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Guitar tech Billy Howerdel and Tool frontman Maynard James Keenan joined forces in 1999 to form the American rock supergroup A Perfect Circle. They intended to create a band where the lineup could change with each album.
The band’s current lineup features Keenan's signature vocals front and center alongside James Iha (The Smashing Pumpkins), Matt McJunkins (Eagles of Death Metal), Billy Howerdel (Ashes Divide), and Jeff Friedl (Puscifer).
Initially, A Perfect Circle was viewed as an extension of Tool's alt-metal-fused-with-art-rock style. But the band quickly found its own voice, shifting to lighter, more melodic sounds with a theatrical, ambient quality and the occasional use of strings and unconventional instruments.
Members of Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson, Smashing Pumpkins, and Queens of the Stone Age have all played a part in A Perfect Circle’s revolving lineup over the years, with Howerdel and Keenan at the core.
A Perfect Circle released three albums in the early 2000s:Mer de Noms (2000), Thirteenth Step (2003), and eMOTIVe (2004). After a period of phenomenal success that saw them sell millions of albums and play to sold-out crowds worldwide, the band went on an indefinite hiatus that would last several years.
The band got back together in 2010, shaking off the dust by announcing a series of full-album shows over several nights. But after putting out their 2013 greatest hits album, Three Sixty, they fell into inactivity again.
In 2017, A Perfect Circle regrouped for a North American tour and released their fourth studio album, Eat the Elephant, in 2018—the band’s first new album in fourteen years.