Maynard James Keenan Talks Running's Impact on "Odd" Vocal Rhythms With Sammy Hagar | Revolver

Maynard James Keenan Talks Running's Impact on "Odd" Vocal Rhythms With Sammy Hagar

Tool frontman reveals high school roots of "strange" time-signature singing in new 'Rock & Roll Road Show' clip with former Van Halen vocalist

In a new episode of his Rock & Roll Road Trip With Sammy Hagar, the former Van Halen singer travels to Jerome, Arizona to meet up with Tool, A Perfect Circle, and Puscifer frontman Maynard James Keenan at Keenan's Caduceus Cellars winery. The two have a sit-down and bring up Keenan's off-kilter sense of songwriting and where that penchant for unusual time signatures began. 

"You have a phrasing ability that is genius," Hagar explains before going deeper into the advanced techniques used in Tool's music. Keenan's response reaches all the way back to high school for explanation. 

"I remember running cross-country in high school, and everybody has their own breathing rhythms, right? It's just supposed to be in-out, right?" he asks. "I was actually running to the [footsteps]. So, if you're going over hills, or down hills, or in chuck-holes, or whatever, my breath would follow those rhythms."

Elaborating on that by telling the story of how he'd listen to "odd time signature stuff" like remixes of his favorite songs by AC/DC, King Crimson, and even folk singer Joni Mitchell, the singer claims, "That was kind of like the running. You're kind of following some of that… So, just naturally it's easier for me to write to things that are outside four-four."

See the clip above, and watch the full episode when it airs July 7th at 8PM Eastern Time/5PM Pacific.

Below, see Maynard James Keenan give Revolver a behind-the-scenes tour of his Jerome, Arizona winery in Part 1 of our exclusive The Art of Work doc.