Maynard James Keenan

Maynard James Keenan


4/12/1963, Akron, Ohio

Birth Name

James Herbert Keenan



Also Known As

Maynard James Keenan
out of 10
User Rating
8 votes


No biography is available for Maynard James Keenan. Add a Biography


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • MJK met Tool drummer Danny Carey in Los Angeles when they were neighbors. Danny let Maynard and Adam use his practice space.

    • Maynard is rumored to reside near Sedona, Arizona.

    • MJK attended Brown Jr High and then Ravenna High school through the 10th grade until he moved to Michigan. There he attended Mason County Central High School in Scottville, MI.

    • By the time he entered the army in 1982, MJK had lived in Ohio, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Texas.

    • Keenan was engaged to Jennifer Breña Fergusson, however they broke up before marrying.

    • Maynard performed stand-up comedy on improv nights in comedy clubs in Los Angeles during the early-1990s. According to a friend of Bill Hicks, Keenan delivered "inspiring comedy."

    • Keenan was friends with legendary comedian Bill Hicks in the early-1990s.

    • Director David Fincher offered Keenan the lead role in Panic Room, however Maynard had to decline due to his commitments to Tool. The role eventually went to Dwight Yoakam.

    • On a Tonight Show with Jay Leno appearance with A Perfect Circle, Maynard wore a shirt with "I Love Brad Wilk" on it.

    • Keenan trains in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and is a purple belt under Rickson Gracie.

    • Maynard's mother, Judith Marie, passed away at the age of 59 of complications from the brain aneurysm she suffered 27 years earlier. The latter number sheds light on the meaning behind the title of the song "10,000 Days (Wings Pt 2)."

    • When he was eleven years old, Maynard's mother, Judith Marie, suffered a brain aneurysm, which resulted in partial paralysis. There are references to this event and her paralysis in the song "Judith" by A Perfect Circle, in the Tool song "jimmy," and more obviously, in the Tool song "10,000 Days (Wings Pt 2)."

    • Keenan plans to release a 2004 Nagual de la Naga and a 2004 Nagual del Sensei, as well as a new Primer Paso (all of which, of course, are wines) under his Caduceus Cellars trade name in 2006.

    • Keenan enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1982, where he began his three-year stint as a surveyer. In an interview, Maynard explained, "My job made sure tanks could pull into a position and know where they were in reference to who they were blowing up."

    • Maynard has cited his musical influences, among others, include: Aerosmith, AC/DC, Björk, Black Sabbath, the Jackson 5, Joni Mitchell, PJ Harvey, and Roberta Flack, .

    • In December 2005, Keenan introduced his own line of wines, "Cadecus Cellars & Merkin Vineyards." The website with details of these wines can be found at:

    • On Tool's 2001 tour, following the release of their highly praised and well-received album "Lateralus," Maynard started playing guitar - secondary to main guitarist Adam Jones - on several songs, including "Schism", "Disposition", "Reflection", and "Triad."

    • In an interview with NY Rock [magazine] in 2000, the subject of file-sharing and Napster arose, on which Maynard observed, "I think there are a lot of other industries out there that might deserve being destroyed. The ones who get hurt by MP3s are not so much companies or the business, but the artists, people who are trying to write songs."

    • On 1 April 2005, Maynard sent word via e-mail to his close friends and to MTV that he had "rediscovered Jesus" and that Tool would have to "take the backseat." A couple of days later, he clarified this as an "April Fool's" joke, something for which both Maynard and Tool have become known. The parody subject - "rediscovering Jesus" - was likely selected because of statements made by former KoRn guitarist Brian "Head" Welch, in which he discussed "re-discovering Jesus," a key reason for his departure from KoRn in March 2005.

    • Favorite color is blue.

    • Son, Devo, with Jennifer Breña Fergusson born on 5 August 1995.

    • When asked about writing lyrics for A Perfect Circle while touring with Tool, Maynard stated, "I found that you've got to either focus on one or the other. To me, playing piano is doing two things at once because you're using two hands. I can't even walk and chew gum. So writing while I'm touring with another band is impossible and it was making me crazy."

    • Neither Tool nor A Perfect Circle include lyrics in their CD sleeves. Of this, Maynard has stated this is, "because I think reading is a thinking process, and I would prefer that people FEEL the album first, and just let it sink in because you might get something out of the music that you might not get from thinking about it, and watching the words go by."

    • Keenan had a small role in the obscure movie "Bikini Bandits Go To Hell," in which he played Satan.

    • Tool, one of the bands for which Maynard is a frontman, is a reference to Keenan's days in the military. A "tool" is a term used at West Point Military Academy to describe someone who follows rules and regulations to the letter, simply because they are rules. Tools do not think for themselves and as a result, are often manipulated into doing the dirty work of others.

    • Maynard is also interested in subjects such as "The Egyptian Book of the Dead," Area 51, Roswell, NM, and other sci-fi topics.

