After news of Bieber's affinity for '90s psychedelic alternative metal hit the blogosphere in July, Keenan retweeted one article about it with the added "#bummer." Everyone interpreted this as the famously acerbic singer shunning Bieber — and it understandably pissed off Hailey Bieber, who decried Keenan's reaction as "childish."
But now Keenan is explaining that his comment was misinterpreted, and that he should have been more clear.
Keenan continued that "#bummer" actually wasn't referring to Bieber but to the "ocean of s--t" that he believes Bieber is dealing with, presumably by Tool fans who are accusing him of being a poser.
"The flood's coming from the people that don't get it, and the people that think they do — and they're going to argue with each other, and it's going to be stupid," he said. "And it doesn't matter. And this poor kid's caught right in the crosshairs, as he was, as he is."
Keenan's backtracking here is dubious, but if anyone is familiar with the wrath of Tool's fans, it's him.
The same people arrayed against Bieber are the ones who accused Keenan of holding up Tool's latest album, Fear Inoculum, for over a decade. Keenan says he received death threats from people who mistakenly thought he was the reason for the 13-year gap between Tool's last two albums.
In a series of Instagram Stories posted this past July, Bieber was curious to see how diverse his followers' musical palette was. Bieber shared lyrics to Tool's "The Pot," asking who could identify the song without cheating.
Bieber then played the first 90 seconds or so of the song for his followers, in what seemed like a sincere gesture to share music with people who otherwise might not be open to it. The singer has dropped many clues over his career that he's a fan of heavy rock; he was once filmed backstage singing the guitar lead to Metallica's "Fade to Black" and once appeared as Ozzy Osbourne on the show Lip Sync Battle.
Fear Inoculum appears to be headed for the No. 1 spot on the album chart after a month of remarkable chart saturation by Tool leading up to its August 30 release.
The band recently announced a fall tour of North America to support the album. Get all the dates here.
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