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Tool's Maynard James Keenan Shares His 'Ugly' Second Experience With COVID-19

Maynard James Keenan
Rebecca Sapp/WireImage

Maynard James Keenan attends An Evening With A Perfect Circle at the GRAMMY Museum on Oct. 10, 2018 in Los Angeles.

Maynard James Keenan has battled COVID-19 not once, but twice.

That's right. The Tool frontman joined Strombo on Apple Music Hits on Wednesday (Feb. 3), where he revealed that he "got it like mid-November and ended up in the ER on December 1."

"Ugly, ugly. Couldn't breathe," he continued. "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 f--- in."

The rocker also opened up about his first round with the deadly disease in October 2020, when he told AZ Central that he contracted coronavirus in February 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."

On a non-coronavirus-related note, Keenan also discussed the themes behind his new music on Apple Music Hits. On the new Puscifer album Existential Reckoning's extraterrestrial theme, Keenan explained, "Well, I grew up in Ohio, eventually moved to Michigan, but in a very fundamentalist conservative in a box community."

"And when you're an outsider, in a way, you don't necessarily align with those things. In some ways, you have to blend in and play along, but that idea of what moves people, scary wizards that are half zombie somehow or in charge of your life, and you have to be cool to them, and to get into the bar that is heaven," he continued. "It was just a strange concept for me and I bought into it and I didn't buy into it and I bought into it and didn't buy into it. And I think in a way that unknown of extraterrestrial intervention or the coming of the aliens, that's kind of the new religion, because it's still kind of mysterious and scary and inspiring and lovely and awful and all those things. And I think because that's an unknown, it's like a combination of the new religion meets Bigfoot.”

Listen to the full interview below.