Maynard James Keenan along with Sarah Jensen took a moment with Mark Rotella of Publisher’s Weekly to discuss their joint effort and latest Backbeat Books release, A Perfect Union of Contrary Things, for the PW LitCast. The PW LitCast are conversations between Publisher’s Weekly editors and authors of new fiction and nonfiction books. Take a listen below.
A Perfect Union of Contrary Things presents the outtakes, the scenes of disappointment and triumph, and the events that led him to take one step after the next, to change direction, to explore sometimes surprising opportunities.
The interview covered an array of topics including: how the book came to be, the relationship between Maynard and Sarah, the writing process, hesitations, Maynard’s wine venture, and more.
Maynard had contemplated writing a biography 7 years ago, but he put the idea on the back burner because it just didn’t feel right. The point of biography is to inspire readers, not air dirty laundry.
Most journalists are very sensationalists. They’ll try to latch on to the things that are gonna, you know, be click bait; gain headlines. Just kind of further their own career rather than tell a story.
-Maynard James Keenan
Included throughout are passages in Keenan’s own words, often humorous anecdotes that illuminate the narrative. There is also commentary by his family members, friends, instructors, and industry colleagues. The book also features a foreword by Alex Grey, an American visionary artist and longtime friend of Keenan, who has designed Tool’s album and stage art.
As for Maynard’s relationship with Sarah? The two have known each other for over 30 years as Maynard was best friends with her younger brother back in high school. He ended up asking her to write the biography one night at dinner as they were catching up.
If you know Maynard My initial reaction was total shock because were talking about a whole bunch of other things… It felt like everything I had ever done in my life had led to that moment. All the writing I had done. Everything I had learned about publishing. It just was like, okay, here we go.
The writing was so organic between them as they understood each other. The two were able to bond over the fact they both enjoyed storytelling and this interview gave further insight to that.
A Perfect Union of Contrary Things presents Maynard James Keenan’s story as a metaphor for the reader’s own evolution and an encouragement to follow our dreams, hold fast to individual integrity, and work ceaselessly to fulfill our creative potential.