A Perfect Circle

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At a Glance

Formed: 1999 (15 years ago)


Biography

Billy Howerdel - guitar, music
Maynard James Keenan - voice, lyrics
Troy Van Leeuwen - guitar
Paz Lenchantin - bass
Josh Freese - drums

A Perfect Circle is not a side project. A Perfect Circle is not a hobby for any of those involved.

A Perfect Circle does not represent the end of anything. A Perfect Circle does not represent the beginning of anything.

A Perfect Circle is not a religion. A Perfect Circle is not a political movement.

A Perfect Circle is the continuation and the furtherance of many extraordinary musical ideas.

A Perfect Circle is a Los Angeles-based band formed at the ... Read more

Billy Howerdel - guitar, music
Maynard James Keenan - voice, lyrics
Troy Van Leeuwen - guitar
Paz Lenchantin - bass
Josh Freese - drums

A Perfect Circle is not a side project. A Perfect Circle is not a hobby for any of those involved.

A Perfect Circle does not represent the end of anything. A Perfect Circle does not represent the beginning of anything.

A Perfect Circle is not a religion. A Perfect Circle is not a political movement.

A Perfect Circle is the continuation and the furtherance of many extraordinary musical ideas.

A Perfect Circle is a Los Angeles-based band formed at the end of the last decade by free-thinking individuals, each actively seeking to challenge themselves and their listeners through intense and provocative performance. Mer de Noms [French, for Sea of Names] is A Perfect Circle’s first album, a remarkable collection of creatively un-categorizable modern music.

Singer Maynard James Keenan [who is also the vocalist for the rock band Tool] is the voice and the soul of A Perfect Circle. On twelve new songs Maynard delivers a towering yet vulnerable presence which stands in bold and unexpected contrast to any of his previous efforts.

Guitarist Billy Howerdel, the band’s chief songwriter and producer [who previously worked with Tool, The Smashing Pumpkins, David Bowie, Nine Inch Nails and others] writes the incredible music and is the heart of A Perfect Circle. Billy deftly combines keen instinct with raw talent to create passages of untold mystery, beauty and power.

A conversation with Maynard and Billy of A Perfect Circle

Q: How did the two of you first decide to form A Perfect Circle?

Maynard: This band came together when Tool was working on Aenima, and Billy was doing some work with us during that recording process. There was a lot of down-time in the studio. He had his computer rigged there, and he had a lot of his music on it. I really liked what I heard, and I could really see a lot of potential in the way he approached everything. I begged him to let me be involved in what he was doing.

Billy: I was more than thrilled. Having Maynard as a singer, I couldn’t ask for more. And it turned out better than I even thought it could. Once we decided we were going to work together the sound came together very quickly. It was different than the sound I had in mind, and that was inspiring in itself.

Maynard: I had no idea what it was going to sound like, and I think that’s important. I try to keep an open mind. It’s difficult to know where something is going to go, musically, when different people get together. The hardest part is to learn how to listen. Everyone involved in A Perfect Circle listens well, so our sound came together right away.

Q: What’s the significance of the name A Perfect Circle?

Maynard: Well, there are many layers to the name. The most obvious is a timing issue. We were going to play a show and we didn’t have a name. We were reading some of the lyrics and perfect circle is in a line in one of our songs. But it does go beyond that. It’s the whole idea of a group of people that have come together and completed each other in some meaningful way. And there are other interpretations of the name, but I’ll let you explore the possibilities on your own.

Billy: It’s a tricky thing to try and name your band, and to convey all your ideas in just a word or two. The line A Perfect Circle popped out of the song and immediately it seemed like the obvious name to me.

Q: Maynard, can you compare how you approach your role in A Perfect Circle as opposed to Tool?

Maynard: The four of us in Tool get together, and there’s somewhere in the middle where we meet and write our music. This was different because Billy had a lot of the music done already, so I came up with vocal melodies and words for what he had already written. It was a very different process for me and I really enjoyed it. I was always thinking, ‘what do I bring to the table to make this complete?’

Q: So were you able to try different things than you had done in the past?

Maynard: With A Perfect Circle, because of the nature of how we recorded, I really experimented a lot with harmonies and layered vocals, which I really don’t do that much of with Tool.

Q: Billy, did you also feel a sense of experimentation as you worked on the album?

Billy: Yeah, I had no boundaries set whatsoever. The music came out exactly the way I wanted it to. There were no restrictions, no one looking over my shoulder. The record was made primarily at my house, in the back of the garage in a tiny little room, so we could do or try whatever we wanted to. So in that sense it was a relaxing environment.

Maynard: It was pretty interesting recording in his garage. We had to keep stopping while planes went overhead. And the dead possum odor coming from the ceiling was interesting. Not exactly the way I’m used to recording. It’s amazing to me that the album sounds as good as anything I’ve ever heard, considering it was recorded in a stinky garage. Pretty fabulous.

Q: How did Alan Moulder become involved with A Perfect Circle?

Billy: I knew Alan from when he worked with Nine Inch Nails, and I think he’s just brilliant. His work with My Bloody Valentine was just so interesting. His mixes have passion, and he really does the right thing for each and every song, rather than coming out sounding like every other record he’s worked on.

Q: Do you have a preference between working in the studio and playing live?

Maynard: It’s hard to say which I like better. In the studio you’re dealing with your own dynamic - your relationship with the room your standing in, and the mike that’s in front of you, and figuring out how to make your piece in the big picture fit right. And then live, there’s a billion other variables. You have an entire audience, and a different room every night. The only constant is you’re playing with the same people each night. I think it would be easier to say I like this particular show or this particular day of recording. It’s more about the moment than it is about the overall process.

Q: Billy, are you looking forward to performing your music in front of an audience?

Billy: Yeah, I really enjoy playing live. I’m definitely ready to get out there and play our music. The reception was so good when we played in the Fall of 1999 that it really catapulted this band to a different place. I didn’t know that it would be received so well, it was very inspiring.

Q: So what can we expect from A Perfect Circle as far as the live show?

Maynard: It’s hard to say, yet, what to expect from our live performances. It’s such a young thing, still in its infancy. It’s going to be interesting. I think the music is going to speak for itself, and you’re really going to get a lot of passion out of the music. But as it goes and grows we’ll be adding some visual eye candy, where we’ll really take it to a whole other level. So rest assured, we have a few tricks up our sleeve.

Q: Who are the other members of A Perfect Circle?
Billy: Guitarist Troy Van Leeuwen, who was in the band Failure, is the newest member and he’s just the greatest guitar player, in that I can ask him to play something that fits with what I’ve written and he just does it. He’s so creative, and he’s a great live player. Josh Freese is such a great drummer I’m always proud to show him off.

Maynard: Yeah, Josh is the best, he’s worked with a lot of great people [Vandals, Paul Westerberg, Guns ‘N’ Roses]. I first met him when he was touring with Devo in Lollapoalooza.

Billy: Our bassist Paz Lenchantin, she’s the most multi-talented person in the band. She plays piano and violin, she sings, she plays guitar and bass. And she’s really taken the reins on our Web site [www.aperfectcircle.com].

Maynard: Paz comes from a long line of concert pianists and classically-trained musicians, so she really brings that sense of structure and professionalism to the band. Her brother Luciano played viola on one of the tracks.

Q: Can you give some background on the band’s logo?

Billy: It’s important to have something to identify with other than a name, something visual that can convey the spirit of the band and of the music. If something has substance, sometimes you have to look a little harder, and go below the surface, before you see everything that’s there. Things that aren’t so apparent at first. I think that’s the case with A Perfect Circle. Some of the things in this band will take shape and will present themselves over time. Let your imagination run wild is how we’re looking it.

Q: Could you both talk about how you approached the writing of the songs on Mer de Noms.

Maynard: In the past I’ve approached a lot of my writing from a knowledge base, where I take some subject matter and try to personalize it. Kind of writing from more of a left-brain function, not necessarily very intuitive, not as emotional, more of a thinking process. Mental puzzles and what not. With A Perfect Circle I abandoned all the books and just got down to the bare bones of my feelings. I went directly to relationships and I explored the energies involved with them. It comes directly out of the music, really. Hearing Billy’s music, I just had to sit down and clear my head and listen to where it takes me. Listen to what was being said by the music and what kind of emotional dynamics were coming out of those sounds.

Billy: Songwriting for me comes pretty naturally, but it’s also almost an obsession with me. It comes all the time. I have to have an outlet for my writing or I would go crazy. A lot of the music was written in different places all over the world, in different countries where I was working with different bands.
Maynard: I think many of the songs are about the stages of forgiveness and healing. Some of the songs are more aggressive and finger-pointing, while others are exploring a more intimate approach to dealing with personal relationship issues.

Q: Maynard, do you feel it’s important to express yourself in a variety of ways?

Maynard: I think it’s important as an artist in particular, and as a human being in general, to push forward and to explore and re-explore everything around you, just to learn and to grow. There’s an abundance of inspiration out there and I think it’s important to see and hear and feel as much of it as possible.

Q: Could the two of you talk about a couple of your favorite songs on Mer de Noms.

Billy: “Judith” is the most unique song on the album in that it was written in one sitting, start to finish, very late one night. It probably took about ten hours, but it felt like the song began almost writing itself once I started it.

Maynard: For me, working out the words and melodies to “Judith” took a little longer, because I could hear that there was something very special about that song. I was holding that song very close and trying not to finish it until I was sure that I had done it justice. But as far as favorites go, I would have to say Brena and Thomas.

Billy: “3 Libras” is my favorite song on the album and always has been. It’s a very simple chord progression, but whenever I pick up my guitar it’s pretty much the first thing I play. That piece seems to almost represent who I am as a guitar player. “Rose” also means a lot to me. I always saw that song as an instrumental and I almost couldn’t imagine vocals over the top of it. But Maynard saw that as a challenge, and the words he found are so amazing. It’s probably the most powerful song on the album.
****************

A Perfect Circle is five musicians operating outside all the lines. A Perfect Circle is restricted by no boundaries, real or imagined. Mer de Noms is about all of us, however A Perfect Circle is not for everybody.

A Perfect Circle can not be explained or described with any one word.

A Perfect Circle is about moments of inspiration and expression and passion.

A Perfect Circle is...

This biography was provided by the artist or their representative.

Billy Howerdel - guitar, music
Maynard James Keenan - voice, lyrics
Troy Van Leeuwen - guitar
Paz Lenchantin - bass
Josh Freese - drums

A Perfect Circle is not a side project. A Perfect Circle is not a hobby for any of those involved.

A Perfect Circle does not represent the end of anything. A Perfect Circle does not represent the beginning of anything.

A Perfect Circle is not a religion. A Perfect Circle is not a political movement.

A Perfect Circle is the continuation and the furtherance of many extraordinary musical ideas.

A Perfect Circle is a Los Angeles-based band formed at the end of the last decade by free-thinking individuals, each actively seeking to challenge themselves and their listeners through intense and provocative performance. Mer de Noms [French, for Sea of Names] is A Perfect Circle’s first album, a remarkable collection of creatively un-categorizable modern music.

Singer Maynard James Keenan [who is also the vocalist for the rock band Tool] is the voice and the soul of A Perfect Circle. On twelve new songs Maynard delivers a towering yet vulnerable presence which stands in bold and unexpected contrast to any of his previous efforts.

Guitarist Billy Howerdel, the band’s chief songwriter and producer [who previously worked with Tool, The Smashing Pumpkins, David Bowie, Nine Inch Nails and others] writes the incredible music and is the heart of A Perfect Circle. Billy deftly combines keen instinct with raw talent to create passages of untold mystery, beauty and power.

A conversation with Maynard and Billy of A Perfect Circle

Q: How did the two of you first decide to form A Perfect Circle?

Maynard: This band came together when Tool was working on Aenima, and Billy was doing some work with us during that recording process. There was a lot of down-time in the studio. He had his computer rigged there, and he had a lot of his music on it. I really liked what I heard, and I could really see a lot of potential in the way he approached everything. I begged him to let me be involved in what he was doing.

Billy: I was more than thrilled. Having Maynard as a singer, I couldn’t ask for more. And it turned out better than I even thought it could. Once we decided we were going to work together the sound came together very quickly. It was different than the sound I had in mind, and that was inspiring in itself.

Maynard: I had no idea what it was going to sound like, and I think that’s important. I try to keep an open mind. It’s difficult to know where something is going to go, musically, when different people get together. The hardest part is to learn how to listen. Everyone involved in A Perfect Circle listens well, so our sound came together right away.

Q: What’s the significance of the name A Perfect Circle?

Maynard: Well, there are many layers to the name. The most obvious is a timing issue. We were going to play a show and we didn’t have a name. We were reading some of the lyrics and perfect circle is in a line in one of our songs. But it does go beyond that. It’s the whole idea of a group of people that have come together and completed each other in some meaningful way. And there are other interpretations of the name, but I’ll let you explore the possibilities on your own.

Billy: It’s a tricky thing to try and name your band, and to convey all your ideas in just a word or two. The line A Perfect Circle popped out of the song and immediately it seemed like the obvious name to me.

Q: Maynard, can you compare how you approach your role in A Perfect Circle as opposed to Tool?

Maynard: The four of us in Tool get together, and there’s somewhere in the middle where we meet and write our music. This was different because Billy had a lot of the music done already, so I came up with vocal melodies and words for what he had already written. It was a very different process for me and I really enjoyed it. I was always thinking, ‘what do I bring to the table to make this complete?’

Q: So were you able to try different things than you had done in the past?

Maynard: With A Perfect Circle, because of the nature of how we recorded, I really experimented a lot with harmonies and layered vocals, which I really don’t do that much of with Tool.

Q: Billy, did you also feel a sense of experimentation as you worked on the album?

Billy: Yeah, I had no boundaries set whatsoever. The music came out exactly the way I wanted it to. There were no restrictions, no one looking over my shoulder. The record was made primarily at my house, in the back of the garage in a tiny little room, so we could do or try whatever we wanted to. So in that sense it was a relaxing environment.

Maynard: It was pretty interesting recording in his garage. We had to keep stopping while planes went overhead. And the dead possum odor coming from the ceiling was interesting. Not exactly the way I’m used to recording. It’s amazing to me that the album sounds as good as anything I’ve ever heard, considering it was recorded in a stinky garage. Pretty fabulous.

Q: How did Alan Moulder become involved with A Perfect Circle?

Billy: I knew Alan from when he worked with Nine Inch Nails, and I think he’s just brilliant. His work with My Bloody Valentine was just so interesting. His mixes have passion, and he really does the right thing for each and every song, rather than coming out sounding like every other record he’s worked on.

Q: Do you have a preference between working in the studio and playing live?

Maynard: It’s hard to say which I like better. In the studio you’re dealing with your own dynamic - your relationship with the room your standing in, and the mike that’s in front of you, and figuring out how to make your piece in the big picture fit right. And then live, there’s a billion other variables. You have an entire audience, and a different room every night. The only constant is you’re playing with the same people each night. I think it would be easier to say I like this particular show or this particular day of recording. It’s more about the moment than it is about the overall process.

Q: Billy, are you looking forward to performing your music in front of an audience?

Billy: Yeah, I really enjoy playing live. I’m definitely ready to get out there and play our music. The reception was so good when we played in the Fall of 1999 that it really catapulted this band to a different place. I didn’t know that it would be received so well, it was very inspiring.

Q: So what can we expect from A Perfect Circle as far as the live show?

Maynard: It’s hard to say, yet, what to expect from our live performances. It’s such a young thing, still in its infancy. It’s going to be interesting. I think the music is going to speak for itself, and you’re really going to get a lot of passion out of the music. But as it goes and grows we’ll be adding some visual eye candy, where we’ll really take it to a whole other level. So rest assured, we have a few tricks up our sleeve.

Q: Who are the other members of A Perfect Circle?
Billy: Guitarist Troy Van Leeuwen, who was in the band Failure, is the newest member and he’s just the greatest guitar player, in that I can ask him to play something that fits with what I’ve written and he just does it. He’s so creative, and he’s a great live player. Josh Freese is such a great drummer I’m always proud to show him off.

Maynard: Yeah, Josh is the best, he’s worked with a lot of great people [Vandals, Paul Westerberg, Guns ‘N’ Roses]. I first met him when he was touring with Devo in Lollapoalooza.

Billy: Our bassist Paz Lenchantin, she’s the most multi-talented person in the band. She plays piano and violin, she sings, she plays guitar and bass. And she’s really taken the reins on our Web site [www.aperfectcircle.com].

Maynard: Paz comes from a long line of concert pianists and classically-trained musicians, so she really brings that sense of structure and professionalism to the band. Her brother Luciano played viola on one of the tracks.

Q: Can you give some background on the band’s logo?

Billy: It’s important to have something to identify with other than a name, something visual that can convey the spirit of the band and of the music. If something has substance, sometimes you have to look a little harder, and go below the surface, before you see everything that’s there. Things that aren’t so apparent at first. I think that’s the case with A Perfect Circle. Some of the things in this band will take shape and will present themselves over time. Let your imagination run wild is how we’re looking it.

Q: Could you both talk about how you approached the writing of the songs on Mer de Noms.

Maynard: In the past I’ve approached a lot of my writing from a knowledge base, where I take some subject matter and try to personalize it. Kind of writing from more of a left-brain function, not necessarily very intuitive, not as emotional, more of a thinking process. Mental puzzles and what not. With A Perfect Circle I abandoned all the books and just got down to the bare bones of my feelings. I went directly to relationships and I explored the energies involved with them. It comes directly out of the music, really. Hearing Billy’s music, I just had to sit down and clear my head and listen to where it takes me. Listen to what was being said by the music and what kind of emotional dynamics were coming out of those sounds.

Billy: Songwriting for me comes pretty naturally, but it’s also almost an obsession with me. It comes all the time. I have to have an outlet for my writing or I would go crazy. A lot of the music was written in different places all over the world, in different countries where I was working with different bands.
Maynard: I think many of the songs are about the stages of forgiveness and healing. Some of the songs are more aggressive and finger-pointing, while others are exploring a more intimate approach to dealing with personal relationship issues.

Q: Maynard, do you feel it’s important to express yourself in a variety of ways?

Maynard: I think it’s important as an artist in particular, and as a human being in general, to push forward and to explore and re-explore everything around you, just to learn and to grow. There’s an abundance of inspiration out there and I think it’s important to see and hear and feel as much of it as possible.

Q: Could the two of you talk about a couple of your favorite songs on Mer de Noms.

Billy: “Judith” is the most unique song on the album in that it was written in one sitting, start to finish, very late one night. It probably took about ten hours, but it felt like the song began almost writing itself once I started it.

Maynard: For me, working out the words and melodies to “Judith” took a little longer, because I could hear that there was something very special about that song. I was holding that song very close and trying not to finish it until I was sure that I had done it justice. But as far as favorites go, I would have to say Brena and Thomas.

Billy: “3 Libras” is my favorite song on the album and always has been. It’s a very simple chord progression, but whenever I pick up my guitar it’s pretty much the first thing I play. That piece seems to almost represent who I am as a guitar player. “Rose” also means a lot to me. I always saw that song as an instrumental and I almost couldn’t imagine vocals over the top of it. But Maynard saw that as a challenge, and the words he found are so amazing. It’s probably the most powerful song on the album.
****************

A Perfect Circle is five musicians operating outside all the lines. A Perfect Circle is restricted by no boundaries, real or imagined. Mer de Noms is about all of us, however A Perfect Circle is not for everybody.

A Perfect Circle can not be explained or described with any one word.

A Perfect Circle is about moments of inspiration and expression and passion.

A Perfect Circle is...

This biography was provided by the artist or their representative.

Billy Howerdel - guitar, music
Maynard James Keenan - voice, lyrics
Troy Van Leeuwen - guitar
Paz Lenchantin - bass
Josh Freese - drums

A Perfect Circle is not a side project. A Perfect Circle is not a hobby for any of those involved.

A Perfect Circle does not represent the end of anything. A Perfect Circle does not represent the beginning of anything.

A Perfect Circle is not a religion. A Perfect Circle is not a political movement.

A Perfect Circle is the continuation and the furtherance of many extraordinary musical ideas.

A Perfect Circle is a Los Angeles-based band formed at the end of the last decade by free-thinking individuals, each actively seeking to challenge themselves and their listeners through intense and provocative performance. Mer de Noms [French, for Sea of Names] is A Perfect Circle’s first album, a remarkable collection of creatively un-categorizable modern music.

Singer Maynard James Keenan [who is also the vocalist for the rock band Tool] is the voice and the soul of A Perfect Circle. On twelve new songs Maynard delivers a towering yet vulnerable presence which stands in bold and unexpected contrast to any of his previous efforts.

