Maynard James Keenan of Tool, A Perfect Circle and Puscifer is one of the most eclectic musicians/performers around these days. In addition to his music, wine making, and books, Maynard has been known to dabble a bit in film and TV. The following are a few of the times you might have seen Maynard on screen.
I know I keep bringing this up but I really and truly miss the days when music videos actually meant something. In a way they were short films and the music was the inspiration and guide. I’ll never forget being 7 years old, watching MTV, and seeing the video for Pearl Jam’s “Jeremy.” What a terrific piece of art this video is. Director Mark Pellington really hit a home run with this one. The depiction of the original story of Jeremy to the lyrics of Pearl Jam singer Eddie Vedder, are masterful. Eddie has and always will be one of the best lyricists of all time. His connection to the story and pain through his vocals is astounding, just like the video.
A few months back I was introduced to an instrumental band that really hit home with me. Their music is full of lush sonic landscapes, thoughtful rhythmic structures and an all around vibe that is hypnotic and psychedelic but with a hook. The band I’m talking about is called Zaius, and they are excellent. Their debut full length album Of Adoration (released by Prothetic Records), is one of the best instrumental albums I’ve heard in a long time. There are moments while listening to the album that are akin to the likes of the band Explosions In The Sky as well as The Ocean. Zaius has a real knack for creating songs that hit from the inside out. While listening you can feel the emotions pouring out of each member of the band by the way they are playing their instrument as well as how the songs shift. Zaius are the perfect band for a late night drive or an evening with your favorite beverage and your headphones on, just escaping everything.
Back in 1999, Nine Inch Nails performed on the MTV Video Music Awards. It was pretty unexpected, especially since NIN never performed on TV. Quick Side Note, It wouldn’t happen again until 2013 when Trent and company performed on Jimmy Kimmel Live. Which actually is the first time the band has ever performed on a late night talk show. The performance of “The Fragile” on the VMA’s was something hauntingly beautiful, dark and one of the best VMA performances. Plus it featured my all time favorite line up Nine Inch Nails has ever had.
Nine Inch Nails- The Fragile on the 1999 MTV VMA’s:
As you’ve read before, there is a soundtrack/compilation being put out by DC Comics for their upcoming Dark Nights series. Tyler Bates is the mastermind behind the soundtrack. He’s been able to get some really great guests to contribute like Chino Moreno of Deftones and Brann Dailor of Mastodon. Now, Jerry Cantrell of Alice In Chains is a part of this project. His song “Setting Sun,” is classic Jerry and it’s fantastic. Sounds like it could be a part of the Alice In Chains repertoire as well.
Back in 2003 director Tim Burton approached Pearl Jam to write a new song for his upcoming film Big Fish. After a screening of the film, Eddie Vedder went home after being blown away from what he just watched and wrote “Man Of The Hour” and brought it to the band the next day. The song itself is one of those true gems that when it’s played at Pearl Jam shows, the audience really digs in. Interestingly, back in 2006 while performing in New Jersey, Eddie mentioned to the audience that “Come Back” from the band’s 2006 self titled album (also known as The Avacado album) is set with the same young man from “Man of the Hour” talking to the departed two months later. To me, I love that he continued the story of what he started with “Man of the Hour.” Something else that I found interesting is, this song has been used as a dedication to those who have passed such as Johnny Ramone, Lou Reed and Layne Staley.
There are many reasons to start a side project, perhaps you are not being creatively fulfilled in the band/project you were in or you’ve written a batch of songs that just don’t fit within the band that you’re in. Sometimes its just to explore a different side be it musically or to try something else. There was a side project that came out a few years back that has really stuck out to me since I first heard it. The name of the band/project I’m talking about is Call Me No One and it’s mastermind is Clint Lowery of Sevendust.
The debut album, The Last Parade was released back in 2012 and it’s a bit different than Sevendust. Joining Clint in Call Me No One was his Sevendust bandmate Morgan Rose on drums. Musically the songs are a bit more melodic. Clint described the project as “kind of Nine Inch Nails meets Foo Fighters but with a dark spooky twist to it.” I definitely hear the Foo Fighters side of the equation. CMNO (as the band was referred to at times) really does explore a different side of things for Clint and Morgan. Clint handled all the vocals on the album which really showcases how great of a voice he has. The guitar work on the album is top notch, again showing just how damn good Clint is as not just a guitarist but, as a songwriter as well. Even Morgan’s playing steps outside the Sevendust box and shows just how versatile he really is behind the kit. The songs are pretty solid as well. Tracks like “Thunderbird,” “Soapbox,” “All’s Well,” “Broken Record,” and the closing track “Last Parade,” are stellar. The entire album is pretty damn good. Each song on the album is meant to be there. It’s a full “album” that is full of rocking songs and lyrics that hit home for those listening.
It seems like this was a necessary project for Clint and Morgan to do together. They really got to deviate from what they had been known for and show that they can do more than just the Sevendust style. Though when Clint left the band in the mid 2000’s to do Dark New Day, he was able to spread his wings a bit but, Dark New Day, didn’t really go too far from what Sevendust was doing. No matter what though, Clint Lowery is to me, the secret weapon in Sevendust. He adds so much to the band from his writing, guitar playing and presence. So if you haven’t checked out Call Me No One, now is a good time to do just that.