A Perfect Circle Prepare For Hibernation

Maynard James Keenan back to Tool, Billy Howerdel working on solo LP — but the Circle remain unbroken.

There will probably be one or two more singles from A Perfect Circle's Thirteenth Step released to radio before the end of the year, but don't plan on waiting around to catch the band's fall tour — because there won't be one. After its June 13 concert in Denver, the Circle will fade into the ether for a while.

Singer Maynard James Keenan will return to his other group, Tool, to work on their follow-up to 2001's Lateralus, and primary songwriter Billy Howerdel will record a solo album. Between now and then, though, A Perfect Circle will continue to jam on material that may appear on their third LP.

"We don't have any intention of breaking up or anything," Howerdel said, dispelling some rumors to the contrary. "I've written some stuff I haven't presented to the rest of the band yet, and we have played a couple other things at soundcheck. I just nod to the sound guy to hit 'record' so we can listen back to it later. If we use that stuff, that would be a totally different way of approaching songwriting for this band. It's always been more of a singular process, but with the new guys in the band, their interest in us working more as a band could be a very interesting and cool thing."

Howerdel looks forward to the day when A Perfect Circle will reunite in the studio for hours at a time to write again, but for now he's content to focus on his solo material. Unlike A Perfect Circle, the album will likely be upbeat and uplifting. Howerdel said that his desire to create an optimistic album sprouted from the general malaise in the air after 9-11. "It was such a f---ed up, dark time," he said. "For me, what I'm writing is always a contrast to how I'm feeling."

The guitarist started working on the songs for his solo album before Thirteenth Step was written, and has been dabbling with them on and off through the past year.

"For now, I'm singing on them," he said. "But I'm keeping an eye to the corner and looking for another singer. Also, I want to find a producer to help me readdress a lot of things and maybe reconstruct everything from the ground up."

For a feature on A Perfect Circle, see "A Perfect Circle: The Pain Of Perfection." For a full-length feature on Maynard, check out "Maynard James Keenan: Not Yet A Legend, Not Yet Dead."