While one might imagine Maynard James Keenan would have enough going on to keep him busy as a frontman with the groups Tool and A Perfect Circle, in 2007 he decided to record an album under yet another name: Puscifer. Described by Keenan as "the space where my Id, Ego, and Anima all come together to exchange cookie recipes," Puscifer first appeared as the name of a fictional band Keenan fronted in a cameo on the HBO sketch comedy series Mr. Show in 1995. It wasn't until 2003 that Keenan actually recorded under the name, when he teamed up with Danny Lohner for a track called "Rev 22:20" for the Underworld soundtrack, and it wasn't until four years later that he set to work on an entire Puscifer album. Organized less as a traditional "rock band" and more as a musical collective in which Keenan could work with a rotating lineup of likeminded artists, Puscifer's early recording projects featured a large cast of noted musicians, including Tim Alexander from Primus, Tim Commerford and Brad Wilk from Audioslave and Rage Against the Machine, former King Crimson member Trey Gunn, violinist Lisa Germano, pop singer/songwriter Jonny Polonsky, and actress and vocalist Milla Jovovich.
The first product of Puscifer's new life was a single issued in early October 2007; the A-side was "Cuntry Boner," a gleefully offensive song originally recorded by Electric Sheep (a short-lived punk band featuring Adam Jones and Tom Morello years before they would respectively join Tool and Rage Against the Machine), while the flipside was a cover of the Circle Jerks' "World Up My Ass." Later the same month, Puscifer's debut album, V Is for Vagina, was released; like the single, it was released in the United States by Keenan's own Puscifer label, and it featured ten original songs, many of which were dominated by slow but potent dance grooves rather than Tool's prog metal textures. Keenan said the group had no immediate plans to tour, but he was collaborating with several filmmakers on short movies based on the songs, which could be shown at live performances. In April of 2008, a remix album of V Is for Vagina titled V Is for Viagra: The Remixes was released and featured contributions from members of Nine Inch Nails, Telefon Tel Aviv, Ministry, and Slipknot, among others. Keenan returned the following year with the EP "C" Is For (Please Insert Sophomoric Genitalia Reference Here) before releasing the full-length, Conditions of My Parole, in 2011. An EP, Donkey Punch in the Night, arrived in 2013 with a pair of new tracks, as well as covers of Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" and Accept's "Balls to the Wall." Money $hot, the band's third studio LP, followed in 2015 and featured the single "Grand Canyon." A remix collection, Money $hot Your Re-Load, arrived the next year. ~ Mark Deming