If you’ve ever wondered why Maynard James Keenan sings from the back of the stage when he performs with Tool, then keep reading to learn the reason.

With a band as musically unique as Tool, it’s easy to assume that Keenan stands at the back of the stage during performances as a way of keeping things mysterious and staying out of the spotlight. But, there’s actually a method to the madness.

During a conversation with Kerrang!, Keenan shared that his odd stage positioning actually helps him communicate with his bandmates while they play.

“With Tool, Danny [Carey]’s drums are so loud, he has like 17 arms and 15 legs, and then you’ve got Adam [Jones]’s row of amps and Justin [Chancellor]’s wall of bass,” the vocalist said.

“It just makes it way harder for the front-of-house to have a mix if [I’m] down front. And the position up top is also great, visually, because I can see what’s going on, we can connect with each other by looking at each other. If I was facing the audience, my back would be to what’s happening, so I can’t take cues.”

READ MORE: The One Big Reason Why Bassist Paul D’Amour Quit Tool

Later in the interview, the singer discussed his voice, and how there are things he can’t do with it the same way he could when he was in his late 20s.

“Everybody’s voice is affected by aging, with the exception of [Klaus Meine] from the Scorpions. Jesus Christ! That guy still hits the notes… it’s like, ‘Fuck you, man!’” Keenan joked.

“Things change – so again, you have to pivot and come up with things that do work. Don’t bother putting your worst foot forward on a song you can’t do – you can adjust a song to make it work, or just write for where you are and age with it.”

Tool’s European tour continues tomorrow night (May 25) in Hannover, Germany. See the rest of their 2024 dates on their website.

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