Maynard James Keenan Discusses Donkey Punch the Night

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Jamie Peachey
See more photos in this exclusive Phoenix New Times slideshow.
Right now, there's a Tool fan angrily venting about the lack of a new Tool album in some dark corner of the Internet. Right now, Tool frontman Maynard James Keenan is most likely working on something other than a new Tool album.

As detailed in this week's Phoenix New Times cover story, Keenan is a very busy guy. In addition to his winemaking in Arizona's Verde Valley, where he oversees Caduceus Cellars, Merkin Vineyards, and Arizona Stronghold Vineyards, Keenan is prepping for a joint tour featuring two of his bands, Puscifer and A Perfect Circle. On Tuesday, February 19, Puscifer is scheduled to release a new EP, Donkey Punch the Night, with new songs, remixes, and covers of Accept's "Balls to the Wall" and Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody." He's working on an autobiography, and oh yeah, he just recently wrapped up a four-month stint as a pop culture/wine/music columnist for Up on the Sun.

Keenan pressed pause one busy morning to discuss his recent projects with Up on the Sun, touching on the survivalist instinct that drives his work ethic, Donkey Punch the Night, and Puscifer's origins on the David Cross and Bob Odenkirk's program Mr. Show.

See also:

-Nobody's Tool: Maynard James Keenan Would Rather Talk About His Other Bands
-Maynard James Keenan Is Nobody's Tool [Slideshow]
-Maynard James Keenan's Column Archives at New Times
-Maynard James Keenan (Puscifer, Tool, A Perfect Circle) on The Importance of Keeping It Local


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Maynard James Keenan: Being Wrong Sucks

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Editor's Note: With a tip of the cap to the man, we bid Maynard James Keenan adieu. This is MJK's final column for Up on the Sun, as he's devoting 2013 to more music and more wine. You won't have to wait too long to hear some of the fruits of his labor: On Tuesday, February 19, Puscifer will release Donkey Punch The Night, featuring two new songs, Queen and Accept Covers, and exclusive remixes. I spent some time on the horn with MJK about the record, so stand by for that feature.

Check out Maynard's New Times archive, and follow him on Twitter, @Puscifer. Adios, Maynard!

This is dangerous. I'm pre-writing this column so I can submit it pre-holiday for publication in January. This is assuming January will arrive. So far so good. There's nothing obviously hurtling towards us from space, such as a comet, meteor, or very large impenetrable minimalist sculpture.

See also:

-Maynard James Keenan's New Times Archive
-Maynard James Keenan (Puscifer, Tool, A Perfect Circle) on The Importance of Keeping It Local
-Can Maynard James Keenan Put Arizona Wine on the Map?

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Maynard James Keenan: Biodynamics For Dummies

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With few exceptions, knowing is better than not knowing. As they say, "Knowledge is power."

If you believe this as much as I do, then you can understand why some of our historic monsters went to such great lengths to eliminate knowledge and why forward thinkers and the socially conscious would die to preserve and protect it, although those extreme actions seem quite ludicrous these days. Imagine taking a bullet to protect the secret hiding place containing your calculator/abacus, dictionary, typewriter, or copy of Biodynamics for Dummies. Crazy talk.

See also:

- [The Archive] Maynard James Keenan

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Intended Zing: Maynard James Keenan Would Like You To Stop Effin' Around

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I base my life and my movements throughout it on quite a few assumptions. These may or may not be accurate, factual, or even realistic. And until they actually prove themselves to be inaccurate, I follow them without question. (Insert silly comment about assuming here.)

Today's rant is centered on one of my previous assumptions regarding one's chosen path.
As children, we do things. Sometimes, the things we do are met with accolades from the
surrounding huge people. And in chasing more of these overly animated approvals, we begin the long process of repeating and honing the actions praised.

See also:

Villagers
Events and Rituals
What is Puscifer?
Rochambeau Myself
These Are The "End of Days"
Maynard James Keenan (Puscifer, Tool, A Perfect Circle) on The Importance of Keeping It Local


More »

Maynard James Keenan: Villagers

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"Wine makes everyone hopeful."

These are the inspirational words that appear on a sign that our friend Topper's mother bought for our tasting room. The sign showed up on "one of those days," and I promptly displayed it. This subject came up this past weekend while celebrating a respectable showing at our Arizona Wine Growers Association wine competition, and at dinner the evening prior to the Festival at the Farm. I don't quite recall who got the ball rolling, but one of us made a thankful statement about the tenacity our little gang of vintners has demonstrated over the years.

See also:

Events and Rituals
What is Puscifer?
Rochambeau Myself
These Are The "End of Days"
Maynard James Keenan (Puscifer, Tool, A Perfect Circle) on The Importance of Keeping It Local

More »

Maynard James Keenan: Events and Rituals

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The journey known as "Vintage 2012" is almost complete. Not finished, but it's most certainly arriving at a fairly calm station. No more 2 a.m. panic-related insomnia attacks, where I stare at the ceiling going over and over the logistics of a tiny workspace. I'm not about to kid myself; there's still quite a few long days ahead. Just none that involve an adrenaline rush. I've been trying to catch up on a bit of sleep, if there is such a thing. This usually involves a late dinner, a glass of wine, and some commercial-free iTunes downloads.

