Maynard James Keenan Says He Didn’t See A Difference Between AC/DC And Sex Pistols

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Maynard James Keenan recently spoke about his music taste when he was younger. While talking about how diverse his music taste was when he was younger, he admitted that the sound of the ’70s era big rock bands didn’t make a difference for him. He stated that AC/DC and Sex Pistols songs more or less sounded the same.

Keenan took a step into the rock and roll world with Tool and continued by his other bands, A Perfect Circle and Puscifer. However, it is known that he was introduced to music at a very young age, and it wasn’t initially the rock and roll genre. The diverse musical repertoire he used as an inspiration to become a musician consisted of genres such as pop and jazz.

He also recently revealed that when he was younger and listening to rock bands such as AC/DC, he didn’t have the ears to differentiate the bands from each other as they sounded the same to him. He stated that AC/DC and Sex Pistols both have ‘scream sing,’ ‘heavy guitars,’ and are generally ‘noisy.’ However, he continued to listen because he liked that sound and considered everything he listened to under the title ‘music.’

Here is how MJK spoke about his opinions on AC/DC and Sex Pistols:

“That’s a very muddled picture when you come from a small town. To me, listening to some of the first chords from AC/DC, ‘Highway to Hell’ was no different than listening to Sex Pistols’ ‘Nevermind the Bollocks.’ You know, screechy, those are not operatic vocals. It’s like, scream sing and heavy guitars and noisy. So, for me, at that early age, sonically, I didn’t hear a huge difference. To me, it was music. We’re listening to music. It didn’t necessarily have a label, so that wasn’t until a couple of years later people go, ‘Well you know, there’s all these other things happening.'”

The successful vocalist continued to talk about these sounds in the interview. He stated that he listened to the songs if the ‘energy’ and the delivery made sense to him and made him like it. However, he criticized Sex Pistols for not adapting to a more sustainable road instead of becoming a rebel band that only reacts against events or norms. According to MJK, the more you stand up against the norms and collect followers, the more that idea is prone to being the norm, and there is nothing to ‘push back.’

Here is how he continued:

“And I never caught just the beginning/end of the Sex Pistols era. As soon as you hear it, you go, ‘I love the energy, I love the emotion of these things I’m hearing but, I don’t think this is a sustainable thing because it’s about pushing up against and back against, in reaction to a thing. Who is it? Who are you? You’re just the reaction to the other thing but eventually become the norm, and now what do you push against? So it was until something like minor threat came around where you go ‘Oh, fuck. I get this.’ It’s still chaotic a little bit, but it still has focus, and it’s something I can sink my teeth into and get behind as far as the energy and the execution made sense to me.

When you actually dig into the meat of what those minor threat albums did, and then him going on to see Fugazi, there’s still something left when he’s done ranting. You can not speak English and still get into the sounds that you’re hearing this music. The sonics were still there. There is some stuff I go back and try to listen to and it’s just awful, just God awful. It doesn’t hold up, because there was nothing there, it was just mush.”

You can watch the whole interview below.