Puscifer, the other-other-project of Tool/A Perfect Circle frontman Maynard James Keenan, have revealed they’ll release a new EP, ‘Donkey Punch The Night’ on February 19.
The follow-up to the music/theatre/comedy collective’s ‘Conditions Of My Parole’ LP from last year, the cheekily-titled EP (look up ‘Donkey Punch’ at your own peril) will feature two new songs (‘Breathe’ and ‘Dear Brother’) and two covers (Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody and German metal band Accept’s ‘Balls To The Walls’), plus four remixes of those tracks.
Luckily, the news dropped just hours before Moshcam got to interview Keenan (full chat coming soon) so we could ask him first-hand about the release. Aand yes, before you ask, sadly questions about Tool and A Perfect Circle were out of bounds.
According to the singer (pictured centre), the EP was initially inspired by the urge to record the two covers. “We had a couple of bugs up our butt to mess around with ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ and I had fun with it. It’s one of my favourite songs so it’s almost like karaoke, but for real.”
Asked if he was hesitant about messing with such a classic song, Keenan replied that he didn’t. “We did a straight cover,” he told us. “There’s nothing broken about that song and we tried to respect the original format as closely as we could, but of course it’s going to have our signature on it.”
As for their rendition of “Balls To The Walls”? “I was just online and saw [former singer] Udo prancing around doing ‘Balls to the Wall’ and I was like ‘I wanna do that!’”
The new songs were penned by Keenan and Puscifer collaborators Mat Mitchell, Carina Round and Josh Eustis and recorded in Keenan’s winery, Caduceus Cellars, drawing on a pool of additional musicians/friends as needed.
Puscifer’s often seen as a revolving-door collective but Keenan told us the line-up is becoming far more concrete as time goes on. “I think there’s definitely some solid cornerstones in place now with Josh and Matt and seemingly so with Carina. So as time goes forward, we’re pretty happy with this particular set of people although they all have their day jobs so if we have to call on others. It’s definitely a flexible project that can accommodate that.”
The EP will coincide perfectly with Puscifer’s first tour dates outside North America, which will see them alight in Australia in February (off the back of A Perfect Circle playing Soundwave Festival) and sets at Lollapalooza Brazil and Lollapalooza Chile in March. As for what shape the live show will take, that will depend on Keenan’s imagination – and budget.
“Because we’re a independent project with no label and no outside funding, we’re on our own and you have to be very conscious of that when setting up a band that you want to survive on its own two feet. So you have to baby-step it,” he said.
“It’s only been on this last couple of tours that we’ve been able to expand the scope of the show. So hopefully we can bring something down to Australia that makes sense that doesn’t break the bank. We definitely want to present a good show…”
For those reasons, he explained it made “financial sense” to tour Puscifer on the side when A Perfect Circle were already in the country.
“A Perfect Circle has a new track we’ve been playing live around the States so we have a reason to come to Australia, but to have both of bands travel together makes financial sense because both of them are now independent. Even A Perfect Circle are off their record deal now.”
In terms of further Puscifer output, he revealed he hoped to release several more tracks in the coming months, which could turn into an album if the stars align.
“We have a few things on the back burner but the project has always been of the mind to release a couple of tracks at a time,” he said. “The last album was a bit of a departure from that, because we were on a roll and we were like ‘screw it, let’s finish an album’. We’ll probably just record a couple more songs and put them out at the end of the year or start of 2013. But if we end up on a roll and we get more songs in the pipe, we’ll definitely finish an album.”
Puscifer Australian Tour
Friday 22nd February – The Tivolo, Brisbane
Tuesday 26 February – Enmore Theatre, Sydney
Thursday 28 February – Palais Theatre, Melbourne
More info: Soundwave Touring