As he guides his new Ashes Divide on the road, Billy Howerdel calls the project "a work in progress. I'm ready to grow with this band." But he's not ready to say the touring edition of Ashes Divide will turn what was essentially a solo project into a full-fledged band on its second album.
"I don't know about that," Howerdel, 38, who also co-founded A Perfect Circle with Tool's Maynard James Keenan says. "I've been asked that, but I haven't given much more thought to it. These guys have really digested this music for awhile, so it could be we fall into that place where it does become (a band).
"I've got to see what they bring to the table. I haven't really gotten into where every guy is coming from. I don't know that we're coming from the same place or not. The focus right now is to get the live shows solidified, and I think it'll be down the road when I think about other things."
Ashes Divide, whose debut album, "Keep Telling Myself It's Alright," came out in April, has already made the rounds with Stone Temple Pilots and was on Linkin Park's Projekt [cq] Revolution tour during the summer. The touring group -- guitarist Andy Gerold, bassist Matt McJunkins and drummer Jeff Friedl -- was assembled after auditioning more than 100 musicians.
And even though he has plenty of famous friends from not only A Perfect Circle but from his work as a tech for Tool and Guns 'N Roses, Howerdel says he wanted "musicians who were fresh and hungry and didn't have a lot of experience. It's like starting all over again; everybody's psyched to be on tour, psyched to be on the bus, psyched to be playing shows."
Ashes Divide performs with Seether and State of Shock at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday (Sept. 24) at the Fillmore Detroit, 2115 Woodward Ave. Tickets are $25. Call (313) 961-5450 or visit www.livenation.com.