Primus recently recruited Tool‘s Danny Carey to fill in for their drummer, Tim “Herb” Alexander – who is still recovering from open-heart surgery in July – and they welcomed him into the fold by playing a snippet of his band’s late-Nineties single “Ænima.”
The trio worked the song’s first verse and chorus into their set at Chicago’s Concord Music Hall on Saturday – its first performance with Carey – between the Primus songs “Eleven,” off 1991’s Sailing the Seas of Cheese, and “To Defy the Laws of Tradition,” off 1990’s Frizzle Fry. They repeated the snippet the next day at their Riot Fest appearance, just before their 1993 Pork Soda single “My Name Is Mud.” The trio may reprise the interlude when it plays Denver’s Riot Fest on the weekend of September 19th.
“The mighty Tim ‘Herb’ Alexander is a polyrhythmic Viking of extreme and unique talent so the one person that we thought could step into his shoes and do it justice is the one and only Mr. Danny Carey,” Primus frontman Les Claypool told Rolling Stone in August. “Whereas Herb is the stocky, Easter Island-faced, boulder of a drumming human, at nearer to seven feet, Danny Carey is the mighty redwood tree of percussion; towering over his kit like a golden-haired noble sequoia.”
Carey and Claypool have previously played together on the first three tracks of former King Crimson guitarist Adrien Belew’s 2005 record Side One. Primus and Carey are also connected in a more roundabout way, since Alexander has played with Tool frontman Maynard Keenan in the group’s A Perfect Circle and Puscifer. Alexander plans on being recovered well enough to Primus in time for its Chocolate Factory Tour, which kicks off in late October.
Tool are working on the follow-up to their 2006 record 10,000 Days, a process that has taken considerably longer than usual since they have been ensconced in a time-consuming legal battle with an insurance company, as Carey and guitarist Adam Jones explained to Rolling Stone in July. At that point, they had written about an album’s worth of music, but just needed to organize it into songs. “It’s all a little more ‘metal’ sounding, if I may,” Carey said at the time. “I’m having fun drumming on it.”