Unmasked Man: Marilyn Manson's Twiggy Joins A Perfect Circle - And Sheds The Alter-Ego

Jeordie White's transition from Twiggy Ramirez -- notorious sidekick for shock rocker Marilyn Manson -- to humble bass player for the brainy post-grunge outfit A Perfect Circle is not as much of a leap as it could have been, considering the other band White was flirting with: "I got a phone call from Metallica," says White. "I went up to San Francisco and played some of the old material with them, but they never called me back. They probably thought I'd look funny in the press photos with them."

White wasn't particularly bummed by Metallica's reluctance to have a goth-rocker in their ranks, as he had already made up his mind to join A Perfect Circle after auditioning for the spot vacated by Paz Lenchantin. "Joining them seemed right," he says. "Aesthetically, it wasn't to far from what I was doing before, although Marilyn Manson was more about attitude, art and lifestyle, and A Perfect Circle is more about music."

Guitarist Billy Howerdel, vocalist Maynard James Keenan and drummer Josh Freese were halfway finished with A Perfect Circle's second album, Thirteenth Step (Virgin), when White came aboard. As a result, he only played bass on a few tracks and co-wrote one song with Howerdel, "The Package." Accustomed to talking more of a leading role in the songwriting process (White co-wrote several of Manson's biggest hits, like "The Beautiful People" and "The Dope Show"), he found it challenging to make someone else's work his own.

"Some of the songs are in different time signatures than what I was used to," he says. "Before, I'd only pick up a bass when I was recording or playing onstage. If I wanted to practice or write, I'd pick up a guitar. Because Manson was a one-guitar band, I had to carry the bottom end, so I played everything on the bottom two strings, the E and A, to get a low, rumbly growl. Now I play all over the neck, and I don't have as many limitations. It's made me a better musician"