    • Of interpreting Tool's lyrics, Maynard says, "There are diverse ways in which people can interpret art and lyrics and draw them into their own experiences. Our lyrics are heavily layered."

    • With respect to wearing wigs and dresses on stage, Maynard says, "That started when I had a son. That's the main reason for the makeup, the wigs, the bras, whatever you've seen in the past with Tool. I just like the incognito aspect, because now I can wander around even where I live and not really be hassled too much. I just think it's really unfair for my child to have to be victimized by my career — you know, here you are signing autographs in the 7-11."

    • Outside of music, Maynard says his hobbies include: "Living life. Trying to learn how to cook better and bake better and read some books."

    • Maynard said he enjoyed reading John Crowley and Isaac Asimov as a youth.

    • In an interview, Maynard once commented, "Life is to be revered. Few people take the time to realize how valuable their experiences are at any given time in their lives because we can be snuffed out in the next minute."

    • Maynard, and the other members of Tool, rarely give interviews. In fact, a search of the Lexis-Nexis database returns an average of just two Keenan interviews a year since Tool's first album, Opiate [EP], was released in 1992.

    • Maynard was friends with actress Gillian Anderson while he was at Kendall College of Art & Design.

    • Maynard's father is a retired high school teacher from Mason County Central High School in Scottville, Michigan.

    • While attending West Point Military Academy from 1983 to 1984, Maynard was a member of the cross-country and wrestling teams, the glee club, and the 'Knight Crier', which was the school newspaper.

    • Maynard was born to a Baptist family and grew up with an older sister in Ravenna, Ohio, described by one of its residents as a "lower middle class town with no purpose."

    • Maynard was good friends with the late Alice in Chains frontman Layne Staley, who died on 5 April 2002.

    • Mocking the flurry of "Free ___" benefit shows that were taking place at the time, Maynard created a "Free Frances Bean" (daughter of Courtney Love and the late Kurt Cobain) t-shirt in 1996 as a joke.

    • Before the formation of the band Tool, Maynard was in two other bands: Children of the Anachronistic Dynasty and The TexAns.

    • Maynard is a wine connoisseur and owns over 2000 bottles of wine.

  • Quotes

    • Maynard James Keenan: Springfield, Missouri: the buckle of the Bible belt. Unbuckle the belt, take off your pants, and drive drunk (during a concert, Springfield, MO, 8 March 1997).

    • Maynard James Keenan: Maybe we should have prefaced the show. You know a lot of people get the wrong idea when it comes to the message of our music. Do you know the difference between compassion and fear? Progression and stagnation? Quit beating on each other (Directed toward persons in the audience who were violently "moshing"; Boise, ID, 16 August 1998).

    • Maynard James Keenan: Religion, TV, and media...have powerful effects on the way people see the world. When we're on the tour bus traveling from city to city, we have a Play Station 2. When I play [a game called] Quake 3 for a few days, I find it impedes with my ability to relate to people. So media in its various forms does, to some degree, affect the way in which we interact with one another. I have to deliberately separate myself from this game and the real world. Lately, the media has turned us into suspicious Americans. The media has generated enough fear to allow Congress to give the cops permission to check our colons whenever they want to. (On the greatest injustices in the world right now; from a 2001 interview)

    • Maynard James Keenan: I think [the situation in America] is going to have to come to a head, because it's gone so far, and the people that have been duped are embarrassed, but they're not going to do anything about it. They're going to toe the line just to see if it pans out in their direction so they can say, "See, I was right." It really is imploding; it's getting nuts everywhere — and it's this crazy nationwide, if not global, push for this polarizing religious fanaticism that's just infecting everything. I mean one of the Baldwin brothers is now preaching. Jesus f--king Christ! (from a 2006 Interview)

    • Maynard James Keenan: I think it's really important for people who have some kind of access to this industry, or some kind of success, to understand that this is not the real world. If you really want your children to grow up in a stable environment that's going to foster actual skills that will translate globally, you can't do it [in L.A.]. Either that or you have to put them in a situation where they're going to grow up in a different way (After being asked what sort of values MJK wants to pass down to his son, Devo).

    • Maynard James Keenan: We just released our new album and I want everyone to go buy a copy because I want to add another wing to my vinyard. (during the Tool concert at Detroit, MI on 15 May 2006)

    • Maynard James Keenan: Sorry about the ticket scalpers. I suggest you scalp them back. Not literally though, I could get into legal trouble for saying that. (during Tool's show at Kansas City, MO on 11 May 2006)

    • Maynard James Keenan: Welcome to our first show in many years. We wanted to take it down a notch, keep it all small and intimate, invite a few friends. Welcome... But you, dude. You need to put your f---ing clothes back on. You're bumming me out. Got lost on the way to Burning Man. (just before Tool played "Jambi" at the 2006 Coachella Festival)

    • Maynard James Keenan: The guys (the other three members of the band Tool) know that I've gotta be in Arizona for the harvesting and processing, and then I'll need to be back there again for the bottling. We'll be working our 2006 touring schedule around it.