april fools' day 2005 jesus fell for it

So once again, you find yourself wondering either why you fell for our annual April Fools' Day joke, or why you missed it, or why we keep trying when you just don't ever fall for it. But at least you're wondering something, so your brain is rotting away like they tell you it is.

This year's Foolishness came about differently. The past seven years, I've just dashed something off the top of my head minutes into the first day of April, with varying degrees of success. This time, though, right after toolband.com (the official site) had posted their blurb about Maynard finding religion, Maynard sent me an email containing his fake testimonial to Jesus. (Elsewhere in the email, he alluded to the Australia Bus Crash (the original t.d.n April Fools' prank), which was of course a very sentimental and sweet thing to do, because he's just that kind of guy.) And then the fun was on ...


The Original Posting

[04/01/05] - Completely unexpected

I have no idea how to introduce this, so I'll just post it. This is an email Maynard (the real one) sent in moments ago:

"hi, kabir. i thought it only fair to inform you first, before you hear it second or third hand. some recent events have led me to the rediscovery of jesus. tool will need to take the back seat. this may come as a shock. i just thought you should know considering all the support you given us over the years.

all my faith. maynard."

This is an actual email from actual MJK. I was going to type up a post about how the RIAA had sent us a letter shutting down The Tool Page (as this year's annual April Fools' Day joke), but now I just don't think it seems appropriate. More on this as it develops. §


The Answers

A few days later, with no followup from either toolband.com or toolshed, MTV went so far as to post an article referencing both sites, suggesting they were unsure whether or not the religious conversion had actually gone down. Here it is...

Has Maynard James Keenan, the frontman of both the dark, heavy-metal art band Tool and the somewhat lighter A Perfect Circle, found Jesus and been born again? Well ...

Keenan himself — contend that the singer has found religion and has left Tool. Could this really be? On Tuesday afternoon (April 5), MTV News' Kurt Loder e-mailed Keenan for confirmation, and this is what he e-mailed back: "I did, in fact, find Jesus. More news to follow. God bless ya."

Keenan's letter to fan site toolshed.down.net explains that "some recent events have led me to the rediscovery of Jesus" and that "Tool will need to take the back seat." A posting on Tool's Web site alludes to Maynard's newfound Christianity as well, but who wrote the post is unclear. It reads, "I went to the studio to give Maynard a bottle of wine ... [and] not only wasn't Maynard there, but ... I was told Maynard has indeed 'found Jesus' and that, for this reason, he's abandoned the project for the time being, if not entirely."

But given their timing (one dated March 31, the other April 1), both posts were dismissed as April Fools' pranks, leaving fans wondering whether Keenan and the rest of Tool were just having a little fun with everyone.

The band's management could not be reached for comment or confirmation on the matter.

Keenan would be the second rocker in as many months to profess a renewed interest in religion. In late February, Korn's management formally announced that guitarist Brian "Head" Welch was leaving his band to rededicate his life to Christianity.

Whether Keenan — the man responsible for songs like "Prison Sex" and "Jerk-Off" and who for a time carried business cards with the name "Jesus H. Christ" printed on them — will become the second rocker to turn his back on a high-profile, highly successful band to follow a more spiritual path remains something of a question mark for the time being. But at least one person expressed glee over Keenan's apparent decision: Head.

"This is a beautiful, beautiful outpouring of the Holy Spirit," Welch wrote in an e-mail to MTV News.


The Responses

... so here are a bunch of the emails I got about the situation, posted anonymously as always. This year, it seems that because we waited to so long to unmask the joke, everyone was VERY confused about the whole thing. Enjoy the uncertainty!

