The times I've chatted with Maynard James Keenan, he's always seemed calm, collected, and to-the-point. He's a businessman, a vitner, and he's real busy. Then, just when I've imagined him as a normal dude (a fan of Justified, The Walking Dead, and Fringe, by the way) he reminds me that he built his career fronting bands like Tool, A Perfect Circle, and Puscifer by being really, really weird.
Puscifer's brand-new video for Puscifer's cover of Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody," the lead single from the band's new EP, Donkey Punch the Night, is a perfect example. It's as if Keenan took a listen to the recording -- which clings closely to the original's rock 'n' roll opera template -- and said, "Oh man, we gotta add some crazy to this thing."
The video debuted yesterday, tied to the release of Puscifer's Donkey Punch the Night EP, which also features a cover of Accept's "Balls to the Walls, which diverges from the booming arena rock of the original, reimagining the song as an electro-rock manifesto, as well as brooding originals "Breathe" and "Dear Brother," and clubby remixes by Drumcell, Big Black Delta (pseudonym of Jonathan Bates, who's played in Mellowdrone and toured as a guitarist in M83), and Central American DJ Silent Servant.
Directed by Mike King, the clip stars "tragic singer, horrible dancer, and surreal raconteur" Dina Martina along with Laura Milligan, Carina Round, Dan Burns, and Keenan himself, juxtaposed over vintage rock show footage and indulging in classic silver screen melodrama.
Keenan's indulged the acting bug in recent years, playing a role in indie film Queens of Country and the Bikini Bandits series. His alt-comedy bona fides go way back: Puscifer launched on David Cross and Bob Odenkirk's Mr. Show.
"Yeah, I went to art school in Michigan, and was also doing a lot of performance stuff when I moved to Los Angeles, [working] the comedy circuit, more sketch comedy, along with music," Keenan says.
Puscifer is scheduled to perform at the two-weekend Coachella Music and Arts Festival in April.
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-Maynard James Keenan Discusses Donkey Punch the Night -Nobody's Tool: Maynard James Keenan Would Rather Talk About His Other Bands -Maynard James Keenan Is Nobody's Tool [Slideshow] -Maynard James Keenan's Column Archives at New Times -Maynard James Keenan (Puscifer, Tool, A Perfect Circle) on The Importance of Keeping It Local