Guitarist Billy Howerdel, the band’s chief songwriter and producer [who previously worked with Tool, The Smashing Pumpkins, David Bowie, Nine Inch Nails and others] writes the incredible music and is the heart of A Perfect Circle. Billy deftly combines keen instinct with raw talent to create passages of untold mystery, beauty and power.

A conversation with Maynard and Billy of A Perfect Circle

Q: How did the two of you first decide to form A Perfect Circle?

Maynard: This band came together when Tool was working on Aenima, and Billy was doing some work with us during that recording process. There was a lot of down-time in the studio. He had his computer rigged there, and he had a lot of his music on it. I really liked what I heard, and I could really see a lot of potential in the way he approached everything. I begged him to let me be involved in what he was doing.

Billy: I was more than thrilled. Having Maynard as a singer, I couldn’t ask for more. And it turned out better than I even thought it could. Once we decided we were going to work together the sound came together very quickly. It was different than the sound I had in mind, and that was inspiring in itself.

Maynard: I had no idea what it was going to sound like, and I think that’s important. I try to keep an open mind. It’s difficult to know where something is going to go, musically, when different people get together. The hardest part is to learn how to listen. Everyone involved in A Perfect Circle listens well, so our sound came together right away.

Q: What’s the significance of the name A Perfect Circle?

Maynard: Well, there are many layers to the name. The most obvious is a timing issue. We were going to play a show and we didn’t have a name. We were reading some of the lyrics and perfect circle is in a line in one of our songs. But it does go beyond that. It’s the whole idea of a group of people that have come together and completed each other in some meaningful way. And there are other interpretations of the name, but I’ll let you explore the possibilities on your own.

Billy: It’s a tricky thing to try and name your band, and to convey all your ideas in just a word or two. The line A Perfect Circle popped out of the song and immediately it seemed like the obvious name to me.

Q: Maynard, can you compare how you approach your role in A Perfect Circle as opposed to Tool?

Maynard: The four of us in Tool get together, and there’s somewhere in the middle where we meet and write our music. This was different because Billy had a lot of the music done already, so I came up with vocal melodies and words for what he had already written. It was a very different process for me and I really enjoyed it. I was always thinking, ‘what do I bring to the table to make this complete?’

Q: So were you able to try different things than you had done in the past?

Maynard: With A Perfect Circle, because of the nature of how we recorded, I really experimented a lot with harmonies and layered vocals, which I really don’t do that much of with Tool.

Q: Billy, did you also feel a sense of experimentation as you worked on the album?

Billy: Yeah, I had no boundaries set whatsoever. The music came out exactly the way I wanted it to. There were no restrictions, no one looking over my shoulder. The record was made primarily at my house, in the back of the garage in a tiny little room, so we could do or try whatever we wanted to. So in that sense it was a relaxing environment.

Maynard: It was pretty interesting recording in his garage. We had to keep stopping while planes went overhead. And the dead possum odor coming from the ceiling was interesting. Not exactly the way I’m used to recording. It’s amazing to me that the album sounds as good as anything I’ve ever heard, considering it was recorded in a stinky garage. Pretty fabulous.

Q: How did Alan Moulder become involved with A Perfect Circle?

Billy: I knew Alan from when he worked with Nine Inch Nails, and I think he’s just brilliant. His work with My Bloody Valentine was just so interesting. His mixes have passion, and he really does the right thing for each and every song, rather than coming out sounding like every other record he’s worked on.

Q: Do you have a preference between working in the studio and playing live?

Maynard: It’s hard to say which I like better. In the studio you’re dealing with your own dynamic - your relationship with the room your standing in, and the mike that’s in front of you, and figuring out how to make your piece in the big picture fit right. And then live, there’s a billion other variables. You have an entire audience, and a different room every night. The only constant is you’re playing with the same people each night. I think it would be easier to say I like this particular show or this particular day of recording. It’s more about the moment than it is about the overall process.

Q: Billy, are you looking forward to performing your music in front of an audience?

Billy: Yeah, I really enjoy playing live. I’m definitely ready to get out there and play our music. The reception was so good when we played in the Fall of 1999 that it really catapulted this band to a different place. I didn’t know that it would be received so well, it was very inspiring.

Q: So what can we expect from A Perfect Circle as far as the live show?

