When a seasoned guitarist like Richie Faulkner gets the opportunity to share the stage with Tool’s Adam Jones, it’s understandable that he would feel a mixture of both awe and excitement. In a recent interview with Guitar World, Faulkner opened up about his exhilarating experience performing “Jambi” alongside Jones during Tool’s show at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on January 29, 2020.
The incredible opportunity came about thanks to the then-Chief Marketing Officer and current Interim CEO of Gibson, who informed Faulkner that Jones was a fan of his playing and asked if he would be interested in joining Tool for a jam session. Faulkner enthusiastically accepted the invitation, although the weight of the situation quickly sank in.
After hanging up the phone, Faulkner realized the magnitude of the challenge he had accepted. He confessed: “Hold on a minute, what have I done?! I knew the song but didn’t know it well enough to get up in front of 20,000 people.”
You can already see how this was going and intense preparations followed, with Faulkner immersing himself in mastering the technical intricacies of “Jambi.” The pressure was so intense that he admitted to feeling nauseous at times.
When the night finally arrived, Faulkner rose to the occasion, despite his self-perceived mistake during the performance. He recalled the graciousness of Jones, who reassured him that any misstep was on his own part. The camaraderie between the two guitarists was palpable, and Faulkner couldn’t help but praise Tool’s production and their incredible connection with their fans.
He stated: “Adam was so gracious. I only had to play half the song and I still messed it up at one point. After the set, I told him I thought I’d made a fuck up and he said, ‘Oh no, I think that was me!’ He was just being nice. Of course it was me that messed it up [laughs]. They were great to play and hang out with. That production and the way they connect with their fans is unreal…”