“It was just good to have that early on.” Tool's Maynard James Keenan reveals the essential advice punk rock legend Henry Rollins gave him at the start of his career

Maynard and Henry
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Tool frontman Maynard James Keenan has revealed the essential piece of advice one hardcore punk icon gave to him early in his career that he has carried with him ever since. Speaking to Metal Hammer in their latest issue, which features Tool on the cover in an exclusive interview, Keenan discusses Tool's first overseas tour, which saw the enigmatic alt-metallers support Rollins Band in 1992. It was Rollins Band's legendary frontman who gave him the advice in question.

“I managed to get advice on many occasions from Henry Rollins," Keenan reveals. "And one of the best pieces of advice he ever gave me was like, ‘Your crew works harder than you are. Don’t be a bitch to your crew and don’t allow your opening act to be a bitch to your crew. It’s not gonna go well.’ That was huge. It was just good to have that advice early on, so I didn’t step in shit right away. He also mentioned when you go overseas, it’s going to be culture shock, and don’t be the fucking American going over there. Just listen, learn, pay attention and just don’t be that guy.”

When asked whether Rollins' previous band, trailblazing California hardcore innovators Black Flag, were important to him, Keenan enthusiastically replies: “Absolutely. That whole era of music was incredible. Having seen those guys playing in tiny clubs and just going for it – whether there’s one person in the room or a thousand people in the room – the punk rock energy of what was coming from the stage was hugely educational. It was the balance between extrinsic and intrinsic motivations. And for them it was all intrinsic. They had to be on that stage making those noises.”

Tool hit the UK next month, and their latest album, Fear Innoculum, is out now. You can read more from the band's new interview in the latest issue of Metal Hammer.

Tool on the cover of Metal Hammer

(Image credit: Future)
Merlin Alderslade
Executive Editor, Louder

Merlin moved into his role as Executive Editor of Louder in early 2022, following over ten years working at Metal Hammer. While there, he served as Online Editor and Deputy Editor, before being promoted to Editor in 2016. Before joining Metal Hammer, Merlin worked as Associate Editor at Terrorizer Magazine and has previously written for the likes of Classic Rock, Rock Sound, eFestivals and others. Across his career he has interviewed legends including Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy, Metallica, Iron Maiden (including getting a trip on Ed Force One courtesy of Bruce Dickinson), Guns N' Roses, KISS, Slipknot, System Of A Down and Meat Loaf. He has also presented and produced the Metal Hammer Podcast, presented the Metal Hammer Radio Show and is probably responsible for 90% of all nu metal-related content making it onto the site.