Puscifer's Mat Mitchell: “Songwriting is like playing a three-way game of chess. What you do next is based on what the other player does”

Mat Mitchell
(Image credit: Mitra Mehvar)

Of the three bands featuring singer Maynard James Keenan – Tool, A Perfect Circle, and Puscifer – Puscifer is the only project that does not put guitar front and center. This was most recently evidenced on their last studio offering, 2020’s Existential Reckoning, which was also released in 2021 as a concert recording, Existential Reckoning: Live at Arcosanti. 

But Puscifer’s guitarist, Mat Mitchell, does do an expert job of providing perfectly placed textural guitar parts, in addition to supplying bass and keyboards with the help of his bandmates. 

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Greg Prato

Greg is a contributing writer at Guitar World. He has written for other outlets over the years, and has been lucky to interview some of his favorite all-time guitarists and bassists: Tony Iommi, Ace Frehley, Adrian Belew, Andy Summers, East Bay Ray, Billy Corgan, Alex Lifeson, Geddy Lee, Les Claypool, and Mike Watt, among others (and even took lessons from John Petrucci back in the summer of ’91!). He is the author of such books as Grunge Is Dead: The Oral History of Seattle Rock Music, Shredders: The Oral History of Speed Guitar (And More) and Touched by Magic: The Tommy Bolin Story.