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TOOL’s Maynard James Keenan Defies DeSantis in Welcome to Rockville Performance

Maynard James Keenan of A Perfect Circle performing at Rock im Park 2018

Just days after Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a series of anti-trans bills into law, including banning drag performances in front of children, Tool frontman Maynard James Keenan tested the Republican’s laws by donning prosthetic breasts and a blonde wig at night four of the all-ages Welcome to Rockville Festival, held in Daytona Beach, Florida. Although it is not clear yet if this was the plan from the beginning or a direct reaction to the Republican governor, it would appear that the performance itself technically violates the law.

This is not the first time Keenan has spoken out against Republican officials. He did so most famously with the 2004 A Perfect Circle release “eMotive,” a collection of anti-war tracks aimed at President George W. Bush, as well as comparing the rise of President Donald Trump to Nazi Germany.

In any case, it will be interesting to see what the fallout from these bills will be on musical performances in the future in Florida, and who will join the anti-DeSantis brigade as he gears up for a potential Presidential run.

UPDATE: Via The Messenger, the Tool frontman has clarified that this had been in the plans for months, and that his get-up had “nothing to do with Florida,” stating that he isn’t a very political person.

He did clarify, however, that he does disagree with the new laws being passed, citing his belief that “limiting people’s access to anything is absurd” and that “good parenting allows you to teach your kids how to be reasonable...decide for themselves what the fuck they wanna or not wanna see.”

When asked about his "membership" in the drag community, he stated “On occasion, I am a drag queen… I’m casual, so the hardcore people are going to dismiss me as a tourist.”

He harmoniously ends with “Solidarity with people who are not afraid to express themselves? Absolutely…if there’s any takeaway, it’s be yourself. Don’t be afraid to be yourself.”