Original Tool bassist Paul D'Amour on why he quit: "Their creative process is excruciating and tedious"

Paul D'Amour playing bass live on stage
(Image credit: Ethan Miller / Staff)

When Paul D'Amour walked away from Tool in 1995, during the recording of Ænima, he had one mission: to avoid letting his role in that band define him forever. Known solely at the time as the heavy-picking bassist behind powerful songs such as “Sober” and “Prison Sex,” D’Amour immediately began taking on projects that showcased his diverse range as a musician: He played guitar in the psychedelic pop band Lusk, formed a cover band called Replicants, flaunted his multi-instrumentalist chops with his solo project Feersum Ennjin, and composed music for movies and television shows.

But after years of redefining himself and sidestepping his identity as a bassist, the 47-year-old has come full circle. On the self-titled debut by his new band, Lesser Key, D’Amour is picking up right where he left off: coaxing signature tones from Music Man StingRay and Rickenbacker basses, and channeling elaborate rhythms and dark melodies in the pursuit of ultimate creativity.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month**

Join now for unlimited access

US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year 

Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Prices from £2.99/$3.99/€3.49