A Perfect Circle has just released their new single “Disillusioned.” A reviewer at Rolling Stone describes it as “bleak.”
Lyricist Maynard James Keenan focuses on society’s obsession with instant gratification and quick fixes in the new track. The lyrics urge a return to a focus on long-range planning and life’s big issues.
The frontman of Tool and A Perfect Circle explored similar issues in the title track of Tool’s 1996 opus Aenima.
In “Aenima,” Keenan urged the residents of the city of Los Angeles to put down their lattes and hairpieces and focus of something more meaningful, relishing the thought of a series of natural disasters wiping out the city of vacuous Californians as they fretted about their cars, money, careers, wigs, and beverages.
“Disillusioned” adds a 10’s-appropriate twist, with a new focus on smartphones and gadgets. The reference to “putting down your silicon” is probably a reference to the mass-reliance on Silicon Valley-developed smartphones, gadgets, and tablets that has developed in the last decade.
Keenan urges the gadget-obsessed to pay more attention to their surroundings. The lyricist/singer encourages listeners to put down those tablets and center themselves. He stresses the importance of tuning into one’s own needs, instincts, thoughts, and experiences without the constant distraction of apps and screens.
“Time to put the silicon obsession down/ Take a look around, find a way in the silence.”
Single “The Doomed” focuses on the way that gentle and yielding members of our increasingly-competitive society are often hard-done-by. The same consumerist forces and proliferating gadgets that monopolize our attention and colonize our psyches are working to destroy the vulnerable, good, and meek members of our society, who cannot compete in a cutthroat world.
The unsettling video for “The Doomed” shows the faces of the members of A Perfect Circle staring and curiously lifeless. The band members are shown both individually and as a group. Fans will recognize Maynard’s former Tool sound tech Billy Howerdell (with whom he founded A Perfect Circle), and Smashing Pumpkins fans will recognize the face of James Iha, who played in that other 1990’s alt-rock super-group, alongside Billy Corgan. Female bassist and violinist Paz Lenchantin, who played on the well-received Mer de Noms album, is no longer part of the A Perfect Circle lineup.
There has been a slew of stories claiming that Tool’s drummer Danny Carey confirmed that Tool — as well as A Perfect Circle — will be releasing a new album in 2018. Maynard James Keenan refused to confirm the story, even telling a fan “never said that” when she asked about the new Tool material on Twitter.
Maynard may be messing with us — Audioslave and Rage Against The Machine guitarist Tom Morello says he has heard the new Tool music and described it as (among other things) brutal and sexy and very Tool.
Tool is best known to mainstream listeners for songs like “Sober,” “Aenima,” “Stinkfist,” and “Prison Sex.” The band started in 1989 and grew their fanbase slowly through a series of strong albums and festival appearances (particularly Lollapalooza), during a time when heavy music was experiencing a renaissance of sorts.
Frontman Maynard James Keenan surprised many when he made a decision to put music on the backburner in 2006, following the release of Tool’s 10,000 Days. Maynard turned his attention to wine-making and has grown a significant wine business.