In a new interview with Kerrang, A Perfect Circle guitarist Billy Howerdel discussed working with singer Maynard James Keenan on the band’s new album Eat the Elephant:
“I feel more creative around Maynard. He frustrates me, too. Just like any friend, you have both sides of it – it’s not just a one-way street. I’m sure I frustrate him in ways, and he frustrates me. And we hopefully inspire each other to move forward and I hopefully get him out of his comfort zone. He certainly gets me out of my comfort zone. And that comes with cuts. It’s not always so easy. You’re hearing it in my voice probably now because we’re at the end of it and it’s time for me to drop and sleep for about a month.”
Howerdel also discussed how Maynard has helped him as a songwriter.
“The great thing in the beginning was it was the musical diary of my whole life coming into focus in 2000 for our first record.
Having Maynard made it so much better, so much more than it ever could have been, like if you have a sketchbook you’ve been drawing in for 10 years and having a great painter come and bring it to life.”
He believes Maynard elevates him creatively.
“It just makes whatever thing I’m doing that I find mediocre have to step up to his level. When I hear what he presents, it puts the fire up my ass to up my game. What he brought to this record, I think it’s some of my favorite Maynard vocals I’ve heard on any of his projects.”