Heralding the shift into 2012 is the new record from Paul DʼAmour and his band Feersum
Ennjin. DʼAmour is best known for his work in the Multi-Platinum selling prog heavyweight
band Tool. As a founding member, co-writer, and consummate bassist, he helped spur a
movement in music with his distinctive song writing and bass playing, garnering the band
the label of “Modern Progressive Rock Pioneers.” His contributions to their records Opiate,
Undertow, and Aenima continue to echo in their sound today, inspiring a generation of
No stranger to experimentation, Paul DʼAmour thrives on it. He welcomes the idea of
forward motion, which he felt had come to a halt within the writing process he shared within Tool, prompting his departure for sights and sounds unknown. In a recent interview,
DʼAmour explains “When I left Tool I really had a lot of growing to do as a musician and had a hunger to explore as many different sounds and creative possibilities as I could to
broaden my palette. I think eventually I started coming back around to some of the heavier,
darker sounds that may be associated with Tool. I guess that is a part of me as well.”
Venturing further on his path of expansion, DʼAmour piqued many a criticʼs eyebrows and
many a fanʼs interest with the Grammy nominated Lusk. The 1997 album entitled “Free
Mars” is a psychedelic visionary art pop foray co-written with Chris Pitman (Guns n Roses,
Sex Tapes), Greg Edwards (Autolux, Failure) and Brad Laner (Medicine, Electric
Company). The video for its single “Backworlds”, co-directed by DʼAmour, won Lusk
heavy rotation on MTV and an MTV viewers award. Another notable project of that time
period is the “Replicants” record, an underground cover band featuring songs by The Cars,
Wings, Neil Young, and MIssing Persons and recorded with Ken Andrews, (Failure), Chris
Pitman and Greg Edwards with guest vocals from Toolʼs Maynard James Keenan.
Honing his production skills, Paul continued onwards to produce and record projects such as
Seattleʼs sad core darlings “Carissaʼs Wierd”, Murder City Devils, and the dark and dreamy
Queen Maud Land. Simultaneously he was recording his own songs and also working with
artists such as Matt Mahaffey (Self, Wired All Wrong), Jordon Zadorozny (Blinker the Star)
and Feersum Ennjin Bassist, Mac Burris.
Always feeling the power of the visual aspects of film and music evident in the videos of
Tool and Lusk, the combination of his wide musical range, production skills, and most
importantly, his sensitivity and ability to translate emotion through music, led Paul to the
natural next step: composing music for film. To date, his work can be heard in over 7 feature films including Screen Gemʼs “The Stepfather”, “The Roommate” and “Insanitarium”, as well as in documentaries, notably with the award winning director Ondi Timoner. The merging of his cinematic background and musical career are evident in the new release of Feersum Ennjin. What was originally meant to be “Lusk part 2″, these recordings began taking on more of the heavy riffs and power of his contributions in Tool, but were more expansive in feel, incorporating electronic elements and a cinematic tone. Realizing that the songs were more than the sum of Lusk, a name change was in order. Paul titled the new project “Feersum Ennjin” after the Sci-Fi author Iaian Banksʼ book “Feersum Endjinn.”
In the book Feersum Endjinn, the inhabitants of a future earth exist in a society where
intentional reincarnation is a commonplace occurrence as citizens upload their mind states
into a massive computer network. Itʼs a world wrought with conflict where they battle
advanced technology and the threat of a dying planet as the encroachment of an interstellar
molecular cloud advances,potentially blocking out the sun.
“I really liked the concepts of spirituality colliding with technology which transpire in the book. I feel that way about music sometimes, the way we use these technological tools to create something beyond ourselves. In the book the “Feersum Endjinn” is a piece of ancient
technology that the people are trying to activate to save their dying planet. Maybe that’s
the REAL purpose of this band?” laughs Paul.
The Feersum Ennjin album is actually 3 different groupings of songs that were recorded inbetween Paulʼs scoring of feature films. The end result is the auditory documentation of
DʼAmourʼs musical evolution, a reverse timeline culminating in present day with the newest
song, “The Fourth”. This song is epic in intention, heavy and melodic, and provides a
glimpse into the future sound of Feersum Ennjin. “The Fourth” brings Paulʼs evolution into an expanded full circle with the performance of DʼAmourʼs former band mate in Tool, drummer Danny Carey.
As a whole, Feersum Ennjinʼs first self-titled full-length is eclectic and original. “Dragon”, “The Wilderness” and “Fishing Grounds” abound with crashing rifts, ominous echoing rhythms and point-counter point melodies. Other tracks are more moody and esoteric. “Hate the Sun” contrasts chiming organs, ringing guitars and shuffling electronics with dissonant
samples, clattering drums and yearning vocals, “The Raft” combines a stabbing guitar riff
with haunting vocals, then blooms with a soaring chorus and “Lines” builds from a gentle,
symmetrical lullaby into an urgent rock epic.
Feersum Ennjin will sound welcoming and familiar to fans of Tool, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Interpol, Queens of the Stone Age, Jane’s Addition, Battles, and even Killing Joke.
Whether D’Amour explores delicate wafting melodies or crashing cathartic rock-outs, his
music has a strength and urgency rooted in a cinematic sensibility.
With a full length debut behind him, new songs on deck, and live shows in the works,
Feersum Ennjin is poised to fill the current void in Progressive Rock, ensuring on Earth the
survival of the genre and the health of its inhabitants.
1. The Fourth
2. Fishing Grounds
4. The Wilderness
7. Solid Gold
10. The Raft
11. Hate The Sun
12. Thin Air