Maynard James Keenan In Studio With Nine Inch Nails Leaks

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Billy Howerdel previously worked as a sound engineer and guitar tech for the likes of Tool, Nine Inch Nails, David Bowie, Fishbone, Guns N’ Roses and more acts before the formation of A Perfect Circle. He had introduced Tool frontman Maynard James Keenan to NIN mastermind Trent Reznor.

Billy Howerdel opens up on Maynard James Keenan meeting Trent Reznor

Howerdel recently had an interview with Heavy Consequence as he talked about his friendship and working relationship with Keenan, Howerdel told, “I always feel like my game is elevated around him — regardless whether it’s in conversation or in the studio with him or on the stage rehearsing or playing. He’s got an energy and he obviously loves the craft and the business part of it, too. I feel like Maynard has his bearings more solid than most people I know in music. He knows his lane. He knows what he can and can’t do, and he’s great at what he does do.”

Talking about Reznor’s commitment to his craft, Howerdel recalled the time he introduced Keenan to Reznor. “I brought Maynard to the New Orleans studio to meet Trent. I mean, they obviously knew who each other were, but they’d never met.”

He continued, “The first day I brought him in there, I remember Trent was literally on the floor with a PC spread out, putting circuit boards together and things like that. And I think it was the moment when Maynard goes, ‘Oh, OK, this guy’s for real. This isn’t just some guy phoning it in with a pretty face and a couple of lucky songs. This is a guy who’s doing the work.’ That’s me imagining [what Maynard was thinking], ’cause I l know Maynard’s work ethic, and I know what things he values.”

Howerdel concluded, “Trent was and still is a big inspiration, and kind of North Star, for what it is to be a writer, [as well as] a person looking at technology and how it incorporates into your world. … I think it’s inspiring.”