1. Overall Comments

please tell me you're joking, and that this is the biggest
april fools joke you've ever pulled on the millions of
tool fans. i know that the story broke on
toolband.com, not your site, and blair was explicit in
asserting that it was NOT a joke, but i was hoping
that he was just tooling us. unfortunately, no one has
followed up the post, and i wasn't sure how long the
band was going to wait until they either confirmed or
dispelled the rumor. i wouldn't normally even care, as
i take everything with a grain of salt, but as i said,
there's been no "haha, gotcha!" yet. please just give
a straight answer. i respect the band and their
privacy, but this is just too much. if it is a joke, i
owe maynard an apology. i would appreciate any help
you could give.

I've been a Tool fan for about three years now, and I saw the post on 
the official website about Maynard finding Jesus. Is this true?? Or 
is it an April Fool's joke, because It's been really bugging me 
lately. Then I checked your site and you had the e mail there, so I 
figured oh well Kabir and Blair probably teamed up or something, or 
it was Maynard's idea. Whatever the case is, please post something on 
your site telling fans it's a joke so we all know for sure. I know 
like yourself we have all been waiting for a new Tool cd, and that 
just really put as all down in the dumps.

Come on man.... u weren't even trying this year... one of my fav 
things is the annual April fools joke...... but this one was WEAK!!

dude... if that is an april fools joke, people are going to be sooo 
pissed. so, "thanks asshole!" in advance! [nervous laugh]

I really felt that this years April fools joke was extremely weak,
until my friend sent me a link to MTV news reporting the story of
Maynard and Jesus, and how Kurt Loader sent Maynard an email asking if
it was true and getting a response confirming the news.
Of course the major fault in all of it was that early in the morning
on April 1st, Blair had already put up two posts on Toolband.com dated
April 1st, then later in the day, those posts disappeared and the
"Don't Kill The Messenger" post was all of a sudden there with a date
of March 31st.  Then the original two April 1st posts showed up the
next day with a date of April 2nd attached to them.  I thought it
would be real difficult for you to pull anything off, especially with
the sparse Tool news there is to post right now, but I guess you
fooled someone.

hahaahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahaah good one!

I enjoyed the latest news post. Haha. Keep it up.

Come on, man.  Try to make your April Fool's Day jokes at least
SOMEWHAT plausible.  I'm a longtime reader (and sometime contributor
-- I used to always use alexinchains0@hotmail.com when I contacted
you), and I look forward to these posts every year -- especially the
years when I arbitrarily visit your site for the first time in a month
and don't realize what day it is.  But I think you may be killing some
of these jokes before they get half a chance when you mention that
there is no April Fool's joke.  Who falls for that?

I just wanted to ask if the newest update about Maynard finding Jesus 
a joke?  I've been waiting to see the big "SURPRISE - we were just 
kidding", but I haven't seen that and was wondering what you knew 
about it.

Hey Kabir, just wanted to get some verification (truth) about the 
4/1/05 posting by you/MJK.  Call me gullible or just a skeptic but is 
this news post true about MJK rediscovering Jesus or just another 
clever April folls joke?

ok im sure u dont like gettin anonymous emails.  but what the fuck is 
this bullshit about Maynard finding Jesus.  you know of all people, i 
thought he was intelligent enough to stay outta religion.  well i 
guess i was wrong about Maynard.  if this is true im one highly 
disappointed tool fan.  I guess all i can say now is thank god 
meshuggah is better.

So, is maynard leaving Tool forever, or is it just going to take 
another 4 years for them to make the next album. either it sux, i 
need more tool now!

I bet you've got about a million of these before this one. But I have 
to ask you this before I really lose my marbles: Is the Maynard loves 
Jesus-stuff really happening or is it just another great Aprils 
Fool's Day joke?

Please tell me that Maynard hasn't found Jesus, we are in despair 
here. I respect MJK a lot, but to lose him to God would be terrible.

I guess it is good to be a long time fan of Tool and know their 
affinity for April Fools.  The thought of Maynard finding Jesus and 
abandoning their record makes me ill.

I don't email to the very much, but I could not resist myself this 
time. The april fools day joke was hilarious. I busted out laughing 
after the third sentence. This AFD joke was the best ever (i've been 
coming here for 6 years now). No need to reply on this one Kabir, I 
just thought you deserved "props".

