there’s no way, standing in the shoes you’re in and you’re about to take that step, you truly know what’s gonna happen. It really is more like, “Well, I’m just gonna jump.”

You can read the full interview with Keenan over here. You can also check out Exclaim!’s review the new A Perfect Union Contrary Things over here.

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