Joey Jordison, Slipknot’s iconic former drummer, passed away on July 26th at age 46. He had been suffering from a neurological disorder that had actually taken away the use of his legs, but from all accounts he was doing much better recently. I had planned on talking about the latest Fear Factory album for this entry, but Jordison’s death is one of those things that just takes precedent.
Joey was a founding member of Slipknot back in the 90s. When the band decided to give each member a number, he was given number 1. Now, I was never super high on his playing. Don’t get me wrong, he was good. I don’t think too many people would stick him high on a top 10 list for skill (I generally float him around the 8-12 region), but he wasn’t dog shit by any means, either. Instead, Joey was known much more for his theatrics. The upside-down drum solo was a massively iconic move. Pairing his drumming with the “percussion” elements completed a stupidly fun package.
I still remember back in the day when I really started to get into the heavier stuff. You know, beyond Metallica. Slipknot was part of that introductory round of heavy metal. I still hold them in high regard as one of the few good things to come out of Iowa. Fucking IOWA. Regardless, this was during the period where my mom wasn’t particularly happy with me listening to certain things. She was a bit overprotective, but things turned out cool, so it’s all good. Two bands I specifically remember were Marilyn Manson (which fuck Manson at this point anyway) and Slipknot. The real kick came when I was in England. My good buddy Lin and I would sit in the specialist flight office on mid shift sending each other dumb videos and laughing at them. At one point, he sends me the video for Duality. He’s cry-laughing as it pops into my e-mail inbox. “The fuckin’ percussion dude! He’s just slapping a fuckin’ keg!” The shit was hilarious. It still is. Some of the heaviest music to come out of the States at that point, and during pauses, there’s a dude in a clown mask jumping around smacking a keg with a ball bat. That shit was god damn gold for at least six months.
Anyway, Joey paved the way for a lot of drummers out there. He really redefined what it was to be a metal drummer during the New Wave. Mad respect, and a huge loss to the metal world.