On episode 986 of The Joe Rogan Experience, Maynard James Keenan finally revealed why there’s been such a delay in getting new Tool and A Perfect Circle albums to the fans. Keenan noted his three Tool bandmates’ “tedious” process and the frustration he’s felt when Tool’s instrumental section constantly change the foundation of the material in development.

This is the most open Maynard has been about a new Tool album in over a decade, likely because he’s a good friend of podcast host Joe Rogan. “Their process is very analytical and I think, at some point, because so much time has gone by since the last album, there’s got to be a little fear in here,” Keenan says. “’Is this record going to be as good as the last one?’ Now the pressure is huge, so I’m sure some of that goes into play.”

The frontman continues, “As far as the way Danny and Justin and Adam write, it’s a very tedious, long process. They’re always going back over things and questioning what they did and stepping back and going back farther and going forward and, in a way, they’re laying a foundation, they’re putting in the footings for a house. I can’t write melodies until the footings are in place, I can’t write words until the melodies are in place.”

Maynard describes how he’s actually written his parts to a few songs, only for the band to completely switch around the underlying composition. “I’ve had instances where I’ve started to write stuff, and by the time I actually got it around and back and actually listening and whatever, the song had gone in a completely different direction,” Maynard shares. “So everything that written melody wise or lyric wise was completely irrelevant now, and I have to start over … I mean, I can sit there in that room, and be with them in that room, but their process is so tedious and so ‘Rain Man,’ that I just can’t, I just start f—king folding in on myself. ‘I’ll be right back, I’ve got to go take 5 years to plant a vineyard, because you’ll still be right where you were when I left.’ But it’s a great thing, what they’re doing is wonderful.”

As for A Perfect Circle, Maynard describes a similar situation with guitarist and songwriter Billy Howerdel. “He gets a little forest through the trees sometimes, and I’m the guy going: ‘Step back, look at it,’” Keenan says. “Then I’m out the door, the poor guy is going: ‘Where did you go?’”

The entire conversation between Rogan and Keenan is fascinating, so check out the full Joe Rogan Experience episode above. The Tool / A Perfect Circle conversation begins at around 1:22:50.

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