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"I'm not much of a relaxing kind of person," James replies.
"Me, neither," Freese says. He pauses. "What are we doing here? Let's get out of here!"
After weaving through Friday-afternoon Los Angeles traffic, they arrive at a Sizzler. The three pose briefly for a photo op in front of a sign advertising new dinner specials.
"I hadn't been here in a while until recently, but I do enjoy it," Freese says, waiting to order at the cash register. "You know, I love airplane food." He pauses for a chorus of ew and wrinkled noses. "I'm not being funny. I'm not being ironic. It reminds me of being 12 years old and putting food in the microwave."
He orders three dinners of steak, cooked medium, and all-you-can-eat shrimp, with Diet Pepsi and baked potatoes. The total comes to $58.27, and everyone shuffles into a green-vinyl booth.
Topics of discussion before the food arrives: feeling old at concerts; Freese having to lie to his fiancée about working too much; Keenan's winery; how both James and Mulharsky have been to an astounding number of NIN and A Perfect Circle concerts.
Just as James puts in his plea to get A Perfect Circle back together for a reunion, the three steak plates arrive. Freese inhales the steak and shrimp as he gives diplomatic answers about which fellow musicians are "cool" and which aren't.
"Aaron North or Robin Finck?" James asks, referring to the former and present guitarists, respectively, for Nine Inch Nails. Freese hedges: They're different people, and he loves them both.
Forty minutes later, Freese announces that he has to book it to Hollywood to make a recording session with Devo before rushing home for some family time.
Freese hates his dog.
Frankie, a brown Chihuahua, doesn't seem so bad, but Freese points out that Frankie almost always wakes up Freese's three children after Freese finally manages to get them to bed.
Freese's almost-oceanfront one-story Long Beach home is modest. He shares it with Amdurer, their children (Hunter, 8; August, 2; and Olive, 3 months), two cats, two fish and Frankie.
The home is beautifully decorated, with plenty of art displayed and kids' toys strewn about. The guest house holds some children's-sized teal and lime-green, round-edged furniture. Large, translucent bears stand on a white credenza, and a large-scale model of the Tiki Room at Disneyland sits atop a tall bookshelf.
August, whom Freese refers to as Auggy, stands just outside the door and screams, "Daaaaaaddy!"
Freese talks about his kids constantly. "Auggy, you wanna come sit with me? I love this guy so much; he's such a cutie. We were talking this morning, and he's just learning how to talk and communicate and getting his vocabulary together, and it's so cute!" he says, kissing the curly-haired toddler. "Hey, Auggy. Hi. Hey. Do you know you're cute? You did know that?"
Freese quit as the drummer for Nine Inch Nails only recently, so he could spend more time at home. "I needed to be around a bit more in 2009 for my kids. They need their dad right now. I'm still going out of town but just for bits at a time. I'm sure there will be a time when I go out for a long time again ... but just not right now."
Freese grew up in a musical family. His father, Stan Freese, has been working for Disney for 38 years; he started out as the first leader of the Disney World Band when the Orlando park opened in 1971 and then was transferred to Anaheim, where he eventually became — and remains — Disneyland's entertainment director.