Though each of Maynard James Keenan's various projects is informed by hard rock, they're most notable for how they subvert the formula. A former art school student, Keenan has demonstrated particular interest in music's visual and performance aspects, as he's been a trailblazer with everything from Tool's distinctive videos to the iconoclastic variety shows of his recent project, Puscifer. A Perfect Circle is a stepping stone in that evolution, exploring an epic theatrical vibe that — despite moments of sonic intensity — relies more on subtlety and texture. Keenan formed APC in 1999 with longtime friend (and Tool guitar tech) Billy Howerdel during a Tool hiatus. His dramatic vocal style was a fine fit for Howerdel's dark, atmospheric rock tunes, which balance soaring melody against chunky rhythmic throb. While the guitars possess steely metal bite, they tease as much as they deliver, beckoning you further into the music's winding environs. After two original albums and a covers disc, APC went on hiatus in the summer of 2004, with Keenan working on Tool's 10,000 Days while Howerdel inaugurated a new project, Ashes Divide. Though Keenan's been cagey on the subject, reports suggest a new APC album may be in the offing, and recent shows have featured a new song, "By & Down."
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!