Friday October 20th 2017

Gotham Interview with Billy Howerdel

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You might remember him as the guitar tech for Tool. You might know him as the lead guitarist for A Perfect Circle. Maybe you know him as the frontman for Ashes diVIDE. Regardless, there’s no disputing the fact that Billy Howerdel is one of the most innovative guitarists in music today.

I’m looking forward to seeing A Perfect Circle hit the road this summer; APC headlines Rock on the Range at Crew Stadium on May 22 and opens up their new tour in Portland on June 29th.

To get ready for the tour, and what sounds like at least one new APC tune in the works, I had the opportunity to chat with Billy. We talked about the tour and the band line-up, what to expect in the world of new music from both APC and ASHES diVIDE, how he got involved with Tool and Maynard James Keenan and one of the coolest things he’s ever done (“Maynard and I played ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ with the L.A. Philharmonic Orchestra and a choir of I believe over a hundred people.  It was just Maynard and I, the choir and the orchestra.”).

So will we hear new APC music on the tour? “We are gonna hear at least a song, I would say,” Billy tells me. “One of them is very, very close to being done. And from there, things could come together once we get on the road and start hashing through some of the other ideas and they could quickly become a song and find their way onto the live stage.”

Does that mean a new album is in the works? “In the works, but not for this summer. I think the idea was to try and get the juices flowing a bit and get back into A-B-C mode a bit and go from there,” he says. “See what happens in the new year. We have intentions of recording new material.”

And fortunately for ASHES diVIDE fans, he’s not neglecting that band either. “I’m writing for both bands. I’m just writing new music. I just kind of tag it under Billy Howerdel, you know, and where it falls is where it falls,” he explains. “I’ve got a bunch of new ideas that I usually don’t let come fully together until the end. I try to leave it loose while I’m writing it. Maynard showed interest in a couple, so I started firming them up.”

To talk with Billy was truly an honor. He’s one of my favorite guitarists around, playing for one of my favorite bands of all time (APC) and seems to be a genuine class act.

A Perfect Circle has two dates schedule for New York City: July 13th at the Hammerstein Ballroom and July 15th at the Beacon Theater. Click here for complete details on the tour.

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