In a clip from the upcoming episode of Rock & Roll Road Trip With Sammy Hagar, Tool frontman Maynard James Keenan addresses his singing style, saying his unconventional vocal rhythms date back to his days as a cross-country runner in high school.
As previously reported, Keenan and food dude (and Hagar look-alike) Guy Fieri are the guests on the July 7th episode of the former Van Halen singer’s AXS TV show.
In the sneak peek, Hagar brings up Keenan’s singing style, telling him, “The thing that impresses me most as a singer and lyricist is that you have a phrasing ability that is genius … You get words that work rhythmically and they’re so oddball … Is that a struggle for you, or does it just come naturally?”
Keenan replies, “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? … I was actually running to [my footsteps]. So, if you’re going over hills, or down hills, or in chuck-holes, or whatever, my breath would follow those rhythms, which is weird.”
Keenan goes on to say he’s also influenced by remixes of AC/DC, as well as Joni Mitchell, King Crimson, and Pink Floyd, concluding, “It’s easier for me to write to things that are outside of 4/4 [time signature].”
The episode of Rock & Roll Road Trip With Sammy Hagar airs this Sunday at July 7th, at 8 p.m. ET on AXS TV.
Meanwhile, Tool will release their first album in 13 years on August 30th. Their European tour ends tonight in Lisbon, Portugal, but they’re scheduled to headline the Aftershock festival in Sacramento, California, on October 13th.