It's been a busy few years for Maynard James Keenan, with the release of Tool's first album in thirteen years, Fear Inoculum, in 2019, and Puscifer's first album in five years, Existential Reckoning, due out later this month. The latter release was likely complicated by the fact that Maynard contracted COVID-19, as he revealed in an interview with AZ Central. He had been out on tour with Tool in March when coronavirus lockdown began, but told AZ Central that he began suffering from COVID in February.

When asked, "What was it like to have your plans for the entire year upended?," by AZ Central Maynard answered:

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.

"It's real, Maynard continued. "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."

Asked if he's feeling okay now, Maynard answered:

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.

AZ Central also asked Maynard what he thinks of the how the wearing of face masks has become a political stance:

Yeah, that's ridiculous. It's just an absurdity. We wear seatbelts. We don't smoke in trains, planes or taxis anymore, or even restaurants. There's reasons for those things. I don't know. I feel like there's this twist on the idea of personal freedom where somehow freedom is you being able to walk into anybody's house and take a dump on their meal or shout ugly things at their grandma. That's not what freedom is. Freedom is the ability to pursue your lifestyle, pursue what you want to do for your family, for your future, what education you want to get. And with that freedom comes a responsibility to look out for yourself, for your neighbor, for your family, for everybody. So there are some compromises that come along with freedom. I'm not sure why that's so difficult to grasp.

Read the interview in full on AZ Central.

We hope Maynard recovers in full soon. Meanwhile, stream the latest Puscifer single, "The Underwhelming," below.

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