Tool’s Danny Carey is one of the greatest metal drummers of all time, a percussive powerhouse whose hypnotic beats and unusual time signatures helped shape progressive metal.
But what happens when you step away from metal and introduce Tool’s music to musicians of another genre?
Online drum lesson platform Drumeo asked just that question when they tapped legendary jazz/funk drummer Dennis Chambers to get his take on Carey’s idiosyncratic style.
And, as you’d expect when one legend takes on another, the results are pretty stellar. Although Chambers admits some apprehension at first – “I have a problem with it, it’s not my kind of thing”, he admits early on – he quickly gets into the mood, coming up with his own improvisation in one taken on the track.
Even with a warning that the schism “is not [his] cuppa tea” and having only heard the song once, Chambers is quick to break down its components, from the odd time signatures to the song’s overall tonal approach.
Naturally, Chambers’ view draws heavily on his background. Member of Parliament/Funkadelic from 1978 to 1985, he has since performed with many of the world’s most renowned jazz fusion musicians, a factor which is clearly reflected in his performance.
Although he’s only heard the song once, Chambers’ performance matches it incredibly well. He even nuances towards the end that he acknowledges that “some numbers were down”, forcing him to step up his improvisation as he has no isolated leads to work on.
Although Chambers initially attests that the song is not for him, it appears that in the end he is a convert, calling Schism a “great song” and asking what album it is from. Given Carey’s love of double drum jams, perhaps a team could be considered in the future. Watch the video below.