Tool Frontman Explains Singing Style To Sammy Hagar

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Tool frontman Maynard James Keenan explains his singing style to former Van Halen vocalist Sammy Hagar in a clip from an upcoming episode of Rock & Roll Road Trip With Sammy Hagar, saying his unconventional vocal rhythms were first hatched during his days as a cross-country runner in high school.

Asked by Hagar about his "genius" ability to phrase lyrics, Keenan responds, "I remember running cross-country in high school, and everybody has their own breathing rhythms, right? It’s just supposed to be in-out, right? . . . I was actually running to (my footsteps). So if you’re going over hills, or down hills, or in chuck-holes, or whatever, my breath would follow those rhythms, which is weird."

Keenan adds that he would listen to artists like AC/DC, Pink Floyd, King Crimson and Joni Mitchell while running, saying, "Odd time signature stuff . . . and that was kind of like the running. You're kind of following some of that. So, just naturally it's easier for me to write to things that are outside 4/4 (standard time signature)."

The episode of Rock & Roll Road Trip With Sammy Hagar airs this Sunday at July 7th, at 8:00 p.m. ET on AXS TV.

Tool will release its first album in 13 years on August 30th. The band has just completed a European tour and is scheduled to headline the Aftershock Festival in Sacramento, California, on October 13th.