Joey Jordison Obituary – Rock in Peace

29 July 2021

Deep breath. This is the hardest and most difficult tribute I’ve ever had to write. One I never hoped to pen during my 30-year career in rock music TV and writing.

Words: Sara Harding

Slipknot were and are one of the great Metal bands ever. Drummer Joey Jordison, with his iconic mask, his demeanour and his tour de force drumming, was the pulsing beat in the band.

Photo of Sara Harding and Joey Jordison,
Joey Jordison and Sara Harding

He was, without doubt, the best drummer I’ve ever seen perform live, mainly playing upside down too.

Like most Maggots [Slipknot followers], I was a fangirl, and when the opportunity arose to work with this masked maniac nonet from Iowa, I’m not going to lie, I was a bit starstruck.

Imagine sitting with your film crew, and nine men of epic proportions complete in their Slipknot costumes walk towards you. Yes, that. But Joey instantly made me welcome – although he was mainly talking to my chest, me being so tall and him of shorter stature.

But they say size doesn’t matter, and it sure doesn’t because this dude was larger than life. They may look very scary, but inside the masks, Slipknot are all as soft as a basket of baby kittens.

Jordison’s drum kit was off the scale – imagine a solid gold circle of mega drums and percussion that would fly into the air on fire with Jordison performing some songs spinning or inverted, and never once did he miss a beat.

Born Nathan Jonas Jordison in 1975 in Des Moines, Iowa, Jordison was given his first drum kit at the age of eight by his parents. His first band, The Pale Ones, then morphed into Slipknot. He went on to play with Murderdolls, Vimic and Scar the Martyr and organised the Roadrunner United 25th anniversary gig, which was one of the best ever moments in Metal history.

Jordison, 46, passed away peacefully in his sleep, according to his family.

Joey was one of Slipknot’s founding members, creating the band in 1995 along with Shaun Crahan and the late, great Paul Gray. The band went on to sell millions of albums, find mainstream chart success and win a Grammy Award. Joey remained part of the band until 2013 and left after a diagnosis of myelitis.

When Jordison broke his ankle on a tour bus, it took two drummers to replace him live. That’s how mad his skills were. Then there was that Metallica gig when Lars went AWOL, and Jordison stepped in last minute and drummed like he’d been with the ‘Tallica forever.

Skin from Skunk Anansie says, “One of the most ferocious and entertaining bands we ever played with. What a drummer! The world has lost another legend.”

Mike Inez from Alice in Chains said, “RIP Joey. I first met him on tour at Ozzfest 2001, and that was a fun summer. Rest easy, buddy.”

Austin Collins and Oli Walkers from AC Promotions stated, “We are devastated to hear of Joey’s passing. Words cannon express the seismic impact he’s had on the world of heavy music as a person and musician.”

Kirsten and Michelle from Costra Nostra PR said, “I hope #2 saved you a good seat that spins upside down with fire jets attached.”

Our thoughts go out to the Slipknot family, team and Joey’s loved ones.

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