Maynard James Keenan addresses Tool album delay: “I can’t write words until the melodies are in place”

Steven Ferdman/Getty ImagesMaynard James Keenan has opened up about the long wait for a new Tool album. In a surprisingly frank interview on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast, Keenan describes how the enigmatic band’s writing process contributes to the delay.

“As far as the way that [drummer] Danny [Carey] and [guitarist] Adam [Jones] and [bassist] Justin [Chancellor] write, it’s a very tedious, long process,” Keenan explains. “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, it’s like 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,” he continues. “I can’t write words until the melodies are in place.”  Keenan adds that he’s written melodies for a few songs, only to find the rest of the band had drastically changed the tracks.

“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,” he says. “So everything that was written melody-wise or lyric-wise is completely irrelevant now…I have to start over.”

While that may seem frustrating, Keenan describes that writing process as a “wonderful thing.”

“There’s no other way for them to do it,” he says.

Meanwhile, Chancellor recently said that the music on the album is “90 per cent there.” Tool’s last album, 10,000 Days, was released in 2006.

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