The future looks pretty bright, as yet another young musician is ready to turn heads with her playing. Maya Neelakantan recently turned 9-years-old and she’s already taking on the complexity of Tool‘s epic jam “7empest” from their Fear Inoculum album in her latest posted YouTube video.
Though she has only a handful of videos on her YouTube channel so far, her passion and love for heavy music shines through. She first posted as a 7-year-old, sharing a dual guitar solo performance of Slayer‘s “Delusions of Saviour.” Since then, she’s dug into Metallica and Lamb of God before stepping up to the plate with a guitar performance of Tool’s “Descending” when she was just 8-years-old.
Calling “7empest” her “toughest song so far,” young Maya wows not only with her playing but with her persistence to go toe-to-toe with Adam Jones’ work over the course of the epic, nearly 16 minute track.
Admittedly, this is a challenge Maya has been anxious to meet head on, revealing at the top of the video, “A couple of weeks ago it was my birthday and I just turned 9-years-old and as my present, I got this awesome new Les Paul guitar,” then adding, “This is my most favorite 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.”
Not only does she master the spiralling, more reserved opening moments, but you see her visibly smiling as she rocks out and headbangs to the more heavier distortion infused moments.
At the end of her performance, she humorously tells the viewing audience, “You must definitely be a Tool fan. Only they will sit and listen for 15 minutes to a whole song.”
From there, she discusses the complexities of learning the track, commenting on the amount of practice it took to even play 15 minutes non-stop, much less master some of the bends and fast triplets that Jones was delving into on the song. “On top of all this, I have to be changing so many of my effects. Every next single part of the song I need to be pressing a button or switch,” she remarked.
“I think Adam Jones, the guitarist, just went crazy with this,” she concludes. 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. 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.”
“It was an incredible journey for me when learning the entire 16 minutes of mind blowing melodies and solos,” says Maya in the video’s description. ” I feel Adam Jones, my favorite guitarist, really shines throughout the song. I hope you all enjoy it!”
(Tip: Eric Wesche)