Watch a Nine-Year-Old Guitarist Tear Through Tool's "7empest"

Maya Neelakantan's six-string skills cannot be denied

Photo (right): Gibson

BY Calum SlingerlandPublished Jun 10, 2022

If Tool guitarist Adam Jones should ever feel the need to take a Jenga break onstage, he should cede his spot to nine-year-old Maya Neelakantan, who shows no Fear Inoculum in covering the band's 15-minute, Grammy-winning crusher "7empest."

Neelakantan, who calls Jones her favourite guitarist, has seen her take on "7empest" make the rounds online this week after previously covering Tool's "Descending" months earlier — another lengthy tune from fifth studio album Fear Inoculum that isn't for the faint of heart.

"This is a really long and hard song and it's my favourite of all Tool songs," she writes in the video's description, also noting how this particular video marks the debut of that sweet Epiphone Les Paul guitar, with a paint job we feel is way cooler than Jones' signature silverburst.

Below, you can watch Neelakantan play her way through the song's intricately-picked clean passages, hypnotic solos and its memorable, groovy main riff — complete with some picture-in-picture views of her chosen effects box. There's no denying a team-up with similarly talented young rocker Nandi Bushell would be the stuff of legends.

"It was an incredible journey for me when learning the entire 16 minutes of mind blowing melodies and solos!" she shares. "I feel Adam Jones, my favourite guitarist, really shines throughout the song. I hope you all enjoy it!"

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