Despite appearances, Tool singer Maynard James Keenan was not trying to stir the pot when he took the stage in a blonde wig, smeared lipstick and a body-hugging top that accentuated his prosthetic breasts during a headlining set at Daytona Beach’s Welcome to Rockville Festival on Sunday.
While the outfit appeared to be a reaction to the series of controversial bills signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis recently that ban minors from attending drag shows, Keenan told The Messenger his choice was personal, not political. “I’ve been cross-dressing since long before these clickbait-junkie dupes were out of diapers,” said the singer who has been wearing shock makeup and costumes for years, including falsies he first wore in the late 1990s; Keenan noted that he’s been shopping online recently for a new set of stage breasts.
“It’s pretty crazy the technology and the prosthetics nowadays, how they’ve come along, and I just was considering bringing the look back,” added the prog rock vocalist who has long favored outrageous looks, from fetish cop getups to Mexican wrestling masks, pilot uniforms, blue full body paint and superhero costumes. “And that’s really all there is to it. I’m not a political fella — had nothing to do with Florida.”
While Keenan swears he wasn’t trying to poke the eye of culture warrior DeSantis — who is slated to announce his long-expected White House run on Wednesday (May 24) on Twitter — because Welcome to Rockville was an all-ages fest, technically, the singer was in violation of the new law. If anything, Keenan said he was a bit annoyed by the false dots-connecting spurred by his stage attire.
“It’s amazing to me how every single thing you say or do is twisted and conformed into some fundamentalist far-right or far-left agenda,” said Keenan, who will be back on stage this weekend in Columbus, OH at the Sonic Temple Festival.
Now, that said, father of two Keenan, 59, told the outlet that he thinks legal restrictions on drag show attendance is kind of dumb. “I think limiting people’s access to anything is absurd,” he said. “Good parenting allows you to teach your kids how to be reasonable and reason and puzzle things out and decide for themselves what the f—k they wanna see or not wanna see.”
Keenan also noted that he does consider himself to be part of the drag community, saying, “I guess so, yeah… On occasion, I am a drag queen; I’ve been a drag queen. I’m casual, so the hardcore people are going to dismiss me as being a tourist.” He added that he feels some affinity for people who use drag as a form of self-expression. “Solidarity with people who are not afraid to express themselves? Absolutely. People that want to express themselves in whatever f—king way they want to express themselves, as long as they’re not physically directly hurting someone? Yeah, go for it. I’m all for ya.”