and A Perfect Circle return
ahhhh, it’s good to have ’em back.
A PERFECT Circle last week released The Doomed, their first new song since By And Down, which was included on 2013 greatest hits album, three Sixty. An epic meeting of metal song and nursery rhyme, powered by Spaghetti Western drums, it’s also the first proper taste of their as-yet-incomplete fourth album. their last album, EMOTIVE, was released in 2004.
The California supergroup – featuring Tool vocalist Maynard James Keenan, guitarist/mastermind Billy Howerdel, former Smashing Pumpkins guitarist James Iha, bassist Matt Mcjunkins, and drummer Jeff Friedl – reconvened in 2010 for a U.S. tour that saw them play their three studio albums (2000’s Mer de Noms, 2003’s Thirteenth Step and EMOTIVE) in their entirety across three nights, leading to sporadic live appearances and eventually the idea of new music.
“I’ve always been writing with the thought that’s it’s going to happen anyway,” says Billy, who’s provided K! with some insights into an album he suggests will be released in the second quarter of 2018.“I think we’re passed the hump – we’re passed the midpoint…”
THE DOOMED came from A SOUNDTRACK
“I scored my first feature film, D-love, a little indie drama my friend had made. I was making musical cues before the movie had even been made, knowing what it was about. [The Doomed] was one that didn’t make it in, but I put it in my folder to share with Maynard, along with other ‘real’ song ideas. In June of this year he said, ‘why don’t you work on Flush Out Expelled?’ which was the working title, and 18 hours later I handed him a finished song. He completed the words and vocals at my house two days later. It doesn’t normally work that way.”
THE BAND HAS ALREADY AIRED TWO OTHER NEW SONGS, HOURGLASS AND FEATHERS
“Those will be on the record. I need to chew on them on tour and do a little fine-tuning. the way we did Hourglass in the spring [tour] has had a little massage since. Feathers will be similar in spirit, but we’re going to continue to work on that.”
ONE SONG WAS ORIGINALLY INTENDED FOR BILLY’S OTHER BAND, ASHES DIVIDE
“I had boxes I put songs in: ashes Divide songs, a Perfect Circle songs, and those with the intention of doing collaborations. I stopped that, which gave me the freedom to not pigeonhole myself. Hourglass was one I thought would be on the new Ashes Divide record. It was one of the few songs I had almost finished vocals on. I didn’t play [vocals] for Maynard, as I didn’t want him to be influenced. He got inspired and came up with his own thing.”
BILLY IS SHARING PRODUCTION DUTIES
“I’ve always produced, engineered and worked in isolation, except for all the amazing shit Maynard would bring forward; I was the janitor and the vice president in one. I felt this was going to be a bigger record, and it’s nice to sit back on a couch, staring at the back of someone’s head and asking them to rewind, fastforward and try things. Dave Sardy is a competent guy and very subjective.we butt heads, but I greatly respect his ideas.”
MAYNARD IS ON FIERCE FORM
“I’m usually the worst salesman, and will tell you why something is shit and you shouldn’t listen to it, but I’ll say this: I’ve never heard Maynard better – and I don’t say that lightly.”
A Perfect Circle 2017 (from left to right): James Iha, Billy Howerdel, Matt Mcjunkins, Jeff Friedl, Maynard James Keenan