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That Time TOOL Covered KYUSS' "Demon Cleaner" With Their Bassist

This should've happened more.

Tool 1998

Tool covered Kyuss' stoner rock classic "Demon Cleaner" twice ever – on March 27, 1998 at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles, CA, and then two days later on March 29 in La Jolla, CA. The March 29 covered featured Kyuss bassist Scott Reeder, and if you've never heard it, you need to fix that right now. It takes all the desert rock goodness of the original and really adds that darker Tool edge to it.

Tool and Reeder had a bit of a history prior to this show as well. Namely that Reeder was in the running to become Tool's new bassist in 1996, one year after Paul D'Amour quit the band.

"I got a call saying, 'Can you come over and jam with Tool?’" said Reeder in an interview with Bass Player. "We played for three days and I thought it went really well. They seemed pretty excited and called me and said, 'It’s down to just two guys – you and this guy Justin Chancellor from England.' So I was sitting by the phone, getting really excited – but they called me and said, 'Sorry, he just oozes Tool' which I understand because I’d gone down there and just been myself."

Of course, Reeder was also asked to try out for Metallica when the group was searching for a replacement for Jason Newsted, the honors of which ultimately went to Robert Trujillo. Reeder currently plays in the group Fireball Ministry.

As for Chancellor joining the band, things got off to a bit of a rocky start. Namely that Chancellor initially turned the audition down out of sheer intimidation. "They were like, 'We'd like you to come out and audition to be in the band.' It was a little too much, really, to absorb and take in," he said in the Striking a Chord podcast. "I think right on that first call, I basically immediately just said, 'Oh, I can't do that. I can't do that.' Out of total fear. Just intimidation."

Chancellor's brother eventually talked him into doing it, and here we are today – Chancellor has been in Tool for over two decades. "I had the difficult thing of basically calling them back, and saying, 'Would it be all right if I changed my mind?' … Anyway, they were really cool and they said yes."

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