Johnny Depp Helped Tool Singer At Club


A Perfect Circle member Billy Howerdel recently recalled playing his very first live show with Maynard James Keenan as A Perfect Circle in Johnny Depp’s Viper Room club on West Hollywood’s Sunset Strip.

Billy Howerdel opens up on the experience

As one of the two key components behind A Perfect Circle, the mastermind of ASHES dIVIDE, and now even a solo artist performing under his own name, Billy Howerdel has proven himself as a musician and songwriter many times over.

He had first entered the industry as a sound and guitar tech but he would make his first steps as a professional musician relatively late in life – he was 29 years old when he and Tool’s Maynard James Keenan started getting serious about their collaborative project and officially formed APC.

As such, Howerdel had gotten to know the music industry inside out well before making a live debut with a band of his own. However, that’s not to say he had no problems with stage fright on the occasion.

He looked back at his first gig with Maynard as APC in a recent interview with Everyone Loves Guitar, Howerdel said:

“Thinking about the early Perfect Circle days, and getting on stage for the very first time with APC, at the Viper Room, which is, if anyone knows, it’s a tiny club in West Hollywood – 200 seats, maybe. But it was a festival amongst other big bands. It was a benefit for Keith Morris from Circle Jerks who had some medical bills that needed tending to that he couldn’t afford. Right before us, Gibby from Butthole Surfers was doing a weird DJ experimental set.

“And then we got up as Maynard from Tool new thing. I think we had a band name, I think it was called A Perfect Circle. And we had like, six songs or seven songs ready to play. The moment before that, I was definitely nervous. Even though we’re playing in front of 200 people, it’s just like a lot of things happening all of a sudden – People come up and go, ‘Oh, cool. You’re doing that thing with Maynard. I can’t wait to hear it!’ I had also just met Johnny Depp who owns the club. There was a lot of pressure mounting, and I was pretty nervous. I remember which booth I was sitting in and what it felt like. And then, once I got on stage, it was great. Again, preparation. I was definitely prepared. I mean, I lived those songs. It was all good.”