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Tool’s Maynard James Keenan briefly considered joining Rage Against the Machine

on October 06, 2016, 2:50pm

Before Maynard James Keenan linked up with Adam Jones and Danny Carey to form Tool, he came close to fronting another prominent Los Angeles rock band: Rage Against the Machine.

As they emerged from the same vibrant LA rock scene in the early 1990s, the members of Tool and Rage frequently crossed paths. Axemen Adam Jones and Tom Morello were in the same high school band, and later, Tool and Rage toured together. Keenan also sang on Rage’s 1992 track “Know Your Enemy”.

But, as we’ve now learned, the two bands’ history is even more intertwined than originally thought. In a new interview with Rolling Stone, Keenan revealed that he briefly considered joining the band that would become known as Rage Against the Machine.

Following the breakup of Morello’s band Lock Up in 1990, he began jamming with Keenan, Tim Commerford and Brad Wilk. “We actually were in a rehearsal space – this is after [Morello’s former band] Lock Up was dead and he was trying figuring out where he gonna go next, and so yeah, it was right around the same time all those things were happening,” Keenan recounted.

However, Keenan said he ultimately chose to go a different direction. “I was looking for almost a Puscifer approach to music at that point. They were looking for a more serious approach, so I think that was pretty much immediate.”

Morello, Commerford, and Wilk wound up recruiting Zack de la Rocha to front their new band, while Keenan busied himself with Tool, Pusicfer, and A Perfect Circle.

For a taste of what could have been, watch Keenan perform “Know Your Enemy” with Rage in 1994: