Nirvana have been attributed to boosting the grunge movement while simultaneously stopping both hair metal and hip hop in their tracks. The effect of the band’s influence is still felt. Could it have been the message? The ethos? Well, according to Tool frontman Maynard James Keenan, it may have just been a timing thing.
In a recent interview with Yahoo! Music, Keenan pondered the perils of musicians claiming too much responsibility for the success of their projects. Using Nirvana as an example, James details his theory that rather than the band’s talent being the sole reason they were successful, that they were also aided by trends in music.
“It could be just circumstances. It just happened to be a perfect time for Nirvana to emerge ’cause people were tired of hair bands. I don’t know,” Keenan said. “It might have had nothing to do with Nirvana. It was just timing. I’m not taking anything away from any of the musicians that were on those waves that were about to crest.”
Keenan qualified his comments, adding, “All due respect to all of those musicians,” but concluded that perhaps before bands take credit for their success, they should first assess whether they were “just on [the wave] and were prepared as it crested”.
He stuck to his guns, explaining that while he would love to take credit for the “statement” that is Tool’s breakout success, he refuses to.
“With hindsight, when you’re looking at it, it looks like it was calculated. But I think a lot of those things that appear to be calculated, there’s no way, standing in the shoes you’re in and you’re about to take that step, you truly know what’s gonna happen. It really is more like, ‘Well, I’m just gonna jump,'” he said.
The frontman clearly got sidetracked from the main topic of the interview, which was the impending release of his official biography A Perfect Union of Contrary Things, and him teasing the return of A Perfect Circle.
Alas, Keenan got back on topic before he could divulge any information surrounding his other project, Tool. In fact, we’ve learnt more about Tool’s new album from the Meshuggah guitarist than anyone else. Other than the fact that Tool are sick of being asked about it.
Watch: Nirvana – ‘Come As Your Are’