A few nights ago I woke up on the couch having fallen asleep under these aforementioned circumstances. I was out like a corpse. It was that satisfying borderline-fatigue-meets-insulin-crash type of sleep where you wake up feeling like a limp pile of lead marionettes. Had I hair, I would have most certainly been sporting some Gumby bed head. I found myself staring at Kim Coates (The Last Boyscout, Resident Evil) staring at a transvestite on an episode of Sons of Anarchy. At first I thought I was dreaming, because I don't recall Walton Goggins (Justified, The Shield, Cowboys & Aliens) having breasts, let alone a pair with such - how shall we say -- presence and perfectly executed presentation. I was disturbingly fascinated by Kim's uncomfortably distracted obsession. Now he had me curious. What did he see that I hadn't yet? I then had a startling thought. I looked around to see if my wife was staring at me staring at Kim staring at Walton's divine assets. Good luck explaining that one away.


See also: Maynard is Moving To Wednesday
See also: What is Puscifer?
See also: Maynard James Keenan: Rochambeau Myself
See also: Maynard James Keenan: These Are The "End of Days"
See also: Maynard James Keenan: Up on the Sun's New Columnist

See also: Maynard James Keenan (Puscifer, Tool, A Perfect Circle) on The Importance of Keeping It Local


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Why Arizona?

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Since the New Times is moving this column to coincide with the print edition, I thought I'd take a moment to re-introduce myself and give you a peek into why I've resided in Arizona for the past 17 years. It has a little to do with the glowing gray area between synchronicity and fate. By this I mean something that goes beyond a mere coincidence. I used to believe that if I followed these events, these aligned moments, there would be a pot of gold at the end, or some sort of inner circle reward. But I've come to understand that these glowing little gray-area moments are themselves the reward. It's the Universe giving you a tickle. An acknowledgment that you are in fact wide awake. Paying attention.


See also: Maynard is Moving To Wednesday
See also: What is Puscifer?
See also: Maynard James Keenan: Rochambeau Myself
See also: Maynard James Keenan: These Are The "End of Days"
See also: Maynard James Keenan: Up on the Sun's New Columnist

See also: Maynard James Keenan (Puscifer, Tool, A Perfect Circle) on The Importance of Keeping It Local

More »

Maynard Is Moving to Wednesday

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By now you've probably grown accustomed to starting every other week with a dispatch from "Chicken Little" himself, Maynard James Keenan. Up on the Sun is proud to feature Keenan's column twice a month, and you folks have responded in a big way to the the winemaker/multimedia artist/musician/actor's musings.

As of Wednesday, October 24, the column will be moving from Monday to Wednesday here on the blog, to correspond with the print edition of Phoenix New Times, which hits stands on Thursdays (Wednesday night if you know where to look). You can can find Keenan's column printed every other week. It should make for an interesting midweek bump, right?

In the meantime, check out what Maynard James Keenan has been up to so far on Up on the Sun:

See also: What is Puscifer?
See also: Maynard James Keenan: Rochambeau Myself
See also: Maynard James Keenan: These Are The "End of Days"
See also: Maynard James Keenan: Up on the Sun's New Columnist

See also: Maynard James Keenan (Puscifer, Tool, A Perfect Circle) on The Importance of Keeping It Local


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What is Puscifer?

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What is Puscifer? (Besides being the International Multi-Media Project I've been developing since 1995?) Good question. We usually respond with the very dismissive and obviously evasive answer: "What is Puscifer is what Puscifer is." A less evasive version of the answer is that it is an "uncertain creative space where almost anything goes." In keeping with that moving target sensibility, I will attempt to go the long way around with yet another one of many possible elusive answers.

Stow away all your baggage and get cozy. Your in flight cocktail for this Air Bus cruise will include ingredients such as sarcasm, grossly unsubstantiated conclusions, assumed facts not in evidence, smoke, mirrors, and a dash of improvisational hogwash. Seat belts on. Electronics off.

See also: Maynard James Keenan: Rochambeau Myself
See also: Maynard James Keenan: These Are The "End of Days"
See also: Maynard James Keenan: Up on the Sun's New Columnist

See also: Maynard James Keenan (Puscifer, Tool, A Perfect Circle) on The Importance of Keeping It Local

More »

Maynard James Keenan: Rochambeau Myself

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I love a good comedy. Browsing through mental notes of quotable material, apropos for tedious moments brought on by the petty, the narrow minded, and the desperate, keeps me questionably sane.


See also: Maynard James Keenan: These Are The "End of Days"
See also: Maynard James Keenan: Up on the Sun's New Columnist

See also: Maynard James Keenan (Puscifer, Tool, A Perfect Circle) on The Importance of Keeping It Local
More »

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