Rock Legend Maynard James Keenan Of Tool Thinks It's A #Bummer Justin Bieber Likes His Music; Hailey Bieber Calls Him 'Childish'

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Who Is Maynard James Keenan? New Details On The Tool Frontman Who Slammed Justin Bieber And Is Now The Target Of Hailey Bieber's Wrath
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He's been calling out pop stars and fake musicians for longer than Justin and Hailey Bieber have been alive. Yet, when he did what he's done best for generations, Hailey Bieber took offense and got her feelings all bent out of shape. For the benefit of millennials and Gen Z-ers who believe that music made before the year 2010 is "irrelevant" and "old-head" stuff, let's look at what we know about this modern rock legend. Who is Maynard James Keenan?

 

1. He's the lead singer, songwriter, and producer of the influential industrial rock band, Tool.  

To describe Maynard James Keenan's extensive career in a paragraph would be nothing short of a Herculean task. He's predominantly known, of course, as being the lead singer, songwriter, and producer of the influential industrial rock act, Tool. They first came to prominence in 1991, when they signed with Zoo Entertainment. That same year, they released their debut EP, Opiate, and went on a nationwide tour with Fishbone and Rage Against The Machine in support of the album.

But Tool didn't break into the rock mainstream until 1993, when they released Undertow. The album was certified gold after just eight months, and platinum less than a year later. (Understand that this was a time prior to the Internet becoming as mainstream as it is today; there was no social media to make something "go viral," so for an album to reach gold, let alone platinum, status was no easy feat.) 

Their best-known studio album is, perhaps, 1996's Aenima. The album went gold in six weeks, was certified double platinum in ten months, and won the Grammy for Best Metal Performance in 1998. The hits from the album are a veritable OMG lineup of now-classic hits: "Stinkfist," the title track "Aenima," "Hooker with a Penis," and "Forty-Six & 2" are just four of the many songs that are part of what magazines like Rolling StoneGuitar Worldand Kerrang call "one of the most influential albums of all time."  

Keep the faith Tool fans — we'll get that new album soon enough. 

RELATED: Listening To Heavy Metal Music Actually Makes You Calmer

2. Maynard James Keenan also serves as the lead singer, songwriter, and producer of A Perfect Circle. 

While Maynard James Keenan's work in A Perfect Circle didn't have the cultural impact that his work in Tool had, it still produced two amazing albums: Mer de Noms, and Thirteenth Step, both of which were certified platinum. A Perfect Circle's best-known hits include "Judith," "Three Libras," and (this writer's personal favorite) "The Noose." 

In an interview with NME last year, Keenan said that if bands today hope to achieve the influence his own bands had, they needed to get away from social media and become more accountable for their art output. 

"With everything that’s happened with digital and social media, there’s an abundance of platforms for people to squeak,” he says, when asked about the idea of accountability, a theme running throughout ‘Eat The Elephant’ and a phrase that’s been shared countless times by the Californian in explaining his bands’ new songs, ever since its release into the world this past April. “What they’re squeaking about,” he continues, “always seems to be about what you’re doing wrong, rather than what they’re doing wrong. There’s little accountability. There’s little desire to look at themselves and ask what they’re contributing to make things better," he told the outlet.

3. Maynard James Keenan has long despised the "celebrity worship" culture.

Those of us who were alive and lucid in the 1990s and beyond — and who are familiar with Keenan and his work — know that it's no surprise that he scalped Justin Bieber. To be clear, the below tweet is what Maynard James Keenan said, in its entirety, when it was revealed that Justin Bieber was a Tool fan:

 To be fair, he was pretty easy on the "Baby" singer, even though his wife sniffed that his comments were "childish."

A shame that the #PickMe Queen was completely unaware of Keenan's history, because if she'd utilized the Internet Wayback Machine, she'd realize that Keenan has been dismissive of the cult of celebrity worship since the beginning of his career. Back in 2007, he told Spin Magazine that he'd run stalkers off his property with a paint gun, and in 2009, Debbie Jabbard of the now-defunct Canadian magazine, Voice, reported that Keenan openly and vocally despised "rock star groupies" — that is, women who acted "giggly," trying to impress him. 

Considering what Keenan has said in the past, it's amazing that one word was enough to set off Hailey Bieber. Then again, this generation is...well... "different." 

While they were whining, he was working, folks. 

RELATED: The Top 10 Love Songs For The Emo Kid In All Of Us

4. He's a well-known, and well-respected, philanthropist. 

Despite his self-proclaimed "curmudgeonly" ways, Maynard James Keenan is someone who volunteers his time and his money to philanthropic causes. 

In addition to performing at concerts for RAINN (The Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network) — for which Tori Amos said he was "like a brother to her" for his participation — he's also a long-time supporter of the Axis for Justice Network, a non-profit organization that brings musicians, fans of music and grassroots political organizations together to fight for social justice. Axis for Justice was founded by Tom Morello (of Rage Against the Machine) and Serj Tankian (of System of a Down), and is frequently cited as a forefather of today's social justice causes. 

So, in other words, Maynard James Keenan isn't a "keyboard warrior" or an "armchair activist" — he's the real deal. And he doesn't get involved in social justice causes for publicity, or to make up for the fact that he, for example, destroyed his neighbor's property or crashed his Lamborghini in Los Angeles while hanging out with questionable characters and acting a plum fool. Not that Justin Bieber would know anything about that, of course. [/snark]

There's more to Maynard James Keenan than meets the eye.

5. But Maynard James Keenan is not a fan of politics today — nor of the direction the United States is heading in.

In an interview with Britain's The Guardian, back in 2017, Keenan said that the United States, as a nation, is long overdue for a "fall," mostly because he hopes it's a humbling experience for its constituents. 

"Nobody’s coming to your rescue. If these things are true, all [the things] the doomsayers and all the naysayers are saying in the press about this presidency … you have to default back to what really matters, what truly keeps you connected, and learn how to not only survive yourself, but to help your neighbors survive,” he told the outlet, echoing the sentiments he'd shared in the hit song "Aenima" more than 20 years ago. 

6. Maynard James Keenan has enjoyed a "second career" as a winery owner. 

For more than 10 years, Maynard James Keenan has enjoyed a second career as the owner of Caduceus Cellars and Merkin Wines — whose wines, of course, have names that are familiar to Tool and A Perfect Circle fans, including "Nagual de Judith." (Judith is in honor of his mother, who died in 2003 due to complications from an aneurysm. She was also honored in the Tool songs "Jimmy" and "Wings de Marie," as she'd been suffering from health complications for most of Keenan's life.) He's also a partner in the Stronghold Vineyards, based in Arizona. Keenan's relatives made wine in Northern Italy, which is where he got the idea to become a wine entrepreneur, himself. 

So, let's not reduce this man's long, and storied, career into little more than a beef with a reviled pop tartlet and his famous-thanks-to-Hollywood-nepotism wife, shall we? 

Put some respect on Maynard James Keenan's name. 

 
Bernadette Giacomazzo is an editor, writer, and photographer whose work has appeared in People, Teen Vogue, Us Weekly, The Source, XXL, HipHopDX, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Post, and more. She is also the author of The Uprising series. For more information about Bernadette Giacomazzo, click here.

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