Multi-tasking frontman Maynard James Keenan can’t seem to un-busy himself. Along with singing for Tool and A Perfect Circle, he created the “solo” project of sorts that is Puscifer. Since singing for those three bands (and managing his winery) wasn’t enough, he took up a new job with the Phoenix New Times, in the form of a biweekly column. In his latest piece, he took the time to give a rather elaborate and inspiring answer to the question: “What is Puscifer?”
He begins by saying that, “besides being the International Multi-Media Project I’ve been developing since 1995,” Puscifer can be described simply as “What is Puscifer is what Puscifer is.” Then he goes into the subject with a bit more length: “At some point in human history we became aware of our own mortality. When confronted with the death of a companion, we had the epiphany that this was simply no longer just a pile of inanimate meat and bone. This was our companion and whatever energy made them who they were is no longer present. And then reality sinks in: Someday I will no longer be here. And for the first time we asked the question. Why? Why are they no longer here? What can I do to prevent that from happening to me? Or at the very least, ‘what can I do to put off the inevitable?'”
He continues: “We were now aware that our very survival was directly connected to and contingent upon how creative we could be. Our instincts to Fight or Run were not enough. We weren’t as fast or strong as our larger and ferocious opponents. Instead, we needed to use every fiber of our imagination, every spark of our creative energy to stay ahead of these daily threats on our lives. Otherwise the ever-present realty was this. Today could very well be our last. […] We began to observe, interpret, and chronicle what we began to recognize as patterns. Through trial and error discovered the appropriate responses to these challenges and threats to our lives. And we rehearsed these responses, these movements, these actions and reactions until they became skills. And in an attempt to keep these new found skills fresh, we would execute them daily. Not only in but also out of context.”
Bringing up the importance and recognition of creative power in our culture, he seems to give a straight answer: “So, what is Puscifer? Clearly Puscifer is a multifaceted structure with multiple cornerstones, 3 of which we’ll admit.
1. An attempt to reconnect with that seemingly lost balance between the Artistic and Utilitarian.
2. An attempt to reawaken our inner storyteller, and our ability to Observe, Interpret, and Report all the fun stuff we’ve witnessed.
3. An attempt to remind us all to dance before the inevitable End of the World. (Make checks and money orders payable to Chicken Little C/O…etc.)”
Finally, he concludes, with the capitalization of a letter giving all the meaning to everything that was written before: “Because we at Puscifer feel that Life is too short not to create something with every breath we draw.”
Maynard James Keenan’s insightful writing will continue to drop bi-weekly over at the Phoenix New Times. Meanwhile, Tool are reportedly recording a new album, and Puscifer and A Perfect Circle are set to make a double appearance at next year’s Lollapalooza Chile & Brazil festivals.