by Andrew Frey
March 2010

Puscifer on the cover of Maximum Ink's 14 year anniversary issue!!

Puscifer on the cover of Maximum Ink's 14 year anniversary issue!!

Recently I was fortunate enough to talk to Maynard James Keenan and get the down low on his most recent happenings. He may be your rock n’ roll hero from his past projects, Tool and A Perfect Circle, but he has a few new tricks up his sleeve. He would like to introduce you to some new adventures in his well of creativity: Puscifer, and Wine Making.

This is the first of a two-part article that will showcase the interview.

Maximum Ink: What is this Puscifer thing and why should you go see and experience it?
Maynard James Keenan: “Puscifer is a troupe, not a band,” he begins. “It’s a performance not a concert. It has more in common with the “Sonny and Cher Show” and “Hee Haw” than Tool or A Perfect Circle.”

MI: The show is not the same night after night then?
MJK: “This time around we are taking out 3 completely different shows and we have two more in our arsenal,” Maynard clarifies. “By the time we are done touring this year we will have about 5 shows that are individually unique as far as content and even the songs - the way we perform them. We change the version of the songs from night to night.”

MI: Is there any way for an audience member to know which one you are doing?
MJK: “Absolutely none,” he notes. “You never know what you are going to see when you tune into Tim and Eric’s Awesome Show or Saturday Night Live. The point is you just sign on because you know those particular groups of people are going to have fun entertaining you. We have rotating casts of people so even our rhythm sections switch up. One set of guys will play one night but the other guys will be involved in more of the performance each night.”

MI: What is it like touring with Puscifer?
MJK: “I don’t like touring in general,” Maynard emphasizes. “It’s really hard on your body. If we can grow this project the way I would like to, the goal would be to do installations in one city. So we go into a city, say Chicago, and do 4 nights, but every show is a different show. All the shows on this tour that are two nights in one city will be different shows each night. The goal would be to grow that to where we go somewhere and play 4 completely different shows in the same theater - sleep in the same bed. It makes touring a lot more fun. You get to actually see the city you are in and really experience it and get to know it rather than blowing through it and witnessing various forms of parking lots.”

MI: The Puscifer experience is noted to be a wildly entertaining audio and visual event.
MJK: “In general I don’t think this project could have occurred 10 years ago or 15 years ago just because the technology just hadn’t caught up with it,” he explains. “To do some of the animation; to do some of the video and film bits; to present the show that we want to present with the multimedia presentation; it would have cost millions of dollars to put this thing together. Now days with technology you can do some of this stuff on your computer in Final Cut or Pro Tools and animations programs. A video that would have cost half a million dollars 15 years ago we can do for 10. So that’s kind of freed us up for the show. In general, all those toys are what we are enjoying working with. If you have ideas and you think you can’t express them you are missing the point. Now days you can you can do it for dimes.”

MI: For all the new and old die hard Maynard fans out there, this tour offers a couple unique intimate opportunities in the form of Meet & Greets and Wine Classes before the shows. What is the best and worst thing about doing them?
MJK: “I’m not much of a people person, so they are a little difficult for me,” he notes. “But they are a necessary part of the process. Because it’s a stage show; because it’s a performance and not a band there’s a lot more elements and a lot more stuff involved in it so we have to have a larger stage to present it on. We could turn it into a band and just play club shows on a really tight budget, but it’s not really a band. That’s really not the element we are trying to push here. So we kind of have to go into theaters and then of course the costs go up.”

“And it’s kind of new. People aren’t rushing out because they don’t know what it is yet. So those Meet n Greets and the Wine Classes are really the only thing that is making this thing happen. In the end, we need to pay for it.”

In closing, Maynard reiterates. “It’s definitely gonna be entertaining and it’s going to be interesting to see how Puscifer progresses in the minds of people who have witnessed it. It’s definitely an ever evolving project of multimedia and I’m really excited to see what we come up with for the rest of the year. We are going to put a DVD together of the shows for season one.”

Here is your chance to see what all the talk is about. Get your Meet n Greet, Wine Class or show tickets early to insure your spot in history. Mar 26th, 27th Chicago, IL Vic Theater; Mar 30th Milwaukee, WI Pabst Theater; Apr 2nd, 3rd Minneapolis, MN Pantages Theater. www.puscifer.com

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Puscifer Online:

CD: "C" Is for (Please Insert Sophomoric Genitalia Reference Here) E.P. Record Label: Puscifer Entertainment

Download "C" Is for (Please Insert Sophomoric Genitalia Reference Here) E.P. on Amazon