Lead guitarist, singer and songwriter Billy Howerdel — founder and producer of multi-platinum group A PERFECT CIRCLE — has stepped out as lead vocalist and guitarist for new band, ASHES DIVIDE, and has signed to Island Records, it was announced today by Antonio "L.A." Reid, Chairman, Island Def Jam Music Group.
Howerdel's long-awaited first solo album, which has been the subject of countless blogs and chatter for more than a year at his web site, will be released March 2008. The album title will be revealed in the months ahead.
Howerdel produced and engineered the new album sessions in Los Angeles. He played all guitar, bass, and keyboard parts, and was joined by APC drummer Josh Freese. Mixing took place underway in London by innovative British producer Alan Moulder. Moulder is known for his work with NINE INCH NAILS, DEPECHE MODE, MY BLOODY VALENTINE, as well as fellow Island band THE KILLERS' two albums.
New Jersey-born Billy Howerdel is a self-taught musician who started out doing theatrical stage lighting and took to the road as a guitar technician for many bands, among them DAVID BOWIE, GUNS N' ROSES, NINE INCH NAILS, SMASHING PUMPKINS and TOOL. Although Howerdel and Keenan became friends years earlier while crossing paths on tour, it was not until the recording sessions for TOOL's 1996 album "Ænima" that the two planted the seeds which would later become A PERFECT CIRCLE circa 1999.
A PERFECT CIRCLE released three groundbreaking and critically acclaimed albums: their RIAA platinum debut, "Mer de Noms" (May 2000) which entered at #4 on the Billboard chart with 188,000 copies sold and placed three songs on the Modern Rock and Mainstream Rock charts ("3 Libras", "Judith", and "The Hollow"); the platinum "Thirteenth Step" (September 2003) which debuted at #2 on the Billboard chart with 231,000 first-week sales (with the #1 Rock track and video "Weak and Powerless", followed by "The Outsider" and "Blue"); and RIAA gold "eMOTIVe" (November 2004), an overtly political album released on Presidential election day, primarily cover versions of political material including JOHN LENNON's "Imagine", LED ZEPPELIN's "When the Levee Breaks", MARVIN GAYE's "What's Going On", BLACK FLAG's "Gimme Gimme Gimme", and more. Two weeks later, the CD + DVD package "aMOTION" was released, a collection of all their video clips on one disc, and nine remixes of songs on the other disc.