Tool frontman Maynard James Keenan has revealed he caught Covid-19 back in February and is still experiencing lingering effects of the disease several months later, a so-called “long-hauler.”
Tool, you may recall, were on tour in Australia in late February. The band then returned to the United States and began their planned spring tour here on March 9 but performed only two shows, in Portland, OR and Spokane, WA, before the pandemic shut it down.
That means that Maynard, who is 56 years old, likely was experiencing symptoms while in Australia, then flew back to the U.S. while contagious. And then proceeded to go back out on tour.
I’m not casting blame, as a number of other musicians in the metal community, such as members of Death Angel, Testament and Exodus, did a similar thing. These events took place well before the coronavirus was fully understood, and before Covid-19 was declared a pandemic. Still, wow, it’s tough to think about infected folks flying without masks.
You might also remember that a fan attending a Tool show in Auckland, New Zealand on February 28 was later revealed to have the coronavirus, sending out a panic amongst attendees. Maybe that’s related to Maynard’s infection, maybe not, but it seems worth mentioning.
Speaking to AZ Central, Maynard, who is currently promoting a new album with Puscifer, was asked about how the pandemic had upended his bands’ plans for the year, and he responded:
“Well, I’m not a delicate flower. You make the adjustment. “OK, well, we can’t do that. So what are we gonna do? Are we just gonna take this opportunity to unplug and kind of step back and reevaluate everything?” It was good. I mean, I was still recovering from having gotten COVID at the end of February. I’m still dealing with the residual effects. But it was ugly. I survived it, but it wasn’t pretty. So I definitely had to deal with that.”
The exchange then proceeded as follows:
Q: Wow. I didn’t realize you had COVID.
A: Um… yeah. I kind of didn’t want to run around screaming it. But it’s real. And there’s after-effects. I had to go through some major medications to undo the residual effects. Still coughing. There’s still lung damage.
Q: Oh man, I’m really sorry to hear that.
A: Several of my friends, too. Very not old people, young people, in shape, runners, who contracted it as well. And they’re still dealing with some of the after-effects. I lost a few family members.
Q: Man, I’m so sorry to hear all that. Are you feeling all right now?
A: Well no. I still have the cough. Every other day, I have these coughing fits because my lungs are still damaged at the tips. And I just got over the inflammation that was going on with my wrist and hands. I had an autoimmune attack on my system in the form of, like, a rheumatoid arthritis. Basically, from what I understand, it attacks weird spots and it’s random. So that’s what I got. That was my prize.
That sounds truly awful. We wish Maynard all the best in his continued recovery.
Puscifer’s new album, Existential Reckoning, comes out on October 30; pre-order here.