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[This article/interview was posted to MusicRadar by Rich Chamberlain on December 27th, 2021 | Photo from FamousFix]
“Any chance I get to say some nice words about my friend Joey, I’ll do it,” Brann Dailor tells us as we begin a transatlantic call discussing the legacy of Joey Jordison. Jordison, whose passing this summer shocked the drum world, has been a close friend to Dailor for many years and even, as Dailor himself describes, a ‘cheerleader’ for the Mastodon man.
“You got the sense that his band would be bigger than your band but he was so excited to meet you and talk about what you’re doing,” Dailor recalls. “He would always be on side of the stage drumming along.”
From becoming fans of each other from afar to sharing stages the world over, Dailor and Jordison became great friends, and here the ridiculously-talented prog metal king pays tribute to his buddy Joey.
What was your first exposure to Joey?
“I first heard Slipknot in the late ‘90s. I was playing in a band called Today’s The Day. I was living in Massachusetts and I was working a menial construction job. It was on the way home from work we had the radio on and Slipknot came on.
"I thought it was extremely heavy and was like, ‘What station is this?!’ I had never heard anything like that on the radio. I was surprised and kind of excited. I was like, ‘Wow! If this is popular enough to be on regular radio, that is amazing.’
The drums were the first thing that popped out. They were way up in the mix and it was super fast. There were lots of snare rolls, lots of double bass, there was some grindcore. I was like, ‘Man, there’s grindcore on the radio, this is insane.’
"There is a pop, hooky element to Slipknot but nestled between those hooks, you’re being forced to listen to music that I was very unfamiliar with, underground heavy, heavy death metal that was going on at the time.
"I heard some Suffocation influence, some Cannibal Corpse style in between these big pop choruses. I thought, ‘People are getting hoodwinked a little bit, that’s so cool!’ I gravitated towards the drumming because that’s the instrument I usually pay attention to the most, especially when someone is playing like that. I just thought the dude was rippin’ it.
"They got pretty big pretty fast so they were suddenly on the cover of every magazine around. I didn’t have a computer at this time so music magazines were the way I heard about new music. They were unavoidable.
"They were such a welcome change from what was going on. They had the masks, the costumes, the spectacle of it all. I think music was hungry for it, hungry for something other than four dudes [laughs]. They had clowns, this wild horror aspect to it that was intriguing. You want that on your magazine cover; that’s going to sell magazines! They had all this craziness, it was wild. I wanted to find out more about them, for sure."
When did you first meet Joey?
“I didn’t meet Joey until a few years later. Mick was the first member of the band that I met. We played in Des Moines at this small club and a couple of guys from Slipknot were there.
“I remember Mick bought us a pizza and we hung out at the bar eating pizza after the show. I didn’t meet Joey until 2004 or 2005 when we toured with them in Europe. We toured with Slipknot and Slayer.”
What was your reaction to seeing Joey play live for the first time?
“I was familiar with lots of drummers who rip and when they play live they do their thing and Joey was one of those. He was the same age as me and I could tell from just hearing him play that we came from the same kind of background.
"Seeing Joey live for the first time, seeing Slipknot live for the first time, it was like, ‘Oh, this is the KISS for the new generation.’ It was exactly what live music needed. I felt like my band, we’re not that, we don’t do that. We’re just jeans, t-shirts, we’re up there, our setlist is written in magic marker on a paper plate and we just let her rip. It’s different.
“Over the years we’ve upped our game in terms of live production but at that time I could see those guys had this really cool thing and so much imagination went into their show and I know Joey was a big part of that.
“I was locked in on Joey when I watched them. I wanted to see all of that happen live. Watching Joey was like watching a firework show. He was this little ball of energy that never stopped. That continued after the show and he was like that before the show, he was bouncing off the walls all of the time. He was a lot of fun to hang out with.”
What was it about Joey that so many people connected with?
“Joey inspired people with his personality and then there was the mask and the mystique. There’s something about a smaller statured person, you kind of want to snuggle them, you want to pick them up like, ‘Hey buddy!’
“He just had a very lovable quality about him. He was a loving guy. You’d see him he’d give you a kiss on the forehead and would be so excited to see you. I think that translated to the fans. He would be signing stuff out there with fans for hours.
