EL PASO TIMES 03.26.04

It's Not Perfect All The Time, But Group Fits Its Members
By Victor R. Martinez

Everything has its drawbacks, including being a member of an all-star band.

There are egos to feed, priorities to be met and relationships to maintain.

A Perfect Circle is no different.

"We have such a limited amount of time to put into it, it is almost like a long-distance relationship," bassist Jeordie White said by phone from his home in Los Angeles. "Long-distance relationships usually last longer because you are not around the person all the time. After we take a year to make a record, then take a year to go on tour, then we really don't have to deal with each other for another year and half to two years."

The band - White (who performed as Twiggy Ramirez with Marilyn Manson); Maynard James Keenan, vocals (Tool); Billy Howerdel, guitars (former Nine Inch Nails roadie); James Iha, guitars (former guitarist for Smashing Pumpkins), and Josh Freese, drums - will perform at 8 p.m. March 27 at the Don Haskins Center.

El Paso's The Mars Volta will open the show.

In a way, A Perfect Circle is a perfect marriage.

"I think the fact that we've all been in bands before makes it a lot easier for us to get along," White said. "When you are in a band with someone for a long time, the little things - that normally wouldn't bother - start bothering you."

White compares it to living with someone.

"It's just like when you are dating someone and they leave the toilet seat down, it pisses you off and it shouldn't piss you off," he said. "Same thing goes if you are in a band. If you are arguing about a song or how you want the show to be, you take it personally instead of being diplomatic about it."

Since their first gig for radio contest winners in Los Angeles last year, the members of A Perfect Circle knew it was right.

"I ran into Josh at a party," White said of hooking up with the group. "People have been trying to put us together, and we finally met and we started talking about the band, and we decided to get together and see how it worked out."

They knew they had something after the first rehearsal.

"They had some other people who were probably just as good or better bass players, but I guess I brought my experience and that probably made it easier," White said. "I guess they figured a guy like me would bring the band attention, just like it did when James Iha came to the band. It just worked out very well."

With two Virgin records, "Thirteenth Step" and "Mer De Noms," the band has drawn many fans.

"I remember when 'Weak and Powerless' came out, I knew it was going to be huge," said 18-year-old Eastsider Johnny Perez. "I went out and bought the CD. It is totally cool. Now 'The Outsider' is getting a lot of air play. The next single should be 'The Nurse Who Loved Me.' "

The band had been on the road since late last summer, including several weeks in Europe, Australia and Japan. It took a short break before embarking on the current tour, which started March 18 in Salt Lake City.

"I'm in the 'being on the road' mode all the time," White said. "I just like to go and get it over with and do it. Not get it over with in a bad way but continue entertaining our fans."