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Tool Vocalist Goes Drag In Florida After State Passes Anti-Drag Bill, Says He's 'Not A Political Fella'

24 May 2023 | 11:58 am | Mary Varvaris
Originally Appeared In

“I’ve been cross-dressing since long before these clickbait-junkie dupes were out of diapers."

Tool perform at Welcome To Rockville

Tool perform at Welcome To Rockville (Source: YouTube)

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Tool were one of the headliners at Welcome To Rockville festival on Sunday (21 May), and subsequently made headlines after vocalist Maynard James Keenan dressed in drag during the band’s performance.

The mega festival took place in Daytona, Florida – the state where Governor Ron DeSantis recently signed an anti-drag bill and made it law. Keenan’s appearance drew attention to the band in the state’s current climate, but as a Twitter user notes, Keenan “has always dressed up like a weirdo”.

That’s the angle Keenan has taken in a new post-interview with The Messenger, where he stated that his appearance “had nothing to do with Florida.”

He explained, “I’ve been cross-dressing since long before these clickbait-junkie dupes were out of diapers… It’s pretty crazy the technology and the prosthetics nowadays, how they’ve come along, and I just was considering bringing the look back.”

“And that’s really all there is to it. I’m not a political fella — had nothing to do with Florida.”

Despite his insistence that dressing in drag had nothing to do with Florida’s new law, Keenan did condemn the action and added, “I think limiting people’s access to anything is absurd. 

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"Good parenting allows you to teach your kids how to be reasonable and reason and puzzle things out and decide for themselves what the fuck they wanna see or not wanna see.”

While his drag outfit was technically against Florida law, Keenan hasn’t gotten into any trouble yet. "Nobody's enforcing it,” he said. "They just do that and they throw it out there to shore up their base for an election year." You can read Keenan’s full interview with The Messenger here.

Last month, Keenan claimed that he was “too old” to play some of Tool’s fan-favourite, older songs. “…Old cars… You know, just like an old Barracuda man, just tearing up the streets. You try to do that with an old Barracuda now, and it’s gonna break,” he explained.

“Something is… You know, you just can’t do that. So I think with age, you find ways to sing the thing where it’s not creating damage. You can actually recreate it without having to pick a scab, emotionally and literally, like hurting yourself.”

He continued, "… You can’t expect that out of that body. Your body doesn’t do those things forever.”