On February 23rd, guitarist Billy Howerdel, most famously known as the lead guitarist and songwriter of A Perfect Circle, debuted his newest project during the #Happens showcase at Fremont Country Club in Las Vegas.
The unnamed project features some powerhouses from the alternative/post grunge scene. Danny Lohner, who started with Nine Inch Nails, provided his skills as the rhythm guitarist. After his time in NIN, Lohner went on to collaborate with and produce acts such as Marilyn Manson, Hollywood Undead, and Puscifer; just to name a few.
Drummer extraordinare Josh Freese, whose list of credits would take up this entire article, provided thunderous back beats for the 5 song set.
Rounding out the group that supported Howerdel were bassist Kevin Maher of Fake Shark and keyboardist Kaela Sinclair of M83.
With a sound reminiscent of early New Wave/Goth and a hint of metal, the band created deep atmospheres. Imagine Sisters of Mercy and Duran Duran asking Adam Jones (TOOL) to jam.
Howerdel is a more than competent singer, and his backing band held steady in a swirl of keyboards and tracked beats that permeated the songs.
Lohner kept his head down for the most part, only showing his face and sense of humor when the set was finished; asking the entire club to pose for a selfie.
The music is unlike anything that is currently on the scene, and the new album, slated for a release in April, may be a welcome change to the same old we’ve been hearing on the radio lately. A longer set would have been much appreciated to really dive into the songs Howerdel has constructed, but I am sure there is more to come.
PHOTO CREDIT: All photos by Stephy Hayward for ZRockR Magazine – ALL RIGHTS RESERVED