Billy Howerdel by Anne Erickson

A Perfect Circle are back this fall with a new single, “By and Down,” as well as a limited-edition live CD/DVD box set, A Perfect Circle Live: Featuring Stone and Echo, and a greatest hits set, Three Sixty.

When recording guitar lines for “By and Down,” guitarist Billy Howerdel took to his 1960 reissue. In fact, Gibsons are “all I really play,” he says.

Howerdel picked up the reissue while serving as guitar tech for Trent Reznor in the ‘90s.

“My main guitar is a 1960 reissue that is actually a happy accident,” Howerdel told “I was a guitar tech for Trent Reznor and Nine Inch Nails on their Downward Spiral Tour in 1994 or 1995. I went through a ton of guitars. Let’s say 137 Les Pauls I had gone through. This was, by far, the best-sounding and playing one. I usually repaired all the guitars coming through.”

He added, “This guitar, the headstock got ripped off when it was thrown into the crowd, so I was trying to find a donor headstock for it. So, I got to put it back together, and it got put back together at the wrong angle for some reason, and the two woods didn’t match up. But, it was definitely a happy accident, and it lent itself to being more playable. It’s my favorite guitar. Anyone who has ever played it knows it’s something special.”

Check back for’s full interview with Howerdel next month.

Photo credit: Anne Erickson.