Maynard James Keenan Shares What He Learnt From His Time In The Military

Tool’s Maynard James Keenan recently spoke to Revolver and reflected on the experiences he gained while serving in the military. Keenan expressed that his time in the military taught him how to deal with people in front of him in a better way.

Maybe you know that Maynard James Keenan initially joined the United States Army in 1983 after being inspired by Bill Murray’s performance in the 1981 comedy film ‘Stripes.’ He actually aimed to have the G.I. Bill because it would give him a chance to fund his intention of attending an art school. G.I Bill helps veterans to pay for college, graduate school, or training programs.

Keenan studied at West Point Prep School, a preparatory school for the United States Military Academy, from 1983 to 1984. Later on, when he completed his term in prep school, Keenan studied art at Kendall College of Art and Design. He always openly talked about his time in the military and shared his experiences also in his previous interviews.

During the conversation with Revolver, the frontman again reflected on his military experiences and what they taught him. Maynard James Keenan stated that our lives are full of puzzles, and he always tries to solve these puzzles. Keenan revealed that his time in the military taught him to figure out a way to deal with people he was stuck with.

Keenan didn’t have any place to go or hide, so he needed to adapt to the challening circumstances he encountered. Thus, what he learned in the military also helps him in his music career since it has made him more open to having uncomfortable conversations with the people around him because it taught him how to survive anywhere as the alternative was to collapse and fail.

Here is how Maynard James Keenan reflected on his time back in the military:

“I think this is all a catalyst for those things, whatever’s missing. That’s what puts you on stage. You’re missing something, so you’re looking for it in some way where you can express yourself in a way that you couldn’t in your home life, your social life, whatever, but that’s the crux of it.

I didn’t give a f*ck about who I found. It was more me just trying to fix, trying to solve these puzzles. Those circumstances, those things you have to be open enough in those circumstances to accept the group of people that you have in front of you, be open enough to those conversations with those people as those people are having them again. My time in the military was exactly that.

When I was in the army, it was a lot of like go to work or go to jail kind of thing or dangle the college fund money in front of you to go serve the country. You learn to live with some of the best people you’ve ever met and some of the worst people you’ve ever met. And suck it up because you can’t just go find a safe space. You’re stuck with these people. You got to figure out how to deal with these people, and you’ve got three years to work it out or what? Collapse, fail.”

You can watch the full interview below.