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A Perfect Circle - Eat The Elephant - 2LP -

Price per Unit (stuk): €29.95


It's been 14 years since A Perfect Circle last put out a new album, and frontman Maynard James Keenan is acutely aware of this fact. So much so that he found himself asking a litany of philosophical questions when making the group's upcoming full-length, Eat the Elephant. "Do you reinvent yourself and try to look to the future?" he posits to Rolling Stone. "Do you do what you did before to satisfy the people who were there before? And when you're no longer 27, are you even relevant? Does it matter? There were many, many questions, and you try not to let them direct everything you're doing, but they were looming."

And how did Keenan reconcile those doubts? "I just put the blinders on and do it," he says. "I only really truly embraced the things that made sense and inspired me."

What Keenan and his Perfect Circle partner, guitarist Billy Howerdel, made was somewhat of a departure from past albums – a quieter display of the complex emotional tableaus they made their calling card in the early 2000s. Gone largely are the walloping riffs of "Judith" and the propulsive rhythms of "Weak and Powerless." Eat the Elephant is a moody, sensitive portrait of a band that decided to grow up and make a record that reflects where they are now as artists rather than trying to recapture the past. The group has released two songs from the album so far, the relaxed "Disillusioned" (seemingly about a society that's gotten lost in its own self-interest) and "The Doomed" (a more upbeat song with lyrics about survival of the fittest).

Howerdel first discussed working on the album with Keenan – who splits his time between his other bands Tool and Puscifer, and his winemaking business in Arizona – about a year and a half ago, and from there they just waited for the right chunk of time to focus on it. "The bottom line is Maynard is a busy guy and when his schedule allows, he knows that I'm going to be interested in making an A Perfect Circle record," Howerdel says. "So he reached out and said he saw a window and that's what we're doing. It was as simple as that." The guitarist started concentrating on getting the songs together about a year ago and decided to bring in an outside producer, Dave Sardy (Incubus, ZZ Top), for the first time. Howerdel started tracking music last summer; they paused for a brief tour and finally mastered the album in January. "It's been a furious ending process this winter," Howerdel says.

Today, the band is officially announcing that the album will be coming out on April 20th, and they've released another single, the swaggering "TalkTalk," which finds Keenan trying unusual new things with his voice as he lambastes falsely self-righteous people in his lyrics. 

Keenan says the whole process has just been a constant push to the finish line. "We just had to dig in and do it," he says. "Once the [wine grape] harvest was out of the way, we started to get things done with the music in between picking and processing. It's pretty much been on my plate this whole time." So he simply sat down and ate the elephant? "Oh, yeah. One bite at a time."

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