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TOOL's Maynard James Keenan Recalls Helping DEFTONES With Writer's Block on White Pony

"I felt like they just needed a bit of new perspective. I had them each switch instruments."

Turns out Tool vocalist Maynard James Keenan's role in Deftones' 2000 album White Pony was originally much more than being a guest vocalist. In a new piece published by Revolver, Deftones vocalist Chino Moreno said Keenan was slated to be executive producer on the album. Drummer Abe Cunningham later said in the interview Keenan's role wasn't really defined, "but he was down to help us work on the record."

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Still, Keenan recalls being brought in to help the band overcome writer's block.

"I was told the guys were having a bit of writer’s block or some turmoil within the band. Who knows?" said Keenan. "They certainly weren’t going to discuss that with me, an almost total stranger. [They were] very strong-willed gents. Dare I say stubborn. Up to that point, they seemed to have been able to navigate through their differences in ideas and approaches. Great first efforts. The evidence is all there.

"I felt like they just needed a bit of new perspective. I had them each switch instruments, play on the bowls, take one loop and try some improvisation. The look on their faces was priceless. I might as well have been wearing hippie beads and bunny ears. I could just feel Stephen thinking, ‘What kind of acid-trip crap is this?'"

White Pony producer Terry Date later said "I think he and Chino‘s brains work very much the same. Maynard likes to do his vocals after the music is recorded, and Chino‘s the same way."

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Deftones will release their White Pony remix album Black Stallion on December 11.

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