Footage has emerged online of a Tool/Primus supergroup jam – featuring Justin Chancellor and Dan Carey, alongside Queens Of The Stone Age guitarist Troy Van Leeuwen – covering Tool’s Ænima.
The performance was part of a recent fundraising gig, which was hosted by Primus on April 17 in support of their friend Jimmy Hayward. An animator and film director, Hayward has been undergoing cancer treatment and related surgeries for a number of years.
The event was billed as featuring Chancellor and Carey alongside a number of surprise guests, and the ensemble’s Ænima cover has quickly proven to be a highlight of the set.
Outside of the names involved, it is remarkable for several reasons: not least because Justin Chancellor appears to be playing through Primus frontman/bassist Les Claypool’s rig for the duration of the song and, as such, sounds utterly thunderous.
Of course, with Chancellor on bass duties, Claypool – looking particularly fetching in his ram’s horn helmet – is left hands-free and proceeds to absolutely make the most of his arms’ new-found freedom. Plus he does a great, quivering vocal in the vein of Tool’s frontman Maynard James Keenan.
The track’s pummeling rhythms also really benefit from the joint talents of drummers Dan Carey and Primus man Tim Alexander, who lock in remarkably well, despite the pace and complexity.
Finally, not to dismiss the talents of Adam Jones, but Troy Van Leeuwen and Primus guitarist Larry LaLonde make a fine pairing here, thickening things up with great results on the sliding crescendo parts – though they still struggle to compete with Chancellor’s monstrous bass sound.
If you’re interested in the intricacies of the track, a few years back Chancellor and Carey dropped in at Berklee and performed Ænima in front of an intimate crowd of college students – allowing you to hear the rhythm section in complete isolation.
Regardless, if you enjoy the performance and want to support Tool and Primus’s fundraising efforts, you can send a donation via Jimmy Hayward’s GoFundMe page.