A Perfect Circle is an American rock supergroup with members from many prolific rock bands. The current lineup consists of vocalist Maynard James Keenan from the band Tool, guitarist James Iha from the band The Smashing Pumpkins, bassist Matt McJunkins from the band Puscifier, drummer Jeff Friedl, and guitarist Billy Howerdel who worked a sound engineer for many notable bands before forming A Perfect Circle. Past members include drummer Tim Alexander from the band Primus, Queens of the Stone Age guitarist Troy van Leeuwen, bassist Paz Lenchantin, and Devo drummer Josh Freese.
A Perfect Circle formed in 1999 after producer Billy Howerdel showed Maynard James Keenan some demos that he had made. Maynard James Keenan was so fond of the demos that he insisted they form a band together. Using all of the connections they had in the world of rock music, Billy Howerdel and Maynard JamesKeenan were able to form A Perfect Circle along with Paz Lenchantin, Troy Van Leeuwen and Tim Alexander. In May of 2000, A Perfect Circle released their first full-length studio album, Mer de Noms. The record was an immediate commercial success, entering the Billboard 200 at No. 4, the highest ever ranking for a rock bands debut album. A Perfect Circle followed up Mer de Noms in September of 2003 with their second full-length studio album, Thirteenth Step. Thirteenth Step remains A Perfect Circle’s most critically acclaimed album and was even more commercially successful than its predecessor, reaching No. 2 on the Billboard 200. A Perfect Circle released their third and most recent full-length studio album to, eMOTIVe, in November of 2004. eMOTIVe’s release coincided with the 2004 Presidential Election and almost every song on the album was a cover of a classic protest song. The more notable covers on the album include “Imagine” by John Lennon, “What’s Going On” by Marvin Gaye, “When the Levee Breaks” by Memphis Minnie and Kansas Joe McCoy,”Gimme Gimme Gimme” by Black Flag, “Freedom of Choice” by Devo, and “Fiddle and the Drum” by Joni Mitchell. The album also featured two original songs in the form of “Passive” and “Counting Bodies Like Sheep to the Rhythm of the War Drum.” Although eMOTIVe’s weren’t quite as rave as Thirteenth Step’s, it was another commercial success for A Perfect Circle, peaking at No. 2 on the Billboard 200.
After a six-year hiatus, A Perfect Circle reformed in 2010. The reformed band consisted of Maynard James Keenan, Matt McJunkins, Billy Howerdel, James Iha, and Josh Freese. The tour began in November of 2010 with shows in Tempe, Los Angeles, Seattle, San Francisco, and Las Vegas. In each of these cities except for Las Vegas, the band played shows on three consecutive nights with each concert showcasing one of the band’s three albums. A Perfect Circle continued their tour in 2011, playing 24 concerts across North America.