Maynard James Keenan Celebrates Next Step in Wine Journey, Puscifer’s New Concert Film + Tool’s Recent Special Onstage Guest
While there always seems to be plenty to celebrate in the many worlds of Maynard James Keenan, during a recent conversation on Loudwire Nights (Oct. 23), the enigmatic frontman spent much of his time discussing the latest growth in his wine journey as well as an upcoming concert film for Puscifer.
"It's a huge endeavor and very daunting," Keenan said of the recent opening of the Caduceus Cellars Hilltop Facility in Cottonwood, Ariz., just a few miles from the Caduceus Tasting Room in the small town of Jerome. "Anything that large, there's a lot to be ironed out and we'll continue to iron out, but it's quite a relief to get it open."
When host Chuck Armstrong asked him about the growth of Caduceus Cellars and Merkin Vineyards over the last two decades, Keenan was quick to say it's still a small operation — even with the opening of the Hilltop Facility.
"The facility is the huge aspect of it," he said. "The actual production, when you look at the average production numbers for California or international wines, we're still on the low end. We're considered a boutique winery. Once people get over the novelty aspect of it being from a musician and actually taste the wine — I think it's taken awhile, but that's the bigger hurdle that we've managed to navigate. We're making serious wines that are just delicious and ageable."
Preparing For Puscifer's Concert Film, Global Probing
Along with the opening of the Hilltop Facility, Keenan is also preparing for a worldwide concert film premiere for Puscifer called Global Probing. The film was recorded on the second leg of their Existential Reckoning tour and Keenan is excited for fans — new and old — to experience it.
"If fans saw the first leg, we definitely adjusted some things as far as the stage setup goes [and] for people who haven't seen the show at all, it's very Puscifer. It's multi-media, great songs, great visuals. It's just a fun concert."
Because the film was recorded on the second leg of the tour, too, Keenan is confident viewers will get Puscifer near their best.
"We sharpened the knife over the course of a year of touring," he said.
"That recording was about 80 percent of the way through all the days we were going to do, so we really had a chance to dial some things in, get the timing down with the songs, with the jokes ... I think we nailed it."
Why There Isn't Anything to Get Excited About With Tool's Next Album — Yet
As fans always do, there has been plenty of speculation over the future of Tool's next record. Part of that speculation is thanks to a recent interview with bassist Justin Chancellor who said the band has many ideas in mind and hinted that they'd hit the studio sometime next year.
Keenan wasn't as optimistic as his bandmate.
"I never mention anything until we actually have it in our hands because every time I say it out loud, it runs farther away, like Groundhog Day."
While Keenan keeps things close to the chest, his bandmates don't always share the same mindset, as evidenced by Chancellor.
"To get people wound up and excited about something that doesn't exist, I think it's irresponsible."
While that was all the clarity Keenan needed to provide on the future of Tool, he did share some insight into how Billy Strings recently wound up onstage with the band during a show in Utah.
"It's very random," he admitted.
In fact, it was so random that it only happened because drummer Danny Carey knew Strings was in the area and asked if he'd be interested in jamming with Tool.
"Danny just reached out. I said, 'So you haven't met this guy before?' He said, 'No.' Okay. And go."
What Else Did Maynard James Keenan Discuss on Loudwire Nights?
- What fans can expect from his 60th birthday celebration, the Sessanta tour with A Perfect Circle, Puscifer and Primus
- How he ensures he is able to participate in his vineyards even while touring
- Why Puscifer love offering fans remixes of their songs and albums: "Taking [a song] and handing it to another artist for you to see your songs through their eyes, that's really inspiration."
Listen to the Full Interview in the Podcast Player Below
Maynard James Keenan joined Loudwire Nights on Monday, Oct. 23; the show replays online here, and you can tune in live every weeknight at 7PM ET or on the Loudwire app; you can also see if the show is available on your local radio station and listen to interviews on-demand. Get details on Puscifer's Global Probing at this location and then check out the Sessanta tour schedule.
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