Forty six & 2 (plus 12): Maynard James Keenan turns 60

Gregg DeGuire/FilmMagic

If you multiply the number of bands Maynard James Keenan fronts by 20, that’s how old he is now.

The Tool/A Perfect Circle/Puscifer singer was born April 17, 1964, 60 years ago Wednesday.

Before becoming one of rock’s most celebrated and enigmatic vocalists, Keenan was set to become a military man. He enlisted in the Army in the early ’80s and was invited to attend West Point before deciding the soldier life was not for him. Eventually he made his way to Los Angeles, where he got involved in the local music scene.

In LA, Keenan met Tom Morello and was close to becoming the singer of his band, Rage Against the Machine. Instead, he linked up with another guitarist, Adam Jones, to form Tool.

Tool released their debut album, Undertow, in 1993 and earned fans with its complex, progressive music and Keenan’s obscure lyrics. They followed Undertow with 1996’s Ænima and 2001’s Lateralus, all of which were certified triple Platinum by the RIAA.

In between, Keenan formed A Perfect Circle with guitarist Billy Howerdel and later created Puscifer as a solo project of sorts.

Tool put out their fourth album, 10,000 Days, in 2006, but didn’t release a follow-up until 13 years later with 2019’s Fear Inoculum. The long wait between records was filled with many false starts and unrealized promises, and became a meme among fans.

Keenan also became known for his interests outside of music, including wine making and martial arts. He recently shared that Mike Tyson had been training at his Verde Valley BJJ school in Arizona.

Keenan is celebrating his birthday on the ongoing Sessanta tour, which features A Perfect Circle and Puscifer, as well as Primus.

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