Tool frontman Maynard James Keenan and guitarist Billy Howerdel have been taking the alternative rock and metal worlds by storm as A Perfect Circle since 2000. The band has been active recently in South America and Australia on a string of festival concert dates in early 2013 after a massive US tour in the summer of 2011. The legendary live dynamics of Howerdel's precision playing and Keenan's world-class rock baritone has fans snapping up tickets rapidly. Concerts consist of simple sets along with an amalgam of music from all three of their albums. They also perform tasteful renditions of some surprising cover songs, as noted in their most recent greatest hits album, Three Sixty (2013).
Howerdel is a former guitar tech for rock-world heavyweights Nine Inch Nails, Smashing Pumpkins and Fishbone. He and Keenan met in 1992 when Tool was opening for Fishbone. The union began as the brainchild of Howerdel, who had been working on the music for a number of years prior to playing some demos for Keenan. The singer suggested that he could hear himself performing the songs, and the circle was put into motion. Their debut album, Mer De Noms appeared at No. 4 on the Billboard 200. The band later produced the 2003 album Thirteenth Step and 2004's eMOTIVe. Keenan and Howerdel share the lineup with top-notch rock royalty James Iha, formerly of Smashing Pumpkins, who holds down rhythm guitar, while bassist Matt McJunkins was picked up from Howeredel's side project, Ashes Divide. Meanwhile, renowned Vandals and one-time Guns 'N' Roses member Josh Freese is featured on drums. A Perfect Circle appeared suddenly, cranked out tons of music and sort of just disappeared, however, years later, the group is now back with another release in a pattern that seems, well, circular.