Puscifer--the enduring creative side project of TOOL and A Perfect Circle frontman Maynard James Keenan with co-vocalist Carina Round and Mat Michell--will bring its mystique to MGM Northfield Park's Center Stage near Cleveland on Sunday, this following TOOL and Puscifer's weekend Sonic Temple Art & Music Festival performances.
The Existential Reckoning Tour will feature songs and re-imagined versions from Puscifer's album catalogue performed with a play-like show that embraces a bit of humor. The crowd will not only groove to the sensational dark wave alt/experimental electronic music and sing along, but fans will also laugh at the robust onstage theatrics of the characters. Attendees will end the weekend with not just another live show, but rather a full concert experience.
About The Artist
In the Summer of 2016, Billy D, rumored to have been carrying nothing but a bottle of wine and a mysterious briefcase, disappeared without a trace somewhere in the high deserts of the Southwestern United States.
In a frantic call-to-arms, instigated by Billy D’s loving wife, Hildy Berger, The Agents of Puscifer sprang into action. Rumors of Alien abduction were at the forefront throughout the dark web chatter. And therefore traditional methods of tracking a lost and hopeless drunkard in a dirty leisure suit were not an option. Special Agents Mat Mitchell, Carina Round, and Agent-In-Training Maynard Keenan a.k.a. “Dick Merkin,” hypothesized the only way to locate their subject was to construct traversable bridges between intuition and technology. The agents surmised that by exploring the metaphorical mycelium between Math and Passion, Art and Order, and Hope and Proof, they would be able to pinpoint the exact location of both Billy D and the mysterious briefcase.
As with anything involving Billy D, it would not be easy…
No, this was the mission of a lifetime, and it’s chronicled on Puscifer’s fourth full-length album, Existential Reckoning [Alchemy Recordings/BMG].
[First-person accounts from the three Agents of Puscifer have been transcribed, translated, and edited for clarity below.]
In an effort to triangulate Billy D’s position, Agent Mitchell dusted off relics from circa 1979, most notably the Fairlight CM IIx. Since Peter Gabriel used this to find and shock the monkey thirty years ago, it made sense to try it on Billy D. Armed with the Fairlight and an arsenal of other analog synths, Agent Mitchell turned undisclosed locations in Arizona and California into satellite field offices when it was still safe to travel (before COVID-19). He used these tools to setup an electronic homing beacon powerful enough to penetrate human and alien emotions—and the membrane of any Airstream trailer or U.F.O.
“I recalled all of these recordings from the ‘80s, and they each had the Fairlight in common,” explains Agent Mitchell. “It was a staple predominantly used by Peter Gabriel, Kate Bush, Trevor Horn, and Ministry. Computer technology was just starting to happen in music, so it gave everything a distinct, yet warm sound. It set the tone for our mission, which was to create subtle interference using state-of-the-art digital and analog technologies, including rare, oversized synthesizers and samplers and expert muscle control to enhance and direct these hidden messages to their otherworldly coordinates.”
Regarding those messages, it was up to Agent Round to properly encode them in appealing harmonies and language beautiful enough for an extraterrestrial—and simple enough for someone who framed their middle school diploma as their educational peak (i.e. Billy D). Agent Round’s voice resounds over the synths, emitting an electromagnetic pulse carried by signals entitled “Apocalyptical,” “Bread and Circus,” “Postulate,” and more.
“Calling out to Billy D, I wanted to pass off some of the joy from behind the microphone,” she states. “That joy is for the human listener. Obviously for the extraterrestrial, there’s a lot more…perhaps a roadmap to many or all unanswered curiosities. It’s for you to find out,” she grins. “Either that, or it’s just a collection of spontaneous, highly sensual sounds that mean nothing at all. I don’t remember.”
[WE LATER FOUND OUT THAT PART OF AGENT ROUND’S MEMORY WAS ERASED FOR HER OWN PROTECTION.]
The newbie in the group, Agent Keenan corroborated those messages with Agent Round — often speaking in code.
About the mission, Agent Keenan had the following to say, “[REDACTED]”
We do know this.
As they closed in on Billy D’s location by chasing the sound, extraterrestrial energy swarmed the three of them.
Could it be from the briefcase? Could it be from the aliens who abducted Billy D? Could it be from the wine?
You will have to carefully review the enclosed audio and its twelve tracks to know for certain.
But, Agent Keenan did leave us with one assurance. On the final recording entitled “Bedlamite,” he promised, “It’s gonna be alright.”
Hear The Artist
Band Photo and Bio courtesy publicity