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Music

Tool's Maynard James Keenan wants you to eat his Puscifer

Photo: Courtesy photo, License: N/A

Courtesy photo

Photo: , License: N/A


When Puscifer rolls through town in support of last year's Conditions of My Parole, the band's second album, they'll be playing some of Maynard James Keenan's best and most successful music. Not bad for a group that started out as a half-serious gag on the Mr. Show sketch comedy series.

Keenan is a man of many bands (Tool, A Perfect Circle, Puscifer) and a man of many talents (singing, songwriting, acting, comedy, wine-making). He attracts a lot of talent to Puscifer, whose dynamic stage shows and constantly shifting lineups reflect the multifarious vision he has for them.

Puscifer's live show is a catch-all of Keenan's passions, incorporating music with dramatic and comedic elements, traditional rock 'n' roll pyrotechnics, modern theatrical design, and even diverse elements like ambient sound and animation. It's a testament to his quality as a man who's never satisfied and who wants his shows to express everything he's got inside, one way or another.

"I've always wanted to be a fire engine," he told the Current. Is he working towards achieving that?

"I was last night, yeah."

MAYNARD JAMES KEENAN
The Rap Sheet

Tool: MJK's first and most famous band. Founded in L.A. in 1990, on hiatus since 2008 but expected to return with a new album later this year. Ænima and Lateralus are considered classics of their genre, whatever that is.

A Perfect Circle: MJK's alt-metal quasi-supergroup with members of Smashing Pumpkins and Nine Inch Nails. Released music off and on since 1999. A more bombastic outlet for Maynard's inner rock god.

Puscifer: MJK's endlessly morphing posse for his more avant-garde solo material. Never the same thing twice, but always worth listening to. Not so much a rock band as a sort of electrified metallic cabaret.

Caduceus Cellars: MJK's winery in the Verde Valley of Arizona. Produces a well-regarded line of wines, grown by Maynard himself at his Merkin Vineyards. Takes up most of his non-performing time; he schedules his musical endeavors for the off-season.

On his songwriting process: "Who a song is written for depends entirely on who I'm working with. If I'm sitting in a room with Adam Jones, it's a Tool song. If I'm in a room with Billy Howerdel, it's A Perfect Circle. It doesn't have to be an actual room. Sometimes it's a metaphorical room."

On who he'd like to work with: "Jimi Hendrix. Oh, did you want someone alive?"

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