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Old 11-22-2002, 10:35 AM   #1
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Devo "H" Keenan

Most people relate H. to relationships, that's great all songs are open for interpretation. I think H. is much deeper, and is connected to Pushit, and Prison Sex.
I have read somewhere, I really don't remember where, that Maynards son's name is Devo H. Keenan, his middle name being H and nothing else. and that the song H. has to do with maynard stopping the abusive cycle, "do unto others what has been done to you." like in prison sex. "what's coming through is alive, whats holding up is a mirror." mirror reffering to maynard's son Devo and he see's himself in Devo. "my blood before me begs me open up my heart again." his blood before him being Devo, and opening up his heart again, which is empathy because maynard has been the abused one, and he is opening up his heart again to Devo after it has been closed from abuse.
"they're both totally void of hate, but killing me just the same." Both being void of hate is Devo and his wife, and it hurts him when he's at the point of hurting and stops himself because he wants to sop the cycle of abuse.
"the snake behind him" would be his past which is filled with abuse and it's "Venomous voice, tempts me, drains me, bleeds me, leaves me cracked and empty." obviously doing unto others tempts him from his past and it hurts him.
I think this song also deals with lacrymology, which is the study of tears, and it is said that crying helps deal with emotional pain. "I cuold have cried then, I should have cried then"
This whole "conflict" of Good VS Evil is what maynard has reffered to as the cartoon devil and angel on his shoulder, or also known in psychology as the id, the ego, and the superego. Maynard feels this "conflict" "coming over like a storm again." Maynard is "too coonected to Devo to slip away, to fade away" to continue the cycle on Devo. And "days away he feels Devo touching him and changing him, once more, and conciderately kill him"
The storm then drowns the snake, and as he looks in the eyes of Devo his fear begins to fade, recalling all of the times he has died and will die, it's alright because its for Devo.
Again, I don't remember where I read this. Tool writes songs vagely so they can relate to many people and something to them.

thanks for your time, and TOOL rules.
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Old 11-22-2002, 11:18 AM   #2
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I agree with this interpretation as well and will attempt to elaborate on it, but like all Tool songs there are several lines that I do not fully understand in the context of this interpretation.

"Whats coming through is alive,
Whats holding up is a mirror,"

These lines are in reference to his son.

"But whats singing songs is a snake,
Looking to turn this piss into wine"

The are in reference to his abusive past and, I assume, his father. I am not quite sure what the piss to wine line means but the snake is his past tempting him to follow the same abusive path.

"They're both totally void of hate,
but killing me just the same"

These refer to his wife and child who he sometimes gets angry at for no real reason as a result of his past and wants to lash out at them.

"The snake behind me hisses,
What my damage could have been"

Once again the snake is his past trying to lead him down an abusive path.

"My blood before me begs me,
Open up my heart again"

His blood before him being his son who just wants his fathers love and doesnt understand why he gets angry sometimes.

"And I feel this coming over like a storm again,
Considerately"

But no matter how much he tries to unconditionally love his son he feels that anger and abuse overcome him."

"Venemous voice, Tempts me, Drains me, Bleeds me,
Leaves me cracked and empty, Drags me down like some sweet gravity"

Once again his past comes back to haunt him.

"I am too connected to you to slip away, fade away,
Days away I still feel you touching me, changing me,
And considerately killing me"

He is too connected to his past to let it go and move on. No matter how much time passes he can still feel the abuse that he suffered change him.

"Without the skin, Beneath the storm,
Under these tears, the walls come down"

He finally opens up to his son and lets his defenses down.

"And the snake is drowned and as I look in his eyes,
My fear begins to fade, recalling all of the times,
I should have cried,"

His love for his son is enough to defeat his inner demons and he comes to realize that there were many times like this when he should have opened up and been more emotionally honest with his son.

Then there is a repeat of this only he says:

"I have died and will die,
Its all right, I dont mind"

He knows that this is not the end of his torment and his past will come back to haunt him more but he knows that he can overcome it.

This is a very multi-layered song and I can see the ties this could and very well does have with heroin but this is what I get when I hear this song.
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Old 11-22-2002, 04:27 PM   #3
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These forums are based on opinion, and an opinion cannot become hear-say unless claimed to be fact. The original source is the poster that started this thread I am assuming.
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Old 11-22-2002, 06:11 PM   #4
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Sorry then. I took what you said differently than it was intended.
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Old 11-22-2002, 08:14 PM   #5
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Source Cited

Gratitude to member “Graffing” who provided the primary source.
Borzillo ('interrogator'): Who or what is "H."?
Keenan : My son's name is Devo H. That's all I'll say."
The article can be viewed at
http://toolshed.down.net/articles/te...be.dec.96.html
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Old 11-23-2002, 10:06 AM   #6
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Excellent analogy.

