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Watch this 9-year-old guitarist totally nail a cover of Tool epic 7empest

Tool fan
(Image credit: Maya Neelakantan / YouTube)

If you cast your mind back to what you were doing when you were nine-years-old, we're prepared to bet that your answer doesn't involve casual humblebrags about covering a 15 minute-long Tool masterpiece, and posting the evidence on YouTube. 

But that's exactly what happened yesterday, June 9, courtesy of nine-year-old Maya Neelakantan, who set herself a challenge to play Tool's epic 7empest from Fear Inoculum from start to finish, and absolutely slayed it, as the video of her stunning performance demonstrates.

As she explains in the intro to her post, the song has a special significance to the young guitarist.

"A couple of weeks ago it was my birthday" she reveals, "and I just turned 9-years-old and as my present, I got this awesome new Les Paul guitar. This is my most favourite song and this is the hardest song I've ever played and this is the first song I'm playing with my new guitar, so I've been just very excited to show it to you."

Watch the video below:





After dishing up this madness, Maya has some words of appreciation for Adam Jones, Tool's guitarist who she suggests "just went crazy with this."

"He just went and did anything he wants cause there's solo after solo after solo and then in the intro bit and then after the intro bit, the intro bit just goes for so long," she explains. "The solo is like three minutes of the song already, and after that he turns on the wah peddle, he'll keep on the wah peddle, but he won't actually use it. Those things just taught me so much and I love how Adam Jones did it all ... I feel like this is his masterpiece."

On her YouTube channel, which also features covers by Metallica. Lamb Of God, and Slayer, young Maya says that she aspires to be "a guitarist where the music connects directly to my heart and soul! Music that takes me through a transcendental journey that cannot be explained with words."

Good luck Maya!

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.