In a new interview with the Arizona Republic, TOOL frontman Maynard James Keenan revealed that he has spent a good portion of the past two years recovering from COVID-19.
"I just had it the fourth time," he said. "I got the European-flavored one. That was fun."
Maynard, who first got vaccinated against COVID-19 in March 2021, went on to say that he is feeling better now. "It was a flu," he said. "It's done."
According to Maynard, being infected with the coronavirus is another cost of doing business when you are in a touring band.
"I mean, when you're in a room full of thousands of people, it's being passed around," he said. "You get into a tube and you fly 10 hours in a contained environment, you're gonna get it. If somebody has it and you're gonna get it, you can get it. That's just the nature of what it is now. We need to embrace that and stop freaking the (expletive) out."
Back in February 2021, Maynard said that he battled COVID-19 twice in the span of just a few months before he got vaccinated. The TOOL frontman told "Strombo" on Apple Music Hits that he suffered a second COVID-19 infection around "mid-November" 2020 "and ended up in the ER on December 1" of that year.
"Ugly, ugly. Couldn't breathe," he said. "I could barely put two words together without going into a coughing fit that, you know? It ended up kind of also progressing into pneumonia. So, if I stayed in the hospital, they said, 'Okay, we can keep you here, but you're fighting 12 other people for a bed and a ventilator we don't have, so what do you want to do?' I'm like, 'Well, I need to breathe and I need to sleep.' So, you're just treating symptoms at that point. There's nothing you can do other than treat the symptom, so for a real cough medicine, not the crap over-the-counter and then like an inhaler, and some antibiotics to fight the pneumonia and strap the fuck in."
Keenan previously discussed his first bout with coronavirus in October 2020, telling AZ Central that he suffered symptoms of the disease in February of that year and was still recovering eight months later. "I'm still dealing with the residual effects," he said at the time, "But it was ugly. I survived it, but it wasn't pretty. So I definitely had to deal with that."
In a November 2020 interview with Consequence Of Sound, Keenan lamented the fact that political leaders depicted mask-wearing as a political act and publicly downplayed the risks of the virus.
"There's logic attached to just looking out for each other," he said. "I have a lot more questions than answers, honestly. Is this thing like a flame on a candle? If you stand in the corner far enough away from somebody, does the flame burn the candle down, and then it can no longer light your candle? Or is it not like that at all, and it's going to live on beyond its own cycle within you? I have no idea, but the idea of temporarily isolating and really adhering to the isolation, it seems like that would've worked."
He continued: "But we tend to be fairly arrogant. I knew what I went through and I know what I'm still going through, so I would recommend that you take this seriously, but I feel like that's just going to fall on deaf ears. It's just going to be a polarized, politicized statement, so it's pointless. In that case, I'm just going to worry about keeping my family safe and keeping my friends safe."