Once at a concert Maynard said something like the following before H. "any of you ever watch those warner brother cartoons when the guy is having a tough time making a decision and he's got a devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other. It seems pretty obvious the angel is going to get him to do whats going to be good for him and the devil is going to get him to do what is going to be bad for him. It's not always that simple though. Most times there not angels or devils but just friends giving you advice, and that are looking out for your best interests, but not actually knowing whats going to be best for you. So it really comes down to you. This song is called H."

I think it really applies to this meaning, just that both influences are intangible forces.
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Old 11-23-2002, 10:14 PM   #7
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Ummm is there actlually proof maynard wanted to or did abuse any of his family members? because i woulden't believe that at all unless maynard actually said he did.
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Old 11-24-2002, 01:28 AM   #8
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Not Abuse

I don't really think it's about abuse. I think it's more about getting someone pregnant, thinking you don't want anything to do with the child, and realizing once he's born that you can't keep yourself away from him. Simple as that.
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Old 11-25-2002, 10:45 AM   #9
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The meaning I have found in this song is not derived from what I think happened in Maynards life. I personally think it is a mistake to try to find meaning in a song by imagining what scenario Maynard might have gone through to write the lyrics. Rather, I take the words as they are, and in the song H. I don't neccesarily hear the connection to abuse.
Instead, I believe this is a song about sub-consiousness. We all have things in our past, some perhaps were emotional and painful to bear with. The means in which these problems are dealt with seem to be a good basis for H. I don't think I am going to go line for line, but I find the snake to be an analogy for the dark past. The snake has been repressed, but not forgotten. In this song Maynard is confronting these emotions, perhaps personified through a child, his son even.
I feel the major point of this song is to confront those memories, and emotions. Only then can the snake be drowned.
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Old 11-25-2002, 10:49 AM   #10
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i like this inturpretation a whooooole lot and it adds a new power to the song for me.

though i jus want to point out one thing...

What's coming through is alive.
What's holding up is a mirror.
But what's singing songs is a snake
Looking to turn this piss to wine.

They're both totally void of hate,
But killing me just the same.


the way these lines are setup i don't think "They're" refers to his wife and child. just considering the grammar of it all, if he iintroduces "whats coming through" and "whats holding up" as his son and the snake as his past, the "they're" must be the son and the snake. it would be just way too confusing to introduce a new subject in pronoun form. i do believe that maynard is an incredible word-smith and he wouldnt make a such a cloudy error.

that being said, this brings up something interesting, his son and his past are both void of hate.




Quote:
Originally posted by NdorphinStimuli
Ummm is there actlually proof maynard wanted to or did abuse any of his family members? because i woulden't believe that at all unless maynard actually said he did.

i dont think that maynard has a desire to abuse his family but more a fear and knowledge of the cycle of abuse.
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Old 11-27-2002, 09:50 AM   #11
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I recall seeing this interpretation onthe old opinions section and it is in fact the best one that I have seen.

The connection to his son is very strong in the lyrics and the concept of both killing him consideretly seems to deal with the idea that we die every moment of everyday. But time spent with this son is time spent doing the right things.

The birth of his son seems to be a time that he has been allowed to look upon his own life and he sees that there are these things in his life that he has not addressed. He still does no know himself anymore then he totally knows his son. The snake may have been used because a reptile does not have obvious ways to show emotion...you cant see happiness or depression on their faces. The child is a way to focus him on searching and finding himself...to turn this piss (the negative and impure...unknown) into wine. Of course neither the snake nor the child wish him any harm and they accompany him through his time in life thus killing him consideratly. In fact on 1 hand the snake is protection and shielding...denying the feelings denying emotion is protection on the other hand a child is an openness and a way to experience parts of oneself not seen before.

Denying feeling, taking the route of the snake is in fact safe and comforting (drags me down like SWEET gravity) it may in fact leave him cracked (flawed) empty but it also makes him immune to damage...if you deny pain a target it cannot be effective. I suppose that a parent could deny their love to the child and in doing so remain seperate from the deeds of that child. If the child makes an error then thats its fault nothing to do with the parent. If the child rejects the parent then it wouldnt matter because the connection had already been denied.

