An interview with PUSCIFER’s Mat Mitchell
Puscifer is one of several side projects for Tool frontman Maynard James Keenan. The band is a cast of rotating players with the core being Mat Mitchell & Maynard as it’s 2 constant members.
I chatted with Mat prior to the start of the Puscifer 2012 tour which kicks off on June 9 @ the Bonnarroo festival and here’s what he had to say.
Rock N Roll Experience: What does the name Puscifer mean?
Mat: (laughs) I don’t really know, that would be a Maynard question, I know that it’s been around for a long time but I don’t know the origins of the name.
Rock N Roll Experience: Did you initially create Puscifer with Maynard or did you join in on the project after it was already started?
Mat: Originally it was a made up band for Mr. Show, on one of the early episodes of Mr. Show there’s a band and it’s him (Maynard) and Adam and a couple of the Tool guys and the band is Puscifer. From then there were a few songs that were done for The Underworld soundtrack and that was Maynard and Danny Lohner and then when he (Maynard) decided to do a full length album that’s when I decided to join the project.
Rock N Roll Experience: So do you consider Puscifer to be a real band or just a concept?
Mat: Well it’s not really a defined band just because the people change out and it’s not strictly about the music....there’s alot of other things that go into it so it’s less of a band and more like a performance troop.
Rock N Roll Experience: For anyone who’s never seen a Puscifer live show how would you describe it?
Mat: It changes, I mean there’s several different shows and I could describe the different shows but we kinda want to leave that up to the fans to want to soak it in and we don’t want them to expect anything when they go. We don’t want to give away too much, there’s enough pictures and stuff online that you can kinda get a sense of what the show is about but we like to leave some mystery to it so that it’s exciting and fresh for people when they see the show.
Rock N Roll Experience: The live show has a Vegas style to it.
Mat: Yeah, a little bit, I mean there’s certainly a light hearted element to it and some stories there that we’re trying to tell and jokes and hopefully some good music.
Rock N Roll Experience: Is Maynard easy to work with?
Mat: Absolutely, I mean the hardest thing is just keeping up with him because he works so hard and if there is a challenge that’s it, just keeping up with him.
Rock N Roll Experience: Besides Puscifer, what other musical projects do you have going on?
Mat: I’ve done a few remixes for Korina Round and I’m working with Katy Perry a little bit as well.
Rock N Roll Experience: What are you doing with Katy Perry?
Mat: Programming stuff
Rock N Roll Experience: Is it new music or remixes?
Mat: It’s preparing for her live shows and things like that.
Rock N Roll Experience: Are you going to be a part of Katy Perry’s upcoming live shows?
Mat: Not as a touring member
Rock N Roll Experience: As far as your role in the Puscifer live show you kinda play many roles, correct?
Mat: On this tour it’s primarily guitar but on the records I’ll pick up whatever’s around and play whatever needs to be played.
Rock N Roll Experience: Has Maynard started to work on a new Tool record yet?
Mat: A new Tool record is inevitable, they write great tunes and they put out amazing records and they have a huge fan base so it’s inevitable that there’s a new Tool record coming but as far as any details I don’t have any.
Rock N Roll Experience: How come Billy Howardel from Aperfectcircle has yet to do much with Puscifer?
Mat: Billy sat in with us on a live show or 2 but nothing yet as far as recording and not for any other reason that it just has not fallen into place yet.
Rock N Roll Experience: How come Maynard tends to avoid meeting his fans after shows?
Mat: Before the shows he’s usually busy with interviews and things like that and then after the shows, just as a security thing, I mean there’s alot of anxious fans and just as a security thing they try to get him out of the building as quickly as possible.
Puscifer’s 2012 tour kicks off on July 9, 2012 and the band makes a stop in Baltimore, Maryland at the Lyric Opera House on July 15, 2012.