Hey, that isn't cool.  Your other April Fool's jokes were funny, this 
one's like joking that someone you know died.  Tell Maynard whomever 
he thinks is Jesus is just pulling his leg.

You still haven't topped the Bus Accident.   Nice mockery of a 
certain other Band here lately!

what do you think about Maynards recent email he sent you? was that 
the whole thing? Keep us updated!

Please tell me that was an april fools joke.... please.

You know what i think about all this "Maynard found Jesus" jazz? i 
think its BS. i think that he is saying this so that we will not 
expect an album any time soon and when summer rolls around when we 
least expect it, BAM! The new Tool album filling the shelves of your 
local music store and everyone goes nuts. platinum in days. Flawless 
plan i might say. i give him props.

You're kidding about the Jesus thing right?  I mean, it's one thing 
to pull an April Fool's joke, but to say it's not an April Fool's 
joke when it is... that's just wrong, dude.

MJK, Youre a fucking sellout...go to hell ....if there is one?! YEAH 
RIGHT. You're a real disappointment...just like that pussy Head....

B'ya! Right!(as Cartman says)
Despite the fact that the main site also featured this piece of news, 
as has many times been the case before, we'll have to wait until next 
month to believe this!

ok... i'm 14, and have recently discovered tool as the best band 
around, i have also been recently disturbed by the curiously timed 
revalation of our favorite front man maynard. What ever happened 
to... "fuck your god, your lord, your christ", if i'm not mistaken 
(and i know i'm not) Judith was written rather recently... by 
maynard, lateralus, undertow, aenima, (just to name a few) all refer 
to MJK's loathing of organized religion, what is this jesus stuff? i 
would be very dissapointed to find that tool had no plans of another 
album... please post reassurance...

2. Media Blitz
(People pointing out people who fell for it.)

Nice April Fools Joke.
Especially on MJK's part! Even made the radio over here in San Diego.

I just wanted to say good job on the April Fools joke.  I've made it 
a tradition to check in here on April 1st to see how many people you 
can dupe.  You'd think of all people MTV would have caught on but I 
guess not.  I was laughing my ass off when I saw the MTV News page 
saying Maynard found Jesus.

Checked in to see the annual April Fool's prank, and saw your note 
about Maynard finding Jesus.  I assumed this was just a very creative 
gag on your part, but Sirius radio just made an announcement that 
Tool was taking a break because Maynard had found Jesus.  Is this for 
real?  I find it really really hard to believe...remember the lyrics 
to Judith?...but it's April 6th and Sirius just announced it.  Please 
tell me they picked up your joke and ran with it.

I don't know how you do it. You have major news blogs all in a buzz, 
and nobody seems to get it. The post originated from you. Its on 
04/01/05. Is everyone that simple-minded that they're going to fall 
for another Tool bus crash?  IMHO it was a weak attempt, but you 
surely did something that started a frenzy, so hats off to you, my 

... and from the NIN Hotline editor:
I thought you'dlike to know that my site's gotten a dozen e-mails from
people regarding the "maynards gone jesus" post.  how many years
before people pick up on this stuff? hehe.


The End

My favorite email of all of them was a very sincere email from a religious Tool fan. I post this not to mock what he said, but to offer a different point of view than most of us probably have from this one Tool fan:

I happen to be a Christian who loves rock music, particularly music by
MJK.   Many times I have wondered what his music could do for the Kingdom,
and if this has really happened, and it is not just a stunt for publicity,
then my prayer has been answered.    Welcome home, Mr. Keenan, and to God
give the glory.

Amen, brother. It did take a few days to get this synopsis posted, but the time spent waiting led to many more people questioning whether or not this was all a hoax. It has led me to wonder if next year, we'll wait a week again! Thanks, everyone, for playing along. Happy April!


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kabir/akhtar | kabir@toolshed.down.net