I think feeling this coming over like a storm again refers to the new ability to feel joy again along with all the other emotions that have been held back. Letting it all out. becoming vulnerable again. He's saying that he refuses to become a shell of a man, something that cannot give affection to his son who is sharing these moments with him.He cannot deny the love that is between the 2 of them. The child has given him a chance to become something to perhaps have a relationship with his son that he may not have had with his parents (perhaps the abuse isnt physical or intentional but that instead a defense against emotions....if the parents didnt show their love then their children couldn't hurt them?)
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Old 11-27-2002, 09:54 AM   #12
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As for the nature of abuse that has been addressed I tend to think it was more of an emotional coldness. A lack of affection rather then an actual sexual or physical or even intentional abuse. Being part of a deeply religious family these things make sense. Imposing the religion on a child may seem like doing a great thing for the kid but at the same time it denies the kid the right to explore on his own. Also it keeps the parent/child relation somewhat distant. It becomes more of a student/teacher relationship.
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Old 12-02-2002, 08:15 PM   #13
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Cycle

im not saying i agree with that interpritation or mine i just want to bring some ideas to the table.

maybe maynard feels that he has no connection to his son just yet and he fears its something that may grow.

or maybe just maybe... maynard is afraid that his son may end up like him and maybe their are qualities that we do not know of maynard and thus maby undesirable

perhaps the song doesent have a huge meaning maybe its maynard sorta sorry that he has to leave his son to tour, write music, etc


but that analogies some of you others have come up with are very good indeed keep up the good work/thoughts
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Old 12-02-2002, 11:39 PM   #14
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Maynard once said...

At a concert somewhere, sometime, Maynard once said something to the effect of, "This song is like having the devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other."

I think this might have something to do with what was posted in the "Devo 'H' Keenan" thread. The devil on one shoulder being his past, when he was abused. The angel being his wife and Devo.


...Maybe.
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Old 12-03-2002, 04:19 PM   #15
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very very good

I just wanna say that I had no idea that this opinion thingy ever existed. I had been really thinking about Tool's messages. To read your guys' interpretations is very exciting and enlightening. Keep up the good work, maybe I'll come up with a thought of my own that hasn't already been considered. (maybe)
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Old 12-04-2002, 08:03 PM   #16
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NOT ALL THE SONGS HAVE TO BE ABOUT MAYNARD OR THE BAND

Everyone always tries to do this and i believe it is a bad approach at trying to find out the meaning of a song. Think of what it means in your life, not Maynard's.
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Old 12-05-2002, 12:31 AM   #17
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a few thoughts on H.

just a few thoughts on H.

maybe its just because of my protestant upbringing, but the lines "But what's singing songs is a snake looking to turn this piss to wine. " scream religious symbolism to me. i'm not entire sure who the snake would be to play the role he plays during the rest of the song (hissing from behind and warning of damage), but my first reaction would have to be Lucifer. which either does or doesn't fit when you look at the next section "looking to turn this piss into wine" again in a religious sense. Jesus's first (?) miracle was to turn water into wine at that wedding so the partying coould continue. turning piss into wine is more poignant and would be a much better and more convincing miracle. so perhaps a snake (Lucifer) is trying to convince the speaker that he is more capable of performing miracles and righting the situation than another more popular savior is....?

of course, who is actually singing the songs? Maynard is. so is MJK the devil, looking to turn a bad situation into a good one (or at least convince others that he has)?

The Devo reference works for me overall, but in the lines "Days away I still feel you touching me, changing me, and considerately killing me." it really becomes more clear. "days away" perhaps meaning before the birth, or as the due date is approaching he feels like things are about to become totally different (which is common for new parents, yes?) and he's not sure if they are going to be good or bad, but the person he used to be is no more in the "considerately killing me." it sounds like a mercy killing almost too, "considerately killing"
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Old 12-05-2002, 02:30 PM   #18
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I'm not sure if this was said but...

