Fri. Jun 2nd, 2023

Tool certainly doesn’t shy away from playing their old-school material live. Just don’t expect an entire set dedicated to it, because vocalist Maynard James Keenan couldn’t get through it.

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In an interview with the Steve-O’s Wild Ride podcast, Keenan said his voice and approach to vocals have simply changed over the years and that performing a whole set of old school Tool just isn’t gonna happen. Which of course makes sense – it’s a lot easier to a maniac behind the microphone when you’re 20 or 30 years younger.

“Old cars… Ya know, just like an old Barracuda man, just tearing up the streets. You try to do that with an old Barracuda now and it’s gonna break. Some thing is… Ya know, you just can’t do that. So I think with age you find ways to sing the thing where it’s not creating damage. You can actually recreate it without having to pick a scab, emotionally and literally, like hurting yourself.

“So I think my writing has changed over the years, and I can do some of those songs. I can’t do a whole set of those songs. I can pepper them in, so I can still do some of those things, but you can’t… If you’re actually sitting down and thinking about it, you can’t expect some of those dudes, [from] back in the day, to do the thing they did… 30 years ago, 40 years ago. You can’t expect that out of that body. Your body doesn’t do those things forever.”

It’s also worth mentioning that the concept of “old school Tool” is a little funny, given the band only has five records. According to, Tool‘s 2022 shows were a pretty even split between albums from this decade and albums from the ’90s. What they’ll get up to on their currently-unannounced fall tour is a mystery.

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By cb2gp