Does Tool Use Drugs?

It is no secret that many people tend to think rock bands and drugs go hand in hand. Tool is an incredibly famous and successful band and is known for being unpredictable and unconventional. But does Tool use drugs?

Maynard James Keenan, the frontman for Tool, has used drugs on different occasions. Most recently, he claims to smoke meth to relieve the long-term side effects of COVID-19. There was also an instance in the 1990s where Ministry’s Al Jorgensen slipped the members of Tool acid without their knowledge.

But Maynard’s use of drugs does not fit the typical narrative associated with rock stars.

And Tool is known for being incredibly meticulous in the crafting of their albums and for amazing precision in their live performances, not what typically happens with bands who rely heavily on drugs. And it’s Maynard. He could have just said that to mess with people.

So let’s explore their situation and the rumors in greater detail.

Why is Maynard so Weird?

Maynard James Keenan can be perceived as weird as he sees himself as an artist and not just a singer in a rock band. As such, he performs for himself and not the audience. He also writes much more introspective and poetic lyrics than a typical rock singer.

Maynard James Keenan is known for having a big personality and acting wild while performing on stage. To some people, this can be off-putting, and they may wonder why he acts so weird.

Most people enjoy Maynard’s personality as it makes him more entertaining to watch. One of the stranger things he does on stage is hunch over, convulse his body, and flail his arms around.

He is also known for performing near the back of the stage, often only seen in silhouette and facing sideways. 

And interesting, while Tool doesn’t use autotune or backing tracks live, Maynard does trigger prerecorded samples of himself singing at various points.

However, in the world of rock and metal, it isn’t that weird to have a frontman act this way on stage. It takes a special kind of person to be able to perform music and sing in front of thousands.

Many people would consider performing in front of thousands to be their worst nightmare.

Maynard would have never become famous in the first place if he wasn’t okay with being in front of others. A frontman needs to hype up the audience and bring a high level of energy. Maynard is clearly extroverted and comfortable with behaving however he wants when on stage.

The odd things he does on stage are part of why so many people love Maynard. 

When he acts wild, it gets the audience to act wild as well. The more Maynard shows that he is excited on stage, the more the audience will be excited to watch him, and the more enjoyable the experience will be for everyone.

Does Maynard Use Meth?

Maynard James Keenan spent most of his career avoiding hard drugs. However, after getting ill with COVID-19 in 2020, he claims long-term side effects drove him to smoke meth to ease his symptoms.

Maynard met up with Joe Rogan to talk and appear on his podcast. Maynard said that he had been infected with COVID-19, and ever since then, his health has been off. Specifically, he experiences intense pain in his wrists.

Joe suggested that working out must be difficult now. Maynard responded to this by saying:

“My motivation is diminished because I’m trying to do stuff and my hands hurt. Well, not anymore, not now when I’m on medication. I’m smoking meth to get through it. It’s not fun to be on, but my wrists have cleared up, and I’m back to doing stuff.”

So, long after the formation of Tool, Maynard has gotten into harder drugs, but not for the reason one might expect. Maynard has found temporary relief from his bodily pain by smoking meth.

However, smoking meth is incredibly dangerous, and in the end, it will do more harm than good. 

Maynard himself seems to recognize this. He admits that it is not something good to be on, but his bodily pain has driven him to find comfort in this chemical relief.

What is the Tool Song Sober About?

The Tool song Sober is a somewhat tragic song that explores the drug dependency of an artist friend of the band. While they acknowledge that the art made under the influence was more creative, the song also acknowledges the damage done by addiction.

It was the first single to be released from Tool’s first album Undertow.

The band members claim that they had a specific person in mind when they wrote this song. They say that they had a friend who was at his artistic best when he was on drugs. It seemed that being intoxicated and high opened up something in him that allowed him to express himself clearly.

They admit that the art he made while under the influence was good. 

However, there is obviously a dark side to that. The song Sober asks the question: “Why can’t we not be sober?” Showing how far gone the character of the song is. He is asking why it matters if he is always high, especially when it seems to benefit him.

However, the rest of the song describes the addiction as a force creeping in the shadows, waiting for the right moment to strike.

The song looks at the different ways people can justify their drug addictions. In this case, the person addicted is claiming it is beneficial for their artistic purposes, and they are only using it for the sake of inspiration.

The song suggests that the justifications for drug use are irrelevant. Eventually, these drugs will pull you down regardless of your reasons for using them initially.

Did Tool Use Psychedelics?

There was a time when at least two members from Tool used psychedelics. However, it did not happen in the way one would expect, as they were given acid unknowingly as a prank from another band.

Tool was quickly growing in popularity when they were invited to perform at Lollapalooza in 1992.

Also performing that year was the band Ministry. Al Jourgensen, the founder of Ministry, had a habit of putting drops of LSD into a bottle of whiskey. He said he would drink half a bottle before performing.

After Ministry finished their set at Lollapalooza, Al was walking backstage when two young men excitedly told him that he had done an amazing job. Without thinking, Al handed them the bottle of whiskey and went on his way.

It turns out those two young men were Maynard James Keenan and Paul D’Amour, the original bassist for Tool. While they thought they were getting drunk, they began to trip on LSD for over two days.

At the time, they were panicked and didn’t understand what was happening. Al eventually tracked them down and explained the situation. Maynard now claims that the experience was important to the evolution of Tool.

After the experience with LSD, Tool began to lean into a psychedelic style of rock music, which turned into the sound that fans know and love.

Did Adam Jones Plant Cocaine on Melvins’ Drummer Dale Crover?

Adam Jones, the guitarist for Tool, never planted cocaine on the Melvins’ drummer Dale Crover. However, he did get an actual police officer to do it for him as a prank.

There was nothing sinister going on in this situation. Adam Jones and Dale Crover were friends, and Jones recruited a cop to help him pull a prank on Crover.

Back in 2012, Crover was driving through Texas with his road manager and others.

They were pulled over by a police officer just outside of Houston. The officer said he had found a bag of weed outside of their van. Crover knew that none of them had brought weed with them, so he was confused.

His confusion increased when the officer searched his bag and pulled out a handgun. Crover did not own a handgun, and having an unregistered one could get him in a lot of trouble.

Crover was trying to explain himself when the officer pulled out the biggest bag of cocaine that Crover had ever seen. The officer informed Crover that he would be going to prison and began to arrest him.

Crover says he knew that the officer had planted the gun and the cocaine, and he was hopeful that a lawyer would be able to help him clear up the situation.

Before completing the arrest, the officer said: 

“I just want to tell you guys, Adam Jones from Tool said you guys are pranked.”

And then the officer let them all go.

Maynard Keenan Makes Big Tool Announcements!! | Joe Rogan


Maynard is a bit eccentric and acts wild on stage in order to bring a high level of energy and help the audience have a good time.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Maynard began smoking meth to find relief from his wrist pain.

The song Sober was written about a friend of Tool who was most creative when he was on drugs and used his art as an excuse for drug dependency.

Maynard James Keenan and Paul D’Amour both accidentally took psychedelics when they drank from a bottle of whiskey that had drops of LSD in it.

As a prank, Adam Jones got his police officer friend to plant cocaine on Dale Crover. The officer immediately let Dale go after telling him it was a prank.

Photo which requires attribution:

Maynard with Glowstcks by Nicholas Cowley is licensed under CC2.0 and was cropped, edited, and had a text overlay added.

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