Daniel P. Borbolla of APerfectCircle.org recently spoke to A PERFECT CIRCLE frontman Maynard James Keenan about the group's decision to take a more politically active role with their upcoming album of covers, "eMOTIVe". Several excerpts from the interview follow:
APerfectCircle.org: I've received many an email from people who are quite annoyed/disappointed that A PERFECT CIRCLE has decided to take a more politically active role with their upcoming album of covers – "eMOTIVe". Some have even jokingly referred to you guys as 'A POLITICAL CIRCLE.' What would you like to express to the fans out there that aren't happy with the recent direction the band has taken? Is this something we're going to see more of in the future?
Maynard James Keenan: "Fuck 'em. Just kidding.
"Well, first of all, our disdain for this particular administration should come as no surprise for anyone who has been listening to me for the last fourteen years. We (TOOL) were very vocal about George Bush Sr. back when he was buying and selling bombs and oil. Anyone who bothered to listen to the Bill Hicks CDs would know this. I've been very clear about this and have been since before most of you could even reach the keyboard to type your complaints about 'direction.'
"Artists everywhere are up against a brick wall when it comes to speaking their minds. After the World Trade Center disaster, I made a point to encourage everyone at our shows to investigate on their own. Ask questions. Don't rely on the media (especially Fox News) to fill in the blanks for you. For this simple position, the position of a free thinker and a responsible citizen, I was silenced. Radio stations throughout the Midwest labeled me anti-American, which I find amusing.
"The censorship continued. Almost every interview I’ve done in the last four years was censored. I've been more active in encouraging our fan base to register to vote ever since 9/11. I've been very vocal about my positions regarding our rights as citizens to ask questions of those people whom we've chosen to represent us. And yet most of these topics never made it into print. All the newspapers and press wanted was gossip and road stories. Even pre-taped radio interviews were hacked to pieces.
"I've been touring all over the world for almost 13 years. Since the birth of A PERFECT CIRCLE, it's been almost five straight years with few breaks. The fear and absurdity I've witnessed across this country post 9/11 breaks my heart. I have stories so ridiculous you would belly laugh 'til you shit yourself.
"Look, clearly I'm supporting anyone but Bush in this upcoming election, but I'm not telling anyone who to vote for with this new album. I'm still just trying to encourage people to think for themselves…to stop buying into this absurdity and rampant fear. But even that message has been somehow edited over the last four fucking years and it pisses me off. How can simple message of 'get off your ass and educate yourself' be turned into a reason to dismiss our efforts? We're speaking our minds. We're following our hearts.
"And by the way, the original versions of these songs are beautiful and passionate pieces of music so lighten up and just give them a listen."
APerfectCircle.org: What would you like to tell those who have taken the apathetic route and feel that their vote doesn’t amount to much? For those who are too young to vote, how would you recommend them getting involved politically?
Maynard James Keenan: "This last tour, A PERFECT CIRCLE played to an average of 4,000 people a night in Florida. If every one of those people from just one of those shows voted in the 2000 election, there would have been no question regarding the outcome and the vote count…just one show. So, yes, your vote counts.
"Read. Turn off the television and read. There are some great websites out there. You just need to expose yourself to as much info as you can. Right, left, up, down, missionary, etc., then make your own decision. Personally, I prefer spooning."
Read Maynard James Keenan's entire interview with APerfectCircle.org at this location.