The Truth Behind Maynard James Keenan’s Claims Over Tool’s Origin Story

Formed in 1990, the prolific rock band Tool consists of Maynard James Keenan, Adam Jones, Danny Carey, and Justin Chancellor. Throughout their music career, they won several awards, including four Grammys, performed all around the world, and produced chart-topping albums.

Tool’s sound unites the elements of experimentation, visual arts, and philosophical messages. Moreover, the band’s successful use of visuals and their long and extended compositions granted them a distinctive sound. As for now, they have released five studio albums which all gained considerable critical acclaim.

During Tool’s earlier days, their fans were quite curious about the origin of the band’s name. Due to that, the frontman Maynard James Keenan came up with a story about it, but his statements contained some interesting facts worth learning. Let’s see what Keenan said about Tool’s name.

Maynard James Keenan Claimed That Tool Is Influenced By A Pseudophilosophy Named Lachrymology

Among the most interesting facts about Tool is that they cited ‘Lachrymology’ as an inspiration and guide. According to Tool, Lachrymology means ‘the study of crying,’ and it embraces crying as a cathartic activity. Although the fans were quite curious about this philosophy, it later turned out that there was no such thing as ‘Lachrymology.’

In the early 1990s, Keenan fabricated this story about ‘Lachrymology’ while talking about the band’s name and inspirations. He said that the band is a ‘tool’ in understanding this philosophy, and they see Ronald P. Vincent’s 1940 book ‘The Joyful Guide To Lachrymology’ as their source of inspiration.

Following these claims, fans became interested in this so-called belief. So, they began scouting bookstores in hopes of purchasing that book. However, no one could not find a copy of the book. Despite the book reviews on the internet, it later turned out that the book did not exist in the first place.

Although Tool and Maynard James Keenan talked about this pseudophilosophy quite very often and with a serious attitude, it actually was just a hoax made up by the band. The only source about Lachrymology is Tool, and there is no written record about anything related to the belief. In fact, this was just a satire of Scientology.

In a past interview by MTV, Maynard James Keenan explained ‘Lachrymology’ as:

“It’s a book written in the late 40s by a guy named Ronald P. Vincent. The best act of explanation I can give is, what you hear on the records is kind of like an example and a practical application of those kinds of principles. We were actually going to release the book, and we were in the process of releasing it when a family member showed up and gave us a cease and desist letter.

We didn’t think there was a copyright holder anymore, and we thought that he had no family left. We couldn’t find copyright and we’re going through litigation now to actually prove that this person is in fact family, and if in case she’s not, then we can just release the book. And if she is, we need to buy her out because I don’t think she has any cash at all to put the book out. I think it needs to be out there.

It’s not really a motivation, it’s more just of a catalyst. It’s not like we’re some kind of religious freaks running around trying to promote religion, it’s just something that kind of was
inspiring like reading a really good book or watching a good movie.

The book was controversial on its time for a while, but it’s not that well-written. It’s got a lot of really good important points to it, but he had no money behind him and it’s not about the gathering of people and the giving up of your free will. So, churches couldn’t capitalize on it.”

You can check out what Maynard James Keenan said about Lachrymology below.