" Looking to turn this piss to wine "

The piss can be related to bad, and the wine related to good. Perhaps the snake is trying to fix everything by turning the bad things into good.
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Old 12-14-2002, 01:49 PM   #19
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goofyprosk8er and bdm56, I really liked your interpretations... You gave me some new dimensions for this song, it sounds different again... So thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.
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Old 12-14-2002, 02:26 PM   #20
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Re: NOT ALL THE SONGS HAVE TO BE ABOUT MAYNARD OR THE BAND

Quote:
Originally posted by Mondo Anarchy
Everyone always tries to do this and i believe it is a bad approach at trying to find out the meaning of a song. Think of what it means in your life, not Maynard's.
Wow, and someone realized that fact. It's same with poetry; the poet doesn't necessarily have to tell about himself when writing poetry.
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Old 12-17-2002, 06:38 PM   #21
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piss and wine

Quote:
Originally posted by bdm56
"But whats singing songs is a snake,
Looking to turn this piss into wine"
i believe that this like is saying "turning the piss to wine, turning piss; something nasty, "bodily waste", into wine; something cherrished, and used at many merry occations.

another thing, wine, that gets better with age right? does that help ne1 with this? i cant make a connetion at the moment cause ive got my mind on other 'things' but if someone else reads it they might be able to make something out of it.
and what happens to wine or vinager afrer its left for a long time? does wine turn to vinegar or vice versa or something? im sure something happens but i cant remember at the moment.

just thought give u my 2 cents worth ;)

and as for the first post - thats amazing, i never knew anything about that... now that i think about it it makes perfect sense. i knew there was a connection between pushit and H. but i never thought about prison sex. its all very interesting how you can make connections between his songs. same as in some ways, you can connect parabola with eulogy.

and as for the second post brillient!
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Old 12-18-2002, 12:53 AM   #22
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Mondo Anarchy definitely has the right approach to interpreting Maynard's lyrics simply because changes his interpretations like underwear. That's not a bad thing; they still have people thinking six years later, huh? The all around interpretation, << I got ya circled, Maynard ;) >> I would guess begins with the almighty REALITY slapping you in the face. You now must look into the mirror and ask yourself if you like what you see. If you do, then good, you can pass it on to others. If you don't, then you can decide to remain the same or it just might be important enough to you to make that change. There was a mention that this song was closely related to Pushit where both experienced an ending of some sort. Those damn relationships, they never seem to work out, huh Maynard? :) (Don't ya just hate it when you loose the seriousness, get the giggles, want to cut up then can't finish the frigging interpretation. I must -- go on. I think I can, I think I can). Ok, back to the serious shit. Now, let's say that Maynard finally decided to get out of this relationship and move on; then, surprise!! There's going to be a bambino. This is where the snake comes in. Faced with the struggle between doing what society perceives as "the right thing," or doing what Maynard feels is the right thing, he had to make probably one of the toughest decisions in his life. But there was no going Baaahk (gotta luv him, it takes an even BIGGER man to do that, and a lot of love for his DevoH). And now time for the piss part; it gets a little disgusting. Long ago, (some people still do it to this day) the people drank their urine for health reasons. Urine is a sterile body compound that, believe it or not, is purer than distilled water. So that would be the society's "right thing," or society's "angel on the shoulder." Wine, on the other hand, drunkens, and impairs you. So when Maynard made the decision he made, it did not meet that of society's, therefore, "he must not be thinking clearly." As a drunk would think, possibly? Hmm. Maynard's "devil on the shoulder," encouraging him to not choose for himself or his unborn son.
Where ever the encouraging or discouraging sources were coming from, they were "totally void of hate." No one had bad intentions, only suggestions. Ah, to hell with it, I'm gonna have to pick up on it some other time, I'm getting tired.

Ok, now I have the giggles again. I just have one thing to say to you James Earl Herbert McLoud Dillinger Mainerd Gaylord C Keenan. Quit slappin' them women around will ya.

Not knockin' any interpretations, just tryin' to straighten the poor boy out.
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Old 12-18-2002, 04:08 AM   #23
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drink piss?

Quote:
Originally posted by 2L8665
Urine is a sterile body compound that, believe it or not, is purer than distilled water.
well then i just must disagree with this little section. ur saying that people may have (and sometimes still do do this) but i just cannot believe that it actually did any good. if it did good to people, hy do people these days get diseases like Hepatitis A or B or whatever it is because they dont wash their hands after their trip to the WC?

i mean, if piss is such a healthy substance, why dont we drink it now (besides all the obvious resons) ?
also, wine only drunkens you if ur a dumbarse and gulp too much. old people drink wine all the time and i dont see them getiing pissed off their nut and havvin a 'good time', all i see are pompus bastards (no offense to ppl who dont fit this) and old people who drink wine and they dont often fit the alcohoolic 'pissed off their face' type.

well thats just how i see people.


