In the (second to be recorded but third to be released) installment of my podcast thang, I interview Grammy-winning and platinum-album-selling artist Maynard James Keenan – who most will identify as the front man for TOOL, Puscifer and A Perfect Circle, but wine geeks will also know as the founder and fledgling winemaker of Arizona’s Caduceus Cellars.
Maynard’s entry into the wine world was the focus of the film Blood Into Wine, and my personal take is that he’s onto something in AZ – and is not without talent in the winemaking department.
He’s also not without a sense of dedication, and certainly not afraid of learning things the hard way – that’s an aspect of his personality that comes through crystal clear in the course of this interview.
One could certainly be forgiven, after listening to this podcast, for developing the impression that Maynard is pretty (maybe too?) low-key for a rock star front man; but there’s no way you’re going to think his winemaking career is a superficial attempt to slap his name on a vanity project. If you’re a betting person, you’d best bet that Maynard is in the wine biz for the long haul – and while he may be a famous hard-rock icon, he views his early attempts at winemaking as a passionate and humble beginner.
Having said that… he’s at no shortage of strong opinions about how wine should be made!
Cheers, and enjoy!
19 thoughts on “1WineDude Radio: The Maynard James Keenan Interview”
This is a fantastic interview. Regardless of what some may think, Maynard is obviously serious about his winemaking. It's great to hear him talk about the process, and the passion that he puts into his work. A nice, candid discussion…definitely looking forward to more where this came from.
Nice interview! Definitely a better insight into Maynard's thought process in winemaking as compared to the Blood movie. Things to look forward to! Well done.
Thanks, Glenn – we got inside Maynard's head a little bit, I think. but not too far – not sure what lurks in the dark recesses of his noggin'! :)
Will listen to podcast tonight while I crack open a 2007 Judith Cab……mmmmm
Thanks, Andy – it's long enough that it might last the entire bottle…
Would welcome thoughts on the Judith Cab as well, I've yet to try it.
Went to dinner with some freinds where we drank and pontificated about the Judith. Then went home and made it thru half the interview before falling asleep (sorry Maynard…but you do have a monotone…when speaking, not when singing of course). Overall the wine is very nice. A unique blend of Bordeaux and California characteristics– there is deep, dark ripe classic Cab fruit but its more earthy, minerally on the finish without heat. Also, firmer tannins than typical for Cali. I have 2 more bottles and will give them a few years before trying again. The QPR on the Judith is not great though…its $100 (big ouch on the wallet)
Very strange – when I listen to the interview, I can only here 1winedude talking, and dead air where I assume Maynard would be talking. No one else having this problem?
Yawn – it's in stereo with mine and MJK's voices tracked separately, so there might be something going on like that if you're in mono mode.
I don't want to misquote, but couldn't find the option to 'rewind' the player: the difference between an obsessed fan and one who is inspired by MJKs continuing legacy, to experience the world in a new and different way. I'm that kind of fan, definitely. I'm quietly frustrated that Caduceus Cellars are not exporting to AUS, and hope that may change in the future. I enjoy a good shiraz when I paint, it gets me in the mood, and some mood music also helps. I enjoy exposing people to their misconcieved 'self formed' personalities. We are all subject to the influences around us. TOOL, Puscifer and A Perfect Circle have influenced my artistic development, having accompanied me throughout my personal and artistic life. My own themes, concepts and original experience goes onto the canvas, but there's undertones of challenging that which the societies around us put out there for us; contesting conformity… and that's always been my purpose. And I feel that splash of encouragement from MJKs art.
I'm happy for MJK that he is now using energy working the land and producing wines. And, I promise, if I sent him a painting, it wouldn't have my own blood in it. Neither would it have any Caduceus wine in it, unless the exporting happens!
Oh, for rewinding, just click in the progress bar of the player (same for FF).
Thanks Wine Dude
No, Humanidee – thank YOU! :)
Great interview Joe – we're interviewing Maynard tomorrow for our Australian wine video podcast Wine Week. He has a great connection with wine in this country (you made mention of the imperial of Grange he managed to pick up a few years back! ), so should be great to talk about his move into winemaking.
Enjoy the interview down undah! MJK is a very intelligent guy, so bring your best game! ;-)
Thanks for this interview, I really enjoyed it alot. You asked some great questions.
I’m admittedly not a very knowledgeable person when it comes to wine or winemaking, but as a fan of Keenan’s music it’s still fun for me to hear his thoughts and perspectives on a completely different trade. I can definitely respect the massive investments of time and effort that some of these folks in Arizona’s young winemaking scene have poured into their projects, as well as the emphases on community and mutual recognition. Its pretty cool.
Thanks, Ry – totally agree, I think his passion for winemaking comes through loud and clear. I don't think he's accustomed to doing anything halfway. :)
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