Former Slipknot Drummer Joey Jordison died on July 26, 2021 at the age of 46.
In a statement sent to Heavy via email, the Jordison family representative said that Jordison “passed away peacefully in his sleep.”
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 representative declined to comment on the cause of death.
Here’s everything you need to know:
1. He’s One of the Most Celebrated Drummers in All of Metal
Jordison is one of the most celebrated drummers in metal and rock music. His personal website describes his style as a merging of “a flawless and fiery technicality evocative of underground metal, neck-snapping hard rock grooves, and an anthemic stadium-ready expansiveness.”
He’s found himself across the covers of Modern Drummer, Rhythm, Metal Hammer, Drummer, Drum!, Terrorizer and Kerrang!
“Music has always meant so much to me,” Jordison said on his website. “It is my gift. I’ve devoted my whole life to trying to repay everything its given me.”
2. He Co-founded Slipknot
At just 20 years old, Jordison founded Slipknot with Percussionist Shawn Crahan and the late Bassist Paul Gray in Des Moines, Iowa in 1995, according to Billboard.
Gray told Loudwire that the first song the band wrote was called “Slipknot,” but then they thought the title would be a great name for the band and then renamed the song “(sic).”
Since releasing their double-platinum self-titled debut studio album in 1999, the band has since earned a #1 debut on the Billboard Top 200 with the 2008 album All Hope Is Gone and a Grammy award for Best Metal Performance for “Before I Forget” along with several nominations.
In addition to co-founding Slipknot, Jordison also founded or co-founded several other metal bands: Murderdolls, Scar The Martyr and VIMIC. He also played alongside Metallica, Satyricon, Ministry, Korn and Rob Zombie.
3. Jordison Parted Ways with the Band He Founded in 2013
In 2013, Slipknot announced that Jordison and the band are parting ways due to “personal reasons” according to Billboard.
“It is with great pain but quiet respect, that for personal reasons Joey Jordison and Slipknot are parting ways,” the band wrote. “We all wish Joey the best in whatever his future holds.”
Jordison said that he was “shocked and blindsided” by the news, according to Billboard.
“No band meeting? None. Anything from management? No, nothing. All I got was a stupid fucking email saying I was out of the band that I busted my ass my whole life to fucking create. That’s exactly what happened and it was hurtful. I didn’t deserve that shit after what I’d done and everything I’d been through,” Jordison said.
4. He Struggled With a Rare Neurological Disorder
While accepting the Golden God award at the 2016 Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards in London, Jordison revealed that he had been fighting a rare neurological disorder called transverse myelitis as Billboard reported.
“I lost my legs. I couldn’t play anymore. It was a form of multiple sclerosis, which I don’t wish on my worst enemy,” Jordison said.
According to the Mayo Clinic, transverse myelitis is when both sides of a section of the spinal chord has inflammation and often results in damage to the insulation of nerve cell fibers. This leads to messages travelling from the spinal chord to the body being interrupted, causing pain, muscle weakness, paralysis, sensory problems or bladder and bowel dysfunction.
It is unknown if Jordison’s condition is related to his death.
Jordison claimed that the band confused his condition with drug problems and that’s why they fired him, according to a report from Metal Hammer. He had to be carried to the stage during his last shows with the band.
“I got myself back up, and I got myself in the gym, and I got myself back in fucking therapy to fucking beat this shit,” Jordison said, detailing his road to recovery. “And if I could do it, you could do it. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life, more than fucking anything.”
According to the show’s official site, recipients of the Golden God award are “the mightiest, most important names in our world — those that have come to define heavy music over the past 40 years.” According to Billboard, past winners include Megadeth Co-founder Dave Mustaine and Motörhead Founder Lemmy Kilmister.
5. What’s the Meaning Behind His Mask?
The masks that each member of Slipknot wears all have their own meaning. The blank, painted mask of Jordison was inspired by his memory of seeing his mother wearing a Japanese Kabuki mask after coming home from a Halloween party, according to Grunge.
The band’s masks tended to get in the way of their performance, however.
“It’s very difficult to play in the masks sometimes,” Jordison said. “You feel like you’re locked in hell.”