Tool Member Reveals Who Fired Him: ‘I Got Kicked Out’


Tool bassist Justin Chancellor discussed being fired by his band when he told them he was auditioning for Tool in the 90’s to replace Paul D’Amour. Chancellor made the remarks during an interview on Ernie Ball’s Striking a Chord podcast. Maynard James Keenan had a terrible phone call after Paul D’Amour quit.

“That was not a small step at all [moving to a new country]. Things weren’t amazing, but I was pretty happy to be in the zone. All I was doing was obsessing with music. I was in a happy place in London, I was, like, ‘Yeah, I’m finally one of the people,’ you know? Part of it was a bit of a shock. We thought we were already going somewhere.

I got to clarify this. Peach had finished by that stage and we started a new band, I believe our singer Simon [Oakes] had left. We ended up creating a new band called Sterling, and we’d actually been offered a record deal by Beggar’s Banquet, so it was quite exciting at the time – it was new.

“It almost too easy just to say, ‘No, I can’t really, I’ve got a deal,’ but my brother, really, because he knew how much it meant to me and how much I liked the band, so I had a difficult thing of basically calling them back and saying, ‘Would it be alright if I changed my mind?’ They were really cool and they said yes, so that’s pretty much how that came down.”

Maynard James Keenan revealed why he had to leave Tool in the studio recently. Chancellor then discussed joining Tool as they were writing a new album, “They’ve written about three songs for Aenima, when I said, ‘Okay, I’m going to come.’ They set up a flight, they said, ‘You’re going to come out for a week.’ So they sent me three and a half songs on a demo tape. To be honest, it was really quite crazy to listen to, it was, like, ‘Pushit,’ ‘Eulogy’…

I don’t know if they had any words on or anything, but I had to wrap my head around it and learn it a little bit and then the other deal was, ‘You got to bring some stuff with you that you’ve written, anything you’ve got to bring to the table is welcome.’ I got kicked out of my band, as soon as I told them for this audition. They were like fireworks, like, really upset.”

Ultimate-Guitar transcribed Chancellor’s remarks.

Sinking Deeper wrote on Reddit about the new Tool album Fear Inoculum, “Pneuma and 7empest (and the rest of the songs) are awesome of course, but I just feel like Descending is the most complete piece. It just gives off such an ethereal feeling that got me into Tool in the first place.”

DiggyDog responded, “Not sure it’s an unpopular opinion, but I totally agree. Close second for me is Fear Inoculum. My actual unpopular opinion: 7empest is kinda boring and I’d rank it below Chocolate Chip Trip in terms of the enjoyment I get out of it. Still like the song, I just don’t agree with all the hype for it.” Howard Stern recently called out sad Tool rejection.