“He was this little guy but he was larger than life. I think people respond to that. The way he was able to play and what he was able to do behind the kit made him seem ten feet tall but he was this little dude and people are attracted to that.
“His playing, he was this total player. He made people want to pick up the sticks and emulate his playing. Especially for someone who is younger, you hear that and think you have all this energy and don’t know what the hell to do with it and if you could play drums like Joey then that would be something to channel it into.
“It just sounds like pure adrenaline. Then he’s doing windmills with his hair; he was a performer. He was always a performer. That didn’t stop when he got offstage, he was still performing and trying to make people laugh. He was a funny dude.”
You had a close friendship…
“We were really close friends, I don’t know if people know that, we were close right to the end. We would text all the time and talk on the phone. He was just a huge music fan and very knowledgeable about every genre of music, every album, every person who played on the album.
“He was so excited to see anybody play. He was just a fan who happened to be in a band that got really huge so he got those opportunities to be at all of these shows and go backstage and play with Metallica, hang out with Dave Lombardo, he wanted to know everything about all of these guys who had been a big part of his childhood and were his heroes.
“He always had questions for me and other players about learning things they were doing so that he could become a better player. He had no idea he was in this massive band, he just didn’t want to disappoint his fans, be the best player he could be and he was super humble. I feel like I grew up with him.
“He feels like a headbanger who I went to high school with, just a cool guy who loved Metallica and Slayer hanging out together outside of a Mini Mart until 2AM smoking cigarettes and listening to Overkill on a boom box.
“He stayed that person. He stayed a fan, he was the same person that those kids who were fans of his were. He knew he was the same as them so he treated them the way he would want to be treated by a band he idolised. He was always cognisant of that; that’s not the case with some people. That’s the way to do it.”
[This article/interview was posted to MusicRadar by Rich Chamberlain on December 26th, 2021 | Photo from Maximum Rock]
6 months on from the former Slipknot drummer's passing, Roy Mayorga remembers Joey Jordison
“The first time I heard Slipknot was when I was in Monte Conner’s office (Roadrunner A&R who signed Slipknot and Soulfly),” Roy Mayorga recalls. This was winter 1997 and Roy had just finished recording with Soulfly. While living in New York he would often frequent the office of famed A&R guru Conner, but what he heard on that particular day has stuck in his head ever since.
“Monte pulled out this Slipknot demo and said I had to hear it. It was on cassette and it was all the songs that you heard on that first record. I swear to god when I heard it I was like, ‘What the f***!’ It was one of the coolest things I had ever heard.”
While blown away by the whole band, it was the firecracker behind the kit who really grabbed Roy’s ear.
“I heard Joey and wondered who the hell this kid was. His playing was like punk rock meets metal. The way he played, he had this attitude and push and pull on the tempos.
"I had never heard anyone like that. Usually with metal it is consistent and punchy but Joey was pushing and pulling the tempos, going incredibly fast and then downshifting to a slower groove.
"It was insane and mind blowing. I heard the song Sic and said to Monte, ‘Are you going to sign these guys?’ He said absolutely he was. I couldn’t wait to hear the songs properly recorded. A year later it came out and I haven’t stopped listening to it ever since, I still listen to it today.”
What was it about Joey’s playing that was so inspirational?
“He had the whole package. First of all, if you’re a ten year old kid and you see Slipknot you will be drawn to them but then when you listen it’ll be,’ Oh my god!’ It was like my reaction to KISS in the 70s.
"It was a bunch of monsters playing metal, which kid wouldn’t like that? But they were also amazing players. Jim, Mick, Paul…they were all amazing players. No other band had that magic.
"Joey played so differently to everyone else who was playing at the time. I hear so many drummers where you can hear Joey’s influence. There are so many drummers who try to sound like Joey. He changed a lot of a lot of people.”
He loved jazz as much as he adored metal, can you hear that eclecticism in his playing?
“I hear a little bit of that in his drumming, but I hear more punk than jazz. Maybe on some of the slower songs there is more jazz. Every drummer has a range of influences.
"Joey was just a unique drummer, there was no one like him and that shows in his playing. He was a drummer, a guitarist, a songwriter, an arranger – that made him stand out from the rest.”
Did you cross paths during your Soulfly days?
