A Perfect Circle salute recently deceased pop culture icons on their cinematic new song, "So Long, and Thanks for All The Fish." Singer Maynard James Keenan references the deaths of Gene Wilder, David Bowie, Muhammad Ali and Carrie Fisher on the single from their upcoming LP, Eat the Elephant.
"Now Willy Wonka, Major Tom/ Ali and Leia have moved on," Keenan sings over churning guitars and drums. "Signal the final curtain call/ In all this atomic pageantry." The song evolves from a simple New Wave sheen in its opening verse to a more grandiose art-rock arrangement, with chiming piano, strings and distortion.
In a statement about the track, Keenan said, "We all cope with the absurd in our own manner." He added, "The Italian side of me produces and shares wine with friends in order to feel grounded and connected in the midst of all the madness. But once the wine is gone, the drunk and sarcastic Irish side of me goes straight for the unreasonable jugular. #comedyfirstandalways"
In a recent Rolling Stone interview with Keenan and A Perfect Circle multi-instrumentalist Billy Howerdel, the singer spoke about the inspiration of "So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish," referencing a recent "concentration" of celebrity deaths as a "big curveball for a lot of people."
"I'm sure it's happened in prior generations – all of a sudden, an exodus – but the immediacy of social media made it more impactful with more of a rapid fire to be able to see that list every day of people that you were familiar with over the years passing," he said. "And at the age of 53, you start to take it pretty seriously."
The single, along with recently issued tracks "TalkTalk," "Disillusioned" and "The Doomed" are available as instant downloads with pre-orders of Eat the Elephant, out April 20th.
A Perfect Circle made their Coachella debut on Sunday, and they'll launch a tour on April 17th in Santa Barbara, California.