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Tool’s Maynard James Keenan says Welcome to Rockville drag performance “had nothing to do with Florida”

2022 Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival
Maynard James Keenan with Puscifer; Erika Goldring/WireImage

Maynard James Keenan now says that he wasn’t protesting Florida in particular when he dressed in drag during Tool‘s performance at the state’s Welcome to Rockville festival over the weekend.

For the set, Keenan wore prosthetic breasts, lipstick and a blond wig in apparent violation of bills signed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis last week, which seemingly targeted the LGBTQ community by banning minors from seeing “adult live performances,” which has been criticized for restricting drag show performances. “Adult live performances” are defined, in part, as depicting “the lewd exposure of prosthetic or imitation … breasts.”

Given the timing and location of Welcome to Rockville, which is an all-ages event, it seemed as though Keenan and company were making a statement against the legislation. However, Keenan doesn’t see it that way.

“I’ve been cross-dressing since long before these clickbait-junkie dupes were out of diapers,” Keenan, whose long worn different, extravagant outfits during live performances, tells The Messenger. “It’s pretty crazy the technology and the prosthetics nowadays, how they’ve come along, and I just was considering bringing the look back.”

“I’m not a political fella,” he adds. “Had nothing to do with Florida.”

Even still, Keenan feels that “limiting people’s access to anything is absurd,” and expresses “solidarity with people who are not afraid to express themselves.”

“People that want to express themselves in whatever f****** way they want to express themselves, as long as they’re not physically directly hurting someone? Yeah, go for it,” Keenan says. “I’m all for ya.”

“If there’s any takeaway, it’s be yourself,” he continues. “Don’t be afraid to be yourself.”

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