Josh Freese Says Maynard James Keenan Was A Part Of His Decision To Leave Guns N’ Roses

Drummer Josh Freese recently made an appearance on Appetite For Distortion. During the interview, he said that Maynard James Keenan played a significant role in his decision to leave Guns N’ Roses.

Throughout his musical career, Josh Freese worked with a great number of bands thanks to his talents as a drummer. In 1997, he joined GN’R as Matt Sorum’s replacement and played with them for two years. Besides, Freese also drummed for A Perfect Circle between 1999 and 2012.

While with Guns N’ Roses, Josh Freese recorded the song ‘Oh My God’ and co-wrote ‘Chinese Democracy’ with Axl Rose. He drummed on 30 songs that might appear on the ‘Chinese Democracy’ album, but Bryan Mantia re-recorded all of his recordings after he joined the band. Besides, the album’s recording process took a long time, and Freese left GN’R in 2000 to play with A Perfect Circle.

During his appearance on Appetite For Distortion, Josh Freese talked about leaving Guns N’ Roses. He said that he signed a two-year contract with GN’R and spent it all in the studio with them. Freese then said he left the band after he decided that there was no point in doing this and started A Perfect Circle with Keenan and Howerdel.

After that, Freese revealed that he felt A Perfect Circle was doing the ‘regular’ thing as they had many future plans for their musical career. Moreover, the drummer stated that Guns N’ Roses was the opposite because they isolated themselves from the world without producing anything.

Josh Freese told Appetite For Distortion about his decision to leave GN’R that:

“For me, the two years I spent in the studio with them, I had a two-year contract, and when it was up, I was able to re-examine it and renew it or not, and I just didn’t see them leaving that studio anytime soon. And I was going, ‘Man, am I going to sit here for another two years in this control room in the studio while they fidget with stuff? I don’t know if I want to spend another two years of my life doing this…’

At the same time, on the weekends, I’ve been messing around with guitarist Billy Howerdel and Tool singer Maynard James Keenan and starting A Perfect Circle, and that was a tangible, real thing. Like, ‘Hey, we’re going to make a record, we’re going to get a deal and we’re going to leave on tour in a couple of months or next month, we’re going to book shows, let’s go…’

And I was like, ‘OK, this is a regular thing, this isn’t being isolated in some ivory tower somewhere away from the rest of the world in a weird bubble,’ which I felt like Guns N’ Roses was. I mean, that being said too, there’s a lot of pressure on Axl, and he was doing without his regular band for the first time ever, so I think that was unnerving probably for him, and a little bit scary.”

He went on to say:

“I enjoyed the time I spent down there, but I didn’t want to sit around anymore, and that was kind of what it was looking like was going to happen, and they did not sit around, but they spent a lot more time on the record still after I left.

And I was glad that I made that record with A Perfect Circle and went out on tour and we started that, that was a little bit more of a real band to me, and something that I was really a part of from the ground up, rather than being the third or fourth drummer in line in a project.”

You can watch the full interview below.