Tool was not looking forward to auditioning new bassists after co-founder Paul D'Amour quit the band in 1995.
Finding a good bassist is a challenge in the best of times with no pressure, and D'Amour's massive tone was a crucial part of Tool's appeal in its early days. The bassist's riff on the intro of "Sober" is still one of the band's signature sonic moments.
In an old interview dug up by the YouTube channel ToolArchive, Jones recalled being "blown away" when D'Amour quit, though he ultimately respected the bassist's decision.
Jones describes the ensuing process of auditioning bassists as "entertaining" but nerve-wracking. Jones recalls an early affinity for Justin Chancellor, who was friendly with Tool through his former band Peach.
But Jones was also convinced he and bandmates, drummer Danny Carey and vocalist Maynard James Keenan were headed to blows over the vacancy.
"When it came down to pick, we were gonna have a meeting because I wanted someone and Danny and Maynard wanted someone else," he said. "So we were gonna talk about it."
He continued: "So what happened was Danny and Maynard wanted Justin, and they thought I wanted this other guy. And I thought Danny and Maynard wanted that guy, and I wanted Justin. So we got down to, like, you know, take swings at each other. And it was like, 'Oh, we all want Justin! Great!' It was really funny, and it worked out."
Chancellor not only filled the void left by D'Amour, his playing also became a crucial part of Tool's sound going forward, laying down more signature Tool riffs on the albums AEnima, Lateralus and 10,000 Days.
"He's a riff-writing machine, and I like his bass playing because it doesn't have to be traditional..."
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