Photo Credit: Marv Watson
Manyard James Keenan is releasing a biography called Perfect Union of Contrary Things which has an excerpt detailing the formation of his current band Tool. Manyard watched his band C.A.D. ultimately fail and he slid under the radar with all the other aspiring musicians in L.A. after the band cared more about the superficial side of music than the reasonable side. He soon began to become painfully frustrated with the wrong decisions he had made–and pondering the what-ifs in his life. After hitting what he felt like rock bottom and scraping together the money to live month to month, the desperation gave him the push he needed to work at his dreams.
“The frustration I felt at that time is definitely what got this project off the ground then. I’d had good friends in Boston and I’d been successful at the pet store and I believed was on the right path. Then I lose everything and I’m living on $400 a month. I needed to destroy. I needed to primal scream and I needed to be loud enough to make people go, ‘What the fuck was that?!’ I needed to get it out. It was that tipping point where you either become a serial killer or a rock star.”
Manyard was then motivated to start his own band–and he did exactly that. The process started with the musician trying to find capable and talented band mates who could bring the different elements of music together, in order to make the best of their music. Manyard kept an eye out for different talents who came through their friend Danny’s loft or club. The first potential band mate was Adam Jones, who was invited to work on a basic song structure with Manyard. Right away he noticed Jones’ potential when he saw his rhythm and skill sets– leading to Jones’ entry into the band.
Next, Adam brought Paul D’Amour over to their rehearsal space where D’Amour impressed the group with his “agressive picking” on the bass– and was ultimately added to the band. Next the group needed to find a drummer, a task that isn’t as easy as it may seem to the general audience.
“In Hollywood at that time,” Bill Manspeaker would explain, “everybody wanted to be a singer or a guitar player, and that’s it,” said Manyard. “Next was a bass player. But a drummer? Forget it. That was the hardest thing to find.”
Finally after endless no-shows, the owner of the loft space, Danny Carey, opted into joining the band.
“I felt kind of bad when their drummers weren’t showing up,” Danny said. “And I really wasn’t doing anything, so I decided to play with them since my drums were already set up there.”
Manyard James Keenan will be going on tour this fall to promote the release of his new book.