Saturday, August 18, 2007

A Perfect Circle

A Perfect Circle was formed by Tool vocalist Maynard James Keenan and former Tool/Nine Inch Nails guitar tech Billy Howerdel in the late 90's. Josh Freese, a professional studio drummer and a permanent member of The Vandals and Devo, joined soon after.

The members of A Perfect Circle changed between albums, while many of the musicians still make guest appearances on the records. Maynard James Keenan, Billy and Josh Freese are the only permanent members of A Perfect Circle. The first line up which recorded Mer de Noms was Paz Lenchantin on bass and Troy Van Leeuwen of Failure, on rhythm guitar. When Van Leeuwen left for Queens of the Stone Age and Lenchantin for Billy Corgan's short-lived Zwan, two new members joined for the recording of Thirteenth Step. James Iha of the defunct The Smashing Pumpkins and Marilyn Manson's Jeordie White aka Twiggy Ramirez on rhythm guitar and bass, respectively.

A Perfect Circle is an extension of the progressive rock/metal style popularized by the aforementioned Tool in the early to mid-'90s.

While similar to Tool in intensity and melancholy, A Perfect Circle is more melodic with a theatrical, ambient quality that incorporates occasional strings and unusual instrumentation. Some of their songs maintain the dark quality that fans of Tool will recognise as signatures of Keenan's poetic style, but the subject matter is very different.

A Perfect Circle's songs are based much more on strong emotional themes, rather than strong philosophical ones. Some have described the more "feminine" quality of A Perfect Circle as a cosmo-erotic metaphor balancing the "masculine" energy of Tool. A Perfect Circle has been referred to as "Tool Light" and "diet-tool". In the last album (Emotive) the band feelings have evolved into a strong "Anti-War for money" protest.

They have released two studio albums of mostly original material (Mer De Noms(2000) and Thirteenth Step(2003)) as well as the covers album eMOTIVe(2004) and the compilation CD/DVD set aMOTIOn(2004).

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