“Oh, for sure. I think the first time we met each other was through Casey Chaos from Amen. It was a Los Angeles show when I had just moved here, maybe in 1999 or 2000. They were playing somewhere in Hollywood. I was there with Casey and he introduced me to Joey, Paul and Corey. We hung out a lot from there.”
What was your reaction seeing Slipknot live that first time?
“I was absolutely blown away. I had never seen anything like it. Nine dudes in unison going crazy. It was so over the top and I was so blown away. There was nothing like it. It was so well done. Live, they were so tight and over the top.
There was nothing like it, it was relentless. Joey drove that truck. No one is ever going to sound like Joey. He was one of a kind. Joey was one of the best drummers out there. He changed and inspired so many drummers. It was a game-changer when he came onto the scene.”
Joey often spoke of being his own worst critic…
“He was a perfectionist. He was an artist. He had no ego whatsoever. He was very grass roots. He was always cool and super down to earth.”
He was a king of the drum solo too
“I mean, going up in the air and upside-down, I had never really seen that before other than Tommy Lee. Peter Criss would rise up the air and Buddy Rich did it as well on the Johnny Carson show but Joey took it to a whole new level. He took it vertical and spun, that was just amazing. That was his thing.”
Do you have a favourite Joey track?
“The Heretic Anthem is one that really sticks out to me. The first two records were, as Ross Robinson would say, molten metal. Joey was insane on both of those records. They are untouchable, especially the first album.
"The sound of that first album is so awkward and uncomfortable but it’s so punchy and in your face. That record to me is my favourite Slipknot record because it was so raw and relentless.”
Was there much crossover with Joey when you worked on Roadrunner United?
“We worked separately. He was a team captain and had his crew of people that he was working with in Iowa and I was worked with Dino Cazares in LA. We were simultaneously working together. We didn’t really work together until we did the Roadrunner United live show in , that was great, I had a great time doing that.
"We did some orchestration and there would be two drum kits in the room and we would trade off. Even for me, when playing a Slipknot song I would figure it out the best I could and then he would come and show me how he did a certain roll and things like that.
"I would try my best to copy it and make it doable! His stuff was really hard to play, man. There’s a lot of people who can play it but only he can do it how he does it.
"It’s like there’s so many people who want to sound like John Bonham and they can get on Bonham’s drum kit but they won’t sound the same because it is all in the hands and from the heart. No one is ever going to sound like Joey, he’s one of a kind; he was one of the best.”
Joey Jordison (#1) Has Passed Away
Joey Jordison (#1) has passed away, according to a statement released by his family this past Monday (July 26). As of the time of this writing, the cause of death is not known.
Joey opened entirely new dimensions in drumming and music, inspiring many people around the world. By all accounts, Joey was a really good person who deeply appreciated the people around him and all of his fans. He was dearly loved and he is truly missed. He will always be Number One.
Statement from Joey's family: 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.
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.
The family of Joey have asked 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.
Here are some of the absolute best videos of Joey Jordison:
Click here for a playlist with more videos of Joey at the SlipknotNine YouTube channel.
These Words Mean Nothing
Corey Taylor will be releasing a book filled with Clown's quintessential quotes.
In an interview at Knotfest's Mosh Talk With Beez, Corey said, "The great thing about Clown, and people who know him will back me up on this is his – God, how do I phrase it – his liberal use of changing phrases that we’ve all used for years, and basically bending them to his will."
"I’ve been keeping a list of things that he has said over the years. His style with the English language is something to be admired and the world is really going to get a taste of unfiltered Clown, which is great, I love it – because it just means people are gonna understand when I put the book out, it’s gonna be amazing."
"He already knows that I’m doing a book, it’s gonna be a coffee table book, and it’s called These Words Mean Nothing, and that’s his title, by the way. That’s the name of the book right now, that’s what it’s gonna be. I’ve been keeping a list for over 20 years now, and it is quite long of just the crazy stuff that he has said over the years, like the way he will change a saying, and it feels like he messed it up, but he’ll repeat it, and be like, ‘Well, this is actually what I meant.’ And I’m like, ‘Ah, you’re so full of it.’ His mind is so creative that it’s gonna be great to hear him talk."
The video of this interview is embedded below. Refer to 22:20.