Earlier this summer, the most bizarre of feuds took place between Justin Bieber’s camp and Tool frontman Maynard James Keenan. In a new interview, Keenan opened up about the squabble, explaining that he has more issues with “the crap that surrounds” the pop star than Bieber himself.
Quickly recapping, Bieber shared lyrics to Tool’s “The Pot” on Instagram in early July and asked his fans to look them up. Shortly thereafter, Keenan responded to Consequence of Sound’s tweet of our own story, titled “It’s official: Justin Bieber is a Tool fan”, with the simple retort, “#bummer.”
That set off Bieber’s wife, Hailey, who responded to Keenan on Twitter, writing, “You must be unhappy with yourself that you want to make people feel small who express their admiration for you.”
When asked by Zane Lowe on Apple Music’s Beats 1 about the incident, Keenan said, “He’s probably a good kid. It’s the crap that surrounds him. He was never armed with the tools to handle it. And the people surrounding him are monsters. He’s living in an ocean of … Am I allowed to swear on this show? Okay, never mind. I was going to say … but I’m not sure I’m allowed to. So he’s, God bless him, he’s a product of those things that we’ve spoken about numerous times on every project I’ve ever done.”
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Keenan added, “So, when I make a statement like ‘#bummer,’ it has nothing to do with him. It has to do with, I know that the ocean of shit that’s going to follow because he couldn’t just be a quiet Tool fan, he had to say it out loud, and now I know the flood’s coming from the people that don’t get it, and the people that think they do, and they’re going to argue with each other. And it’s going to be stupid. And it doesn’t matter. And this poor kid’s caught right in the crosshairs, as he was, as he is.”
In the same interview, Keenan also spoke about Tool’s new album, Fear Inoculum, as well as the decision to finally allow the band’s music on streaming platforms, and more. Watch and listen below.