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March 6, 2000-- Virgin Music Group Worldwide is proud to announce that it has signed A Perfect Circle to a worldwide recording agreement.

The subject of intense industry speculation, A Perfect Circle is a new band formed by Maynard James Keenan and Billy Howerdel. Keenan, the singer of the multi-platinum selling rock band Tool, is the group's vocalist and primary lyricist; Howerdel, is the founder, guitarist and composer of the group's music. Rounding out the band are Paz Lenchantin on bass and Violin, Josh Freese (Vandals) on drums, and Troy Van Leeuwen (ex-Failure, Enemy) on guitar.

The group made its first public appearance in August, 1999 at Los Angeles' Viper Room at a benefit for punk rock innovator Keith Morris of the Circle Jerks. Most recently, the band opened the Coachella Art and Music Festival in Palm Springs, CA.

The new album is entitled Mer De Noms and features twelve songs showcasing Keenan's remarkably intense and intimate vocals, the band's focus and ferocity, and a melodiousness not typically heard in the heavy alternative rock genre. The new album was written by Howerdel and Keenan, recorded and produced by Howerdel, and mixed by Howerdel and Alan Moulder (Nine Inch Nails, The Smashing Pumpkins, U2).

Certain to appeal to fans of both heavy metal and alternative rock, Mer De Noms is scheduled for a May 23 release domestically and a May 22 release internationally. The first single, "Judith," is scheduled to go to radio in April. A Perfect Circle will tour in support of the release later this year; further details TBD.

Comments Nancy Berry, vice chairman, Virgin Music Group Worldwide, "We are very excited that Billy and Maynard have chosen Virgin to be the worldwide home of A Perfect Circle. The group's street credibility, powerful musicianship and unique sound rank them among the top rock / alternative artists of today. A Perfect Circle will be a global priority for Virgin. We will give them the special attention and enthusiasm that Virgin is known for as we release Mer De Noms to deliver another worldwide success."