Shot on my last day at my old studio…
Album: Mer De Noms
Released: May 23, 2000
A Perfect Circle (often abbreviated as APC) is an American rock supergroup formed in 1999 by guitarist Billy Howerdel and Tool vocalist Maynard James Keenan. APC was originally conceived by Billy Howerdel, a former guitar technician for Nine Inch Nails, The Smashing Pumpkins, Fishbone and Tool. Howerdel met singer Maynard James Keenan in 1992, when Tool was opening for Fishbone, and the two became friends. Three years later, Keenan offered Howerdel, who was looking for lodging, a room in his North Hollywood home. This provided Howerdel the opportunity to play demos of his music for Keenan. Pleased with what he heard, Keenan remarked, “I can hear myself singing [those songs].” Although he originally desired a female vocalist, Howerdel agreed that Keenan would be a good fit, and A Perfect Circle was formed a short time later. The two rounded out the band’s initial lineup with bassist and violinist Paz Lenchantin, former Failure guitarist Troy Van Leeuwen, and Primus drummer Tim Alexander.
Mer De Noms is the band’s debut album. The album was released on May 23, 2000, and entered the Billboard 200 at No. 4, making it the highest ever Billboard 200 debut for a rock band’s first album. It sold over 188,000 copies in the first week, and stayed on the charts for 51 consecutive weeks. It was certified platinum by the RIAA on October 31, 2000. The album peaked at No. 27 on the Billboard Top Pop Catalog Albums on October 4, 2003, three years after the album’s release.
Most of the album’s lyrics were dedicated to various people that lead singer Maynard James Keenan knew. The track listing consists of various names such as “Judith”, “Breña”, “Rose”, “Thomas”, “Magdalena”, “Orestes”, and “Renholdër” (for musician Danny Lohner). The symbols on the front cover of the album can be translated to “La Cascade des Prénoms,” which translated to English means “the waterfall of first names”.
APC’s Billy Howerdel nearly lost one of the band’s songs – literally. The track “Vanishing,” which appears on APC’s second album Thirteenth Step, was supposed to be on the band’s debut album Mer Des Noms, but Howerdel couldn’t find the file for it on his computer. He’d named the file “Test” thinking that it would be thrown away but fortunately he eventually found the file years later. The song was re-recorded and released in 2003.
Filmed in my old studio in Los Angeles
Released on November 16, 2010