Maynard: It’s hard to say, yet, what to expect from our live performances. It’s such a young thing, still in its infancy. It’s going to be interesting. I think the music is going to speak for itself, and you’re really going to get a lot of passion out of the music. But as it goes and grows we’ll be adding some visual eye candy, where we’ll really take it to a whole other level. So rest assured, we have a few tricks up our sleeve.

Q: Who are the other members of A Perfect Circle?
Billy: Guitarist Troy Van Leeuwen, who was in the band Failure, is the newest member and he’s just the greatest guitar player, in that I can ask him to play something that fits with what I’ve written and he just does it. He’s so creative, and he’s a great live player. Josh Freese is such a great drummer I’m always proud to show him off.

Maynard: Yeah, Josh is the best, he’s worked with a lot of great people [Vandals, Paul Westerberg, Guns ‘N’ Roses]. I first met him when he was touring with Devo in Lollapoalooza.

Billy: Our bassist Paz Lenchantin, she’s the most multi-talented person in the band. She plays piano and violin, she sings, she plays guitar and bass. And she’s really taken the reins on our Web site [www.aperfectcircle.com].

Maynard: Paz comes from a long line of concert pianists and classically-trained musicians, so she really brings that sense of structure and professionalism to the band. Her brother Luciano played viola on one of the tracks.

Q: Can you give some background on the band’s logo?

Billy: It’s important to have something to identify with other than a name, something visual that can convey the spirit of the band and of the music. If something has substance, sometimes you have to look a little harder, and go below the surface, before you see everything that’s there. Things that aren’t so apparent at first. I think that’s the case with A Perfect Circle. Some of the things in this band will take shape and will present themselves over time. Let your imagination run wild is how we’re looking it.

Q: Could you both talk about how you approached the writing of the songs on Mer de Noms.

Maynard: In the past I’ve approached a lot of my writing from a knowledge base, where I take some subject matter and try to personalize it. Kind of writing from more of a left-brain function, not necessarily very intuitive, not as emotional, more of a thinking process. Mental puzzles and what not. With A Perfect Circle I abandoned all the books and just got down to the bare bones of my feelings. I went directly to relationships and I explored the energies involved with them. It comes directly out of the music, really. Hearing Billy’s music, I just had to sit down and clear my head and listen to where it takes me. Listen to what was being said by the music and what kind of emotional dynamics were coming out of those sounds.

Billy: Songwriting for me comes pretty naturally, but it’s also almost an obsession with me. It comes all the time. I have to have an outlet for my writing or I would go crazy. A lot of the music was written in different places all over the world, in different countries where I was working with different bands.
Maynard: I think many of the songs are about the stages of forgiveness and healing. Some of the songs are more aggressive and finger-pointing, while others are exploring a more intimate approach to dealing with personal relationship issues.

Q: Maynard, do you feel it’s important to express yourself in a variety of ways?

Maynard: I think it’s important as an artist in particular, and as a human being in general, to push forward and to explore and re-explore everything around you, just to learn and to grow. There’s an abundance of inspiration out there and I think it’s important to see and hear and feel as much of it as possible.

Q: Could the two of you talk about a couple of your favorite songs on Mer de Noms.

Billy: “Judith” is the most unique song on the album in that it was written in one sitting, start to finish, very late one night. It probably took about ten hours, but it felt like the song began almost writing itself once I started it.

Maynard: For me, working out the words and melodies to “Judith” took a little longer, because I could hear that there was something very special about that song. I was holding that song very close and trying not to finish it until I was sure that I had done it justice. But as far as favorites go, I would have to say Brena and Thomas.

Billy: “3 Libras” is my favorite song on the album and always has been. It’s a very simple chord progression, but whenever I pick up my guitar it’s pretty much the first thing I play. That piece seems to almost represent who I am as a guitar player. “Rose” also means a lot to me. I always saw that song as an instrumental and I almost couldn’t imagine vocals over the top of it. But Maynard saw that as a challenge, and the words he found are so amazing. It’s probably the most powerful song on the album.
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A Perfect Circle is five musicians operating outside all the lines. A Perfect Circle is restricted by no boundaries, real or imagined. Mer de Noms is about all of us, however A Perfect Circle is not for everybody.

A Perfect Circle can not be explained or described with any one word.

A Perfect Circle is about moments of inspiration and expression and passion.

A Perfect Circle is...

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