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Old 12-18-2002, 09:44 AM   #24
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I feel that it is disgusting and I do not agree with it either, but if you look into it, there are some interesting OPINIONS about it (not interesting enough for me to start drinking it though). Yes, I can agree with you on the wine thing as well, but as I stated, this is how most of the SOCIETY sees this.
Fortunately, you're not one of THEM. Keep that open mind; keep the communication alive. Thanks.
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Old 12-18-2002, 04:59 PM   #25
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ya i know that this is all opinions and stuff, and that its how most of society sees it, but i just dont think my mind can open far enough to let that in. if i go that far it'll probably rip and id be a mindless babbling mess. but yea i know what ur saying...

im not usually one to criticise, but i just had to say something to that.


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Old 12-18-2002, 05:36 PM   #26
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Many thoughts on this song.
But i just wana state: Wasn´t Maynards name "james <H>ubert keenan"?
Overanalyze and go crazy...
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Old 12-19-2002, 03:49 AM   #27
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Torpid_Prey, I’d like to chat with you “under” sometime if that’s ok. There are some things I’d like to share with you, (not about the piss lol) and since this is an “opinion” forum… You know.
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Old 12-19-2002, 04:06 AM   #28
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euthanasia, actually it is James Herbert Keenan, but since this is an opinion forum, I think I'll call him Earl. lol
He has appeared under a couple of those names, I'm just jerking his chain.
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Old 12-19-2002, 04:33 PM   #29
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no chatting

this will take too long 2L8665 just email me at torpid_prey@hotmail.com and tell me what ur on about - this is as opinopn forum not a chat box... lol
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Old 12-19-2002, 05:51 PM   #30
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"under"

Torpid_Prey, I see you got the "under" I was talking about. Thanks for the e-mail address. I write you with a return. "Chat" with ya (or type to ya soon) lol
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Old 04-11-2004, 05:49 PM   #31
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Re: Devo "H" Keenan

I agree TOTALLY with the first two posts... I can relate to the first one so well... about the insecurities(?) and all of that stuff, and the second just makes me want to cry at so many things... The joy of it, the way he wrote the lyrics and could enforce it oh so well, the emotions embedded in the song, i could go on forever... This is now my favorite song...
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Old 04-14-2004, 12:38 PM   #32
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Re: Devo "H" Keenan

i didn't read all the posts here, but i've gained a new insight towards the song I think from reading certain posts.

i just wanted to say that the whole "considerately killing me" line, in context with the rest of the song, and the overall theme of change, could lend itself to the meaning of Death in the tarot. Death doesn't necessarily mean the death of one's self, the death of a habit, death of an attitude, etc.

if we're talking good and evil, the snake could be killing him just the same, but what's being held up could kill him in a truly considerate (positive) way.

interesting. I've never really thought of the song this way before. good stuff
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Old 05-04-2004, 02:26 PM   #33
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Re: Devo "H" Keenan

I don't understand why he would say his son was "considerately killing" him. And I thought Maynard had a son, but no wife??
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Old 09-07-2004, 09:15 AM   #34
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Re: Devo "H" Keenan

Quote:
Originally Posted by nate
These forums are based on opinion, and an opinion cannot become hear-say unless claimed to be fact. The original source is the poster that started this thread I am assuming.


he is right, just about everything on these fourms are 'opinion' untill maynard or anyone else from tool comes out and says it.... but i think tool wants to keep it that way
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Old 09-07-2004, 09:29 AM   #35
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Re: Source Cited

Quote:
Originally Posted by ispiralout987
Gratitude to member “Graffing” who provided the primary source.
Borzillo ('interrogator'): Who or what is "H."?
Keenan : My son's name is Devo H. That's all I'll say."
The article can be viewed at
http://toolshed.down.net/articles/te...be.dec.96.html

awsome article even though its old
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Old 09-09-2004, 02:32 AM   #36
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Re: Devo "H" Keenan

This interpritation is one of the best that I have seen and most likely the correct I mean it has all the detals of what you have said.
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"hats coming through is a lie, Whats holding up is a mirror, Whats singing songs is a snake, Looking to turn my piss to wine, There both totally born of hate, Killing me just the same, The snake behind me hisses what my damage should have, My blood before me begs me open up my heart again, and I feel this comin over like a storm again now concederatly"
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