Ex-Slipknot Drummer Joey Jordison Dead at 46

BY Calum SlingerlandPublished Jul 27, 2021

Joey Jordison — the American musician known best as the former drummer, co-songwriter and founding member of masked metal outfit Slipknot — has died. Jordison's passing was announced today in a statement shared by his family. He was 46.

"We are heartbroken to share the news that Joey Jordison, prolific drummer, musician and artist passed away peacefully in his sleep on July 26th, 2021. He was 46," the statement reads.

"Joey's death has left us with empty hearts and feelings of indescribable sorrow. To those that knew Joey, understood his quick wit, his gentle personality, giant heart and his love for all things family and music."

Jordison's family ask that "friends, fans and media understandably respect our need for privacy and peace at this incredibly difficult time. The family will hold a private funeral service and asks the media and public to respect their wishes."

Jordison played drums with Slipknot from 1995 until his departure from the band in December 2013. Post-Slipknot, Jordison would drum for bands Scar the Martyr, Vimic and Sinsaenum, while also manning the kit for horror punks Murderdolls between 2002 and 2011. Across his career, Jordison was regularly recognized and honoured as one of the most prolific drummers by peers and listeners alike.

Born in Des Moines, IA, in 1975, Jordison began playing guitar until he was gifted his first set of drums at age eight. He has previously counted the Who's Keith Moon, Led Zeppelin's John Bonham, KISS' Peter Criss, Gene Krupa and Buddy Rich among his influences.

As outlined in Exclaim!'s Slipknot Timeline feature, Jordison and his future bandmates would first become acquainted through performing in various Iowa metal bands ahead of officially forming their nine-member outfit.

In 1995, Shawn Crahan and Paul Gray would found a band dubbed the Pale Ones, and the latter would soon invite Jordison to a rehearsal jam. Jordison then became the band's primary drummer, while Crahan would move to playing percussion.

Jordison was also the one to suggest changing names from the Pale Ones to Slipknot, after the band's song of the same name. On Halloween in 1996, the band would release Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat., recorded in Iowa with an estimated $40,000 USD budget.

"That record was a little elementary even though it's got great musicianship on it and we had the right ideas," Jordison would tell Revolver of Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat. in 2018. "The cover...is me naked in this cage contraption that Shawn welded together. It's 20 degrees out and I'm in the middle of a fucking cornfield freezing to death. And in the picture you can see my foot looks like a goddamn devil hoof. That wasn't intended, but we saw it and went, 'Fuck, we're onto something!' It was all about misery, and you know what? We thrive on that."

Jordison and Slipknot would make their debut in 1999 with an eponymous self-titled LP, with the drummer co-writing singles "Wait and Bleed" and "Spit It Out." Iowa would follow in 2001, ahead of the band going on hiatus partway through 2002, leading Jordison to form Murderdolls.

Slipknot recorded 2004's Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses) with Rick Rubin, moving into the producer's home/recording studio, dubbed "the Mansion." During their time there, the band claimed that Rubin's space was haunted. In Jordison's case, his bedroom door would reportedly swing open each morning at 9 a.m., no matter the efforts made to stop it.

In 2005, Jordison produced Slipknot's first live album, 9.0: Live, ahead of the band going on hiatus a second time. The time away from Slipknot saw the drummer tour with Ministry and Korn, and work with Canadian metal band 3 Inches of Blood in producing their 2007 album Fire Up the Blades.

Slipknot would return with fourth album All Hope Is Gone in 2008, which would ultimately mark Jordison's last with the band. At the time, the drummer considered it their best album, sharing with Metal Hammer, "It's finally the record that I've wanted Slipknot to sound like."

In December of 2013, Slipknot announced that Jordison has left the band for personal reasons. The drummer shared a statement of his own through Facebook, claiming that he did not quit. Both parties agreed to release statements at a later time.

While at the 2016 Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards, Jordison revealed to the audience that he suffered from transverse myelitis. "I lost my legs. I couldn't play anymore," he shared. "It was a form of multiple sclerosis, which I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy."

In 2019, vocalist Corey Taylor told Exclaim!, "That's not the reason that he was let go, and that's all I'm going to say about it. Here's the problem: it's a personal issue that has to deal with Joey, and until Joey embraces it and talks about it, it's not for me to say anything about it. I can say that it affected all of us in a lot of different ways, a lot of negative ways. As much as I love him, and I wish him well, until he can figure those things out, I worry about him."

Find tributes to Jordison from Hatebreed's Jamey Jasta, ex-Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy, Murderdolls' Wednesday 13 and more below.

Latest Coverage