Aidin Vaziri of the San Francisco Chronicle recently conducted an interview with Maynard James Keenan, frontman for TOOL and A PERFECT CIRCLE and a wine connoisseur.

San Francisco Chronicle: Didn't you plan A PERFECT CIRCLE's last tour around various wine regions?

Maynard: No. But if we would go to a particular area, I would go a few days early to explore the region. I was on the road for a decade accidentally experiencing things. I was planning on making the wines long before I knew anything about what I was doing. But I ran into Eric Glomski, a guy that took me under his wing, and he's been my mentor.

San Francisco Chronicle: What kind of people show up to these Whole Food signings?

Maynard: Generally music fans, and they've been very well behaved, for the most part. They're coming for one reason, but then they actually come back for the right reasons. The first run-through, we had a lot of people there because they're music fans, but then they would come back because they had genuine questions about the wine and pairings.

San Francisco Chronicle: Don't you have an image as a satanic weirdo to maintain?

Maynard: TOOL is not SLAYER. I went to art school. I spent three years in the military. There's more to me than throwing devil horns.

San Francisco Chronicle: So what makes your wines different than a jug of Gallo?

Maynard: We're in an area that hasn't been pioneered in winemaking. If you want consistency, go with Gallo. It's just going to taste like that. We want the wine to taste where it's from, a particular spot on the earth. That's the idea behind boutique wine making. This particular way the weather is, the way the soil feels. Every year should taste different.

San Francisco Chronicle: Do you still have time to make music between irrigating fields and stomping grapes?

Maynard: I'm still making music. We just put tickets on sale for a pair of shows PUSCIFER is doing in Las Vegas. Oddly enough, in my own mind, it kind of goes hand in hand with the winery, with what we're doing in a local area. We can work around harvest and winemaker dinners and pop out to do this fun show that could be a disaster or it could be awesome. It's the same as picking grapes.


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