Maynard James Keenan (Tool) talks COVID experience, Borat & more on Joe Rogan
After revealing, in an interview earlier this month, that he was still suffering with lung damage after contracting COVID-19 back in February, Maynard James Keenan discussed his experience with the virus at length in a new appearance on The Joe Rogan Experience. Speaking to Rogan, Keenan said he realized he was sick while in Australia on tour with Tool (as transcribed by The PRP):
I’m in Australia. We went out to dinner...and immediately food didn’t taste right, but this is now, this is all hindsight, right I didn’t know at the time. We didn’t know that these are the things you’re looking for, like immediately. So nobody knew what to tell you. I immediately was sick, then I had to get on an international flight the next morning, fly to New Zealand on... I’m a super spreader [jokingly replying to Rogan], I brought it [to New Zealand], it was in me. And I put it in you.
So we got there, I was like four days in the hotel. Cause we have four days off before the shows. So I was just drinking water, hot showers, taking care of myself, hot tea, just trying to get through it and it sucked. But you didn’t know yet that like what, how bad this thing could have been. If I’d have known how bad it could have been I would have been freaking out.
[I] isolated pretty well like I you know I was, I grabbed the masks before I even got on the plane, because I just instinctually like just having, you know, friends that are that are, you know, going to Taiwan and going to Japan like you just see the mask, like, okay, I’m probably just gonna wear the mask anywhere on the plane.
Keenan went to a doctor in New Zealand, who, when asked if he thought it was COVID, asked Keenan if he had a fever. When Keenan told the doctor he didn't remember, the doctor said he didn't have the virus. He was then able to play a show, but told Rogan it was hard to sing:
It was not, it was not fun. We had to kind of adjust to set around a little bit, don’t put the hard ones in.
While doing Muay Thai in Hawaii not long after, Keenan suffered from pain in his hands:
I’ve never, my hands have never hurt this bad. I thought maybe I sprained them because right after I recovered in New Zealand. I went and trained in New Zealand, thinking, I’m just gonna fucking gut it out, you know, I’m gonna walk it off, rub some dirt on it and I felt okay then.
But when I finally got to Maui, I’m like, this is not right. This hurts I can’t fucking do this. I thought well maybe I sprained my wrist, so months go by that they’re not healing, I’m going through harvest [at his winery] at this point and like nothing’s [changing] they’re not healing.
But I finally went to a doctor, an arthritis doctor, and he was like "okay so walk me through when you first saw..." And I started walking him through everything he goes, "you had COVID." And what are some of the side effects that you find are the are that inflammation.
So whatever, I guess, so it’s some kind of a rheumatoid response. That alone would be, well, maybe, I’m just 56 and I have arthritis, but my blood work was completely clean everywhere else no other issues anywhere else in my body but just the wrists, explaining that, but I still have the cough.
So whatever cough I had, whatever cough I got in New Zealand, like every other day, I’ll have a coughing fit for, you know, for 10 minutes, coughing up stuff, so I have lung damage from from it still.
Later in the episode, while discussing coronavirus truthers and conspiracy theorists, Keenan said, "I’m still feeling residual effects of that. I feel like there’s a bunch of people that — maybe I didn’t almost die — I have friends who almost died. Yeah, it was close. So then you have people going... apparently I’m being paid to say this [that he contracted COVID-19]. Eat a dick, dude."
Rogan also brought up Rudy Giuliani's viral turn in the new Borat film. "You had me at Borat," Keenan said, later speculating that perhaps Giuliani was "looking for Hunter Biden's laptop in there somewhere" down his pants.
Stream the episode in full below.
Rogan, meanwhile, has another music-related guest coming up on his show: Kanye West. Stay tuned for more on that.