Dennis Chambers Hears Tool For The First Time

Dennis Chambers Hears Tool For The First Time

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What if funk/fusion drummer Dennis Chambers was the drummer for Tool?

(Don’t tell Danny Carey.)

Dennis is known for his legendary backbeat and funky style. So of course we felt mischievous and we dared him to try playing “Schism”, one of Tool’s biggest songs. It’s full of odd time signatures, quick, complex changes and unexpected accents, and Dennis had never heard it before.

But we didn’t ask him to learn the real drum parts: we wanted to see what he’d come up with on his own after hearing the song once. While you’ll hear the song with drums in this video, Dennis was actually listening to a drumless track.

“This is not me,” he warned us as he listened through the track, but “in my younger days, this would’ve been up my alley!”

How will Dennis Chambers not only learn a song he’s never heard before, but in a style he’s unfamiliar with – and in odd time, at that?

Since the song doesn’t have a drum track, he listens for two things: the style and the time signature. Watch Dennis’ playthrough where he gives it his own spin. It’s solid, it’s groovy, and there’s some unexpected footwork later on. It’s amazing how much a song can change with a different approach on the drums.

You’ve never heard Schism played like this before!

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34 Responses

  1. Drumeo says:

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  2. Brandon Scott says:

    I really appreciate Dennis showing us this vulnerable side of his playing. I’ve had to play songs at gigs that I’ve never heard before and I feel like it’s a very important/overlooked skill to learn as a working musician. Great Job!!!

    • sonny 6 says:

      I’m not really a fan of tools music, but I can acknowledge that Carey is an advanced musician… goes to show how brilliant chanbers is to be listening to this once and then being able to handle it. In my experience the songs you’re meant to play if you’ve not heard them are very basic pop songs. The odd 6/8 bluesy number

    • JaBu85 says:

      Amazing talent and feel for music. Really wish this included his reaction to Danny Carey’s drums in the complete track. I think a lot of the people that will view this would love to hear his insight on it.

    • The Waldfe says:

      It would be nice to see his reaction listening to the original afterwards though

    • Elias Hager says:

      Hell yeah Brandon 🔥

  3. ShartimusPrime says:

    Thank you so much Drumeo and Dennis Chambers!! This was so freaken awesome to see, I loved it!!

  4. Jack Smith says:

    Let’s’ all take a second to just appreciate this man and him coming in blind to this track. It’s just awesome!

  5. jDrums1 says:

    Dude, MASSIVE props to a legend like Dennis fir putting himself out there like that. That took some stones, especially if he knew the rabid nature of Tool’s fanbase. Dude put his ego completely on hold for this. I am sure that Danny will be humbly thrilled to see it. Two masters of their craft.

    • nckhed says:

      ​@buildfear Fans of metal music in general seem to be pretty unbearable.

    • buildfear says:

      Your comment on Tool fans is the exact reason why I’d never openly admit to enjoying them. I do, but my god – their fans are unbearable. Seen them live a few times way back in the day and it they were some of the few gigs that I arrived just as the headliners started, sat down, watched them, then left without wanting to take in the atmosphere at all.

    • Matt Muirhead says:

      @Maximilian Nice troll

    • Mobsie sixsixsix says:

      @Maximilian You’re embarassing yourself with such a comment.

    • shinedrummer says:

      @Maximilian Stop with these cringe comments. All drummers of their level of fame is relevant and are definitely experts in different areas. Danny has influenced every metal drummer after him, so I think it’s apt to put him next to other influential names no matter fame or style.

  6. Jon Sudano says:

    One thing I can say about Schism is that the song is completely unfair but it’s also my favorite

    • Zbigniew Piesiewicz says:

      ​@Mario A. Jr. Yeah, the kind of music Tool make (talented or not, doesn’t really matter) definitely not for me. You can hear when comparing to the original drum track to the one Dennis scratched out in probably that was max. 30 minutes, that the original drummer lacks time feel completely. Time feel being: the ability to lean back and forth in time, to not play like a f’n metronome and to create a sense of _groove_ and flavour, while still being accurate.
      It’s just too “white” for me or something. I just can’t jive with it. It’s just way too “dramatic” and “serious” music to me. It doesn’t sound like the guys smiled a whole lot in the studio writing this pompously grandiose tech-rock opera thing (haha, couldn’t find any other way to describe it), Sorry.

    • Mario A. Jr. says:

      @Zbigniew Piesiewicz whatever your taste in music might be, youre just ignorant to refer to Tool as “bad music”. They are probably some of the most talented musicians to come together as a group and record.

    • GreenGartside1989 says:

      Zbigniew Piesiewicz – Bad music? Lol ok dude

    • Bung says:

      Your cover was as perfect as you can get

    • Zbigniew Piesiewicz says:

      Dennis Chambers is the kind of institution that every drummer with a penchant for groove, pocket and stank-faced icky sticky funk’dom should worship at the altar of. Just listen to what he does on that one Don Blackman album, some of his stuff with Bernard “‘Nard” Wright and the rest of it. His time feel is irreplaceable and something really not of this world. A mainstay in every way, and the youngins should take some of his playing to heart, no matter what color or creed you go by.

      Tool? Not a fan, certainly. Tool is the kind of music that’s definitely not for me. But I think it’s a fun idea, that a god like Dennis has to get his mind over even bad music like this. It certainly is a challenge and something that’s fun to witness!

  7. Chuck G says:

    It’s wild to see just how much of the original feel he captures with a totally different style. The off kilter signatures, the added double base grooves near the end, I can’t imagine just throwing that together on the first shot. Dennis has mad skill and ear.

  8. Christine L. says:

    It’s hard to imagine any other drummer but Danny Carey interpreting a Tool song, but he definitely does a great job. Especially after only one listen!

  9. Nicholos Richter says:

    It’s kind of wild how Dennis’ interpretation isn’t really *that* far off from the original in many places. Kudos to him for giving this a go, and for doing such a good job. I’ve probably heard this song dozens of times and I couldn’t play it this well. Lol

    • funkster007 says:

      Dennis is a rhythm machine. I’m not surpised he could at least wing it, but that was still pretty damn impressive for playing it off the cuff.

  10. Jack Karski says:

    This is a great concept – different drummers interpreting other bands’ songs – without hearing the original drums. Awesome.

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