A Perfect Circle is an American rock supergroup formed in 1999 by guitarist Billy Howerdel and Tool vocalist Maynard James Keenan. The original incarnation of the band also included Paz Lenchantin on bass, Troy Van Leeuwen on guitar, and Tim Alexander on drums. The latest line-up features Puscifer and Ashes Divide live bassist Matt McJunkins, former guitarist for The Smashing Pumpkins, James Iha; and session drummer Josh Freese, who is best known for his work with Nine Inch Nails, Devo, and The Vandals. Despite having a varied cast since inception, the stylistic content of the songs has remained consistent with Howerdel as composer, and Keenan penning the lyrics.
A Perfect Circle has released three albums: Mer de Noms, Thirteenth Step and eMOTIVe. A CD-DVD set, aMOTION, has also been released and contains thirteen music videos in addition to a number of song remixes created by Danny Lohner, Robert Del Naja and other artists.
The band went into hiatus in 2004. Since then band members have worked on other projects; the most notable being Keenan's work on Tool's 2006 album 10,000 Days, and Howerdel's founding of the band Ashes Divide. In a September 2008 interview, Keenan announced that he and Howerdel have been working on new material, officially ending the group's hiatus. However, the band did not start to really become active until almost two years later, in September 2010, when the band announced touring and the release of new music which may or may not be in the form of a new album.
On December 9, 2008, blabbermouth.net reported that Keenan had announced on The Pulse of Radio that he and Howerdel have been writing new music for A Perfect Circle. However, Keenan also said that the band has no plans to resume full-scale touring, or even to write and record a new album. Instead, they will focus on "one or two songs at a time", which will most likely be released via the Internet, rather than on compact disc. Keenan jokingly mentioned that CDs have become "plastic discs that no one cares about anymore."
On June 16, 2010, after an Ashes Divide show at the Viper Room in West Hollywood, at which Keenan made an onstage appearance, Howerdel claimed that new material from A Perfect Circle would see the light of day in 2010, although this particular timeframe ultimately fell through.
On August 3, 2010, Howerdel stated at his Twitter account that "The APC dust is shaking off!". Later, Josh Freese posted via Facebook "I'm happy to report that A Perfect Circle is waking up from it's 6 year slumber...and we're going to be 'doing stuff' soon." The official A Perfect Circle Twitter then posted an update saying "Go tell Aunt Rosie... The old grey goose is dead not" with links to the Twitter accounts of Billy Howerdel, Josh Freese, Troy Van Leeuwen's band Sweethead, Matt McJunkins, Danny Lohner, Paz Lenchantin and Maynard James Keenan. A later tweet was also directed towards James Iha. All of them were past members or contributors to A Perfect Circle with the exception of McJunkins, who was a touring member of Howerdel's other band, Ashes Divide, and Keenan's Puscifer project.
On September 13, 2010, the band announced tour dates in which they would be playing the entirety of each of their three albums at each concert, with one album being played per night. It was also announced that the line-up would consist of Maynard James Keenan, Billy Howerdel, Josh Freese, Matt McJunkins, and James Iha.
There have been conflicting reports as to what degree the band will be releasing new material. In June 2010, Keenan stated that he was working on a fourth LP for A Perfect Circle. However, when asked again in August, his answer was "Maybe. Personally I'm not really into albums anymore. Might be more going back to the singles. The days of the singles market makes a lot more sense at this point. We have no label, so neither Billy nor I are really into kicking down hundreds of thousands of dollars to record a record and put it out."
Howerdel, in a September 2010 interview, said that he had been working on demos for the last three to four years, and that it was up to Keenan as to which songs would be A Perfect Circle songs, and which ones may end up being Ashes Divide songs. Before playing the concerts, it was still undecided whether or not new songs would be played, but ultimately none were played, as none of the songs were finished yet, and the band was trying to "remind everybody" who they are at these concerts. There is also the possibility of a live concert DVD and more concerts in 2011, depending on how far along Tool and Keenan are with their next album.