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Interview:
Keenan's Puscifer Re-invents The Rock Concert
 

By GARY GRAFF
of the Oakland Press

» See more SOUND CHECK

Maynard James Keenan hopes that fans don’t come to next week’s Puscifer shows expecting something along the lines of the rock concerts presented by his bands Tool and A Perfect Circle.

“It’s a troupe, not a band,” explains the Ohio-born Keenan, 45, who spent his high school and college years in Michigan. “It’s a performance, not a concert. If you can get your head around the idea that it has more in common with 'The Sonny & Cher Show’ than with Metallica, you’ll be a lot better off.”

Keenan started Puscifer in 1995 and gradually developed it into a collective that encompasses music, video, comedy sketches and performance art. With a rotating group of members, it’s released one album, two remix albums and two digital EPs, as well as Internet footage that Keenan hopes to eventually organize into DVDs.

“It’s all just seeds (of ideas), and then people start watering them,” says Keenan. “There’s a lot of delegating, finding somebody who has a strength in a certain area and we just set people off on tasks. This is something that if we start pulling things together, it can really go in several different directions.”

With any one show completely different than the next, Keenan says Puscifer’s plan for growth is also on its own kind of trajectory.

“The goal is not to grow in terms of venue size but in terms of number of nights in the same venue,” explains Keenan, who also owns Merkin Vineyard and the Caduceaus Cellars winery in Arizona and is the subject of a new documentary, “Blood Into Wine.” “We’ll roll in on a Monday and have Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday shows, and it would be four completely different shows. That would be the goal.

“It has to stay in theaters pretty much. It would look silly in an arena, and it’s just too large and elaborate of a show to be stuck in a sweaty bar. So mid-size theaters are perfect, and the more time we can spend in the same place, the more different and interesting things we can try.”



Puscifer performs Tuesday and Wednesday, March 23-24, at the Royal Oak Music Theatre, 318 W. Fourth St. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $39.50 per night, $70 for both shows. Call 248-399-2980 or visit www.royaloakmusictheatre.com.

Web Site: www.royaloakmusictheatre.com

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