MAYNARD JAMES KEENAN picks best A PERFECT CIRCLE song for introducing new fans | Revolver

MAYNARD JAMES KEENAN picks best A PERFECT CIRCLE song for introducing new fans

Not "Judith"
maynard james keenan tool

A Perfect Circle only have three albums of original material (plus one covers record), but sometimes it's the more modest discographies that are the hardest to penetrate. Led by the core duo of TOOL frontman Maynard James Keenan and Billy Howerdel, APC released a series of massively successful LPs in the early 2000s and then stayed quiet for 15 years, eventually returning with 2018's Eat the Elephant. With such a big gap in their discography — and with Keenan's other projects being so imposing for newcomers — where's an ideal place for an A Perfect Circle novice to begin their journey?

In 2022, while speaking with Daniel P. Carter on the BBC Radio 1's Rock Show, Keenan picked what he feels is the best starting point for someone who's never heard A Perfect Circle before. Below, is the song he landed on.

"The Contrarian"

Just even the first three songs on Eat the Elephant was a very difficult task to do because it was an exercise in Billy and I showing restraint. It's hard to do a very restrained, focused song with a lot of space. It's actually harder than filling in all the space. Especially with that song because there's a subtlety attached to it and a lot of space."

[Vocally] it was in a range that's not necessarily comfortable for me, and to maintain character in those unfamiliar spaces is a challenge. And I think Billy, too. He had to not reinvent what he was doing but take a step back and not put forward his first reaction or his second reaction. He had to really dig deep and find how he served that song rather than just bringing Billy Howerdel to that song.

Same for me. 'How do I serve that song and that vibe beyond just bringing what I normally do to that song?' So I just really enjoyed that song. It was a challenge.