A Perfect Circle Guitarist Discloses Maynard James Keenan’s Unusual Advice On Singing


During his recent interview with Appetite for Distortion, A Perfect Circle guitarist Billy Howerdel revealed his bandmate and Tool frontman Maynard James Keenan‘s words about a specific singing style. Howerdel also shared details about the advice and how he decided to use it now.

Howerdel and Tool singer Maynard James Keenan co-founded A Perfect Circle in 1999, and the band released its debut studio album entitled ‘Mer de Noms’ on May 23, 2000. In time, the new members joined them, and even though it went through several lineup changes for different reasons, Howerdel and Keenan continued to create and play together. The band became very successful, and their fans appreciated their harmonious works.

As two musicians who have been collaborating for years, many would expect them to express their ideas and opinions on music to each other. Hence, Keenan advised Howerdel to use his speaking voice while singing in one of them. It’s not usual for many singers to prefer choosing this style. However, Howerdel said the singer suggested he could perform like that in 2006. Still, after more than a decade, the musician decided to listen to his bandmate.

The famous guitarist stated that he didn’t use this technique while he was working on creating a character or persona. However, he wanted to be himself only for his upcoming debut solo album this time. Therefore, Howerdel probably gave a clue about his forthcoming album, ‘What Normal Was,’ which will be released on June 10, 2022. His longtime fans got very excited about listening to the record with an unorthodox style.

Regarding Keenan’s advice, Howerdel stated:

“Maynard’s suggestion to me, in 2006 maybe, is just using your speaking voice almost like kids. You have to read between the lines of what that means. I think that whoever hears that you have to go, ‘Okay,’ but that doesn’t mean that make a spoken record. But I think that’s what I did. I took that and ran with it this time because your voice is your voice. If you’re trying to do a character, you might be chasing something else.

I like acting too. I get it what it’s to go and do a character and bring your thing to that character. But this time, I don’t feel like I’m doing a character. This is where it naturally falls and why it made sense to use my name again. Let’s say I worked to make sure that I was singing in the register that was the right register for me singing the song, not that I wanted to impress you that I’m hitting a B-flat or whatever octave.”

You can check out the interview below.