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Tool's Maynard James Keenan has now had covid four times

Maynard James Keenan in glasses, smiling
(Image credit: Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Tool and Pucifier frontman Maynard James Keenan has revealed that he's recently dealt with his fourth bout of covid.

Speaking with AZ Central (opens in new tab), Keenan said that he tested positive after the band's recent European tour, which finished at the Papp László Arena in Budapest, Hungary, on May 24.

"I just had it the fourth time," he says. "I got the European-flavoured one. That was fun."    

Keenan goes on to admit that he's become more philosophical about covid, despite suffering lung damage after a previous encounter with the virus.

"I mean, when you're in a room full of thousands of people, it's being passed around," he says. "You get into a tube and you fly 10 hours in a contained environment, you're gonna get it. If somebody has it and you're gonna get it, you can get it. That's just the nature of what it is now. We need to embrace that and stop freaking the fuck out."

In October 2020 Keenan told the Joe Rogan podcast that he'd unwittingly played two  shows while infected with virus. The shows took place at the 12,000-capacity Spark Arena in Auckland, New Zealand, on February 28 and 29 of that year, less than a month before the country closed its borders to everyone bar returning citizens.

"I was just drinking water, hot showers, taking care of myself, hot tea, just trying to get through it and it sucked," said Keenan. "But you didn't know yet how bad this thing could have been. If I'd have known how bad it could have been I would have been freaking out."

Four months later, he told Apple Music Hits (opens in new tab)’ George Stroumboulopoulos that he ended up in hospital in December 2020 after a second bout of the virus.

“Ugly, ugly. Couldn’t breathe," said Keenan of his experience. "I could barely put two words together without going into a coughing fit that, you know? It ended up kind of also progressing into pneumonia. So, if I stayed in the hospital, they said, ‘Okay, we can keep you here, but you’re fighting 12 other people for a bed and a ventilator we don’t have, so what do you want to do?’ I’m like, ‘Well, I need to breathe and I need to sleep.’”

“There’s nothing you can do other than treat the symptom, so for a real cough medicine, not the crap over-the-counter and then like an inhaler, and some antibiotics to fight the pneumonia and strap the fuck in."

Elsewhere in the new interview with AZ Central, Keenan talks about the negative impact of social media, slamming the so-called "keyboard warrior" mentality.

“It’s very comfortable from your living room to run your mouth," says Keenan. "But when you actually have to see the situations in real time or have to talk to the person across from you, we tend to be a bit more civil. You might be the big tough guy, but eventually there’s a bigger tougher guy who doesn’t agree with you. So at some point, you’re sort of going, ‘OK, maybe we should be cool to each other instead of running our mouths.'”

Puscifer's US tour kicks off this evening in Las Vegas. Full dates below.

Puscifer US Tour 2022

Jun 09: Las Vegas The Smith Center: Reynolds Hall, NV
Jun 11: Phoenix Arizona Federal Theatre, AZ
Jun 12: Los Angeles The Greek Theatre, CA
Jun 14: Albuquerque Kiva Auditorium, NM
Jun 15: Austin Bass Concert Hall, TX
Jun 16: Dallas McFarlin Memorial Auditorium, TX
Jun 19: Manchester Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, TN
Jun 21: Atlanta Coca-Cola Roxy Theatre, GA
Jun 22: Durham Durham Performing Arts Center, NC
Jun 24: Philadelphia The Metropolitan Opera House, PA
Jun 25: Brooklyn Kings Theatre, NY
Jun 26: Wallingford Toyota Oakdale Theatre, CT
Jun 28: Boston House of Blues, MA
Jun 29: Pittsburgh Stage AE, PA
Jul 01: Rochester Hills Meadow Brook Amphitheatre (Pavilion), MI
Jul 02: Chicago The Chicago Theatre, IL
Jul 03: St. Paul Palace Theatre, MN
Jul 05: Omaha The Admiral, NE
Jul 06: Denver The Mission Ballroom, CO
Jul 07: Salt Lake City Eccles Theater-Delta Performance Hall, UT
Jul 09: Portland The Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, OR
Jul 10: Seattle McCaw Hall, WA

Tickets are on sale now (opens in new tab).

Puscifer tour poster

(Image credit: Puscifer)

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 36 years in music industry, online for 23. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.