11 Joey Jordison Quotes to Remember the Legendary Slipknot Drummer
Late Slipknot drummer Joey Jordison was one of the more popular musicians amongst fans that we've covered here at Loudwire over the years and as the world stops to reflect on the brilliant talent he possessed and the person that many admired, we combed through our past coverage to provide more insight on Joey through his own words.
Jordison, who died on July 26, 2021 at the age of 46, was the winner of the fan-voted Greatest Metal Drummer tournament here at Loudwire in 2013 and was a Loudwire Music Awards social media correspondent and presenter in 2017. He may be best known for his work in Slipknot, but he had a career that also included the bands the Murderdolls, Scar the Martyr, Vimic and Sinsaenum.
In this list, we've gathered Jordison's comments on a variety of topics that helped shape the musician over the years and may provide some facts about Joey that some readers may not have known or remembered. So join us as we revisit Joey Jordison's life in quotes below.
1. Joey Jordison Grew Up in a Family That Was in the Funeral Parlor Business
During our 2017 Wikipedia: Fact or Fiction? episode with Jordison, the drummer revealed that a portion of his early years were spent in the funeral parlor business. “My stepfather passed away," revealed Jordison, expanding on the history that his mother also ran a funeral home business. "He’s the one that owned all the funeral homes once my mom remarried. We had five funeral homes and yes, I would occasionally help with the duties that encompass owning businesses like that. My whole family did … That was a big part of my life at the time."
Joey Jordison - Wikipedia: Fact or Fiction?
2. Joey Credits His Parents for Turning Him Onto "Frightening" Black Sabbath as a Child
In a 2012 edition of Metal Hammer dedicated to Black Sabbath, Jordison shared where his love for the metal icons originated. Jordison recalled his parents playing the Master of Reality album when he was young and how scary he thought it was. He laughs, "I wondered what the fuck my parents were doing down there. Ha ha. It's the only record that has frightened me on that level. That song alone blows everything out of the water.” "Listen to 'Into the Void,' 'Lord of This World' and 'Sweet Leaf,'" Jordison continued. "Master of Reality is my favorite album, and I'd have to say the song 'Black Sabbath' is my favorite track. It's still got that chill today. I don't care how old I get … I could be 70 and that song will still terrify me!"
Black Sabbath, "Black Sabbath"
3. Slipknot's Self-Titled Debut Album Provided Jordison His Best Memories of the Band
"It’s almost hard to believe how these years have flown by like blast beats. That album was and will always be some of the absolute best memories of my life. There’s nothing out there quite like it, and what it did for all of us & the metal world," Jordison stated in 2020 reflecting on the album's 21st anniversary.
Speaking to the rapid rise of Slipknot, the drummer continued, "It made all of our dreams come true, and the overall reaction from the fans almost collapsed venues and stadiums worldwide. We didn’t expect it, but it absolutely exploded! We were so determined, hungry and ready to take on the world and we did. We feared no one, and it showed when we took the stage. It was just ‘that’ time," he said, still a little awestruck by how it all happened when stating, "Total mystery it was."
4. Joey Jordison Was Visited by a Ghostly Presence While Recording Slipknot's Vol. 3 at the Houdini Mansion
“Around 4AM, 5AM every night, I’d hear… my door would close,” Jordison recalls in our 2017 Wikipedia: Fact or Fiction episode. “I love it, because Vol. 3, that’s where I lived making that record and it was awesome. I’d love to revisit it someday soon. I’d really love to go back there and hang out and revisit those memories.”
5. Joey Jordison Once Filled in for Lars Ulrich in Metallica and Considers Him "One of My Gods"
In 2004, Metallica closed out the Monsters of Rock festival in England's Donnington Park, but had to do so without Lars Ulrich behind the kit. Slipknot's Joey Jordison and Slayer's Dave Lombardo admirably stepped up after Ulrich fell ill.
"Slipknot and Metallica were on tour together — when we hit the Download Festival, I got offstage, I barely pulled my mask off and they said that James Hetfield needed to talk to me," Jordison recalled on the Talk Music podcast. "Even though we were on tour for a while, it was a bit of a shock. He said, 'Lars can't make it to the show. Can you fill in?' I just freaked out. I instantly said 'Yes.' Without Metallica, I wouldn't play the way that I do."
In a separate 2016 interview with Metal Hammer, Jordison sang the praises of Ulrich, calling him "one of the most innovative drummers ever."
"A lot of people give this guy shit, but they need to shut their fucking mouths because Lars Ulrich is probably one of the best and most innovative drummers ever,” raves Jordison. “I got to tour with the guy and I watched him play every night from behind the kit, and his double bass was completely on point. He's also one of the best businessmen that keeps this type of music going; he's the heart of the whole fucking community, because Metallica are the kings. There'll never be anybody that will match them, and Lars is a huge, huge part of that.”
Joey continues, “Without that guy, and the influence of that band, I wouldn't even be sitting here talking to you. Lars is one of my gods and he always will be. That guy fucking rules, period. So when I got the call asking if I'd fill in for him at Download festival, of course I knew everything because he's one of my hugest influences. I remember playing to his shit all the time growing up and trying to be as good as him. Our technical abilities are way different but I'll still never be as good as that guy, and getting to sit in his stool was one of the biggest fucking dreams come true. What an honor. I love that dude."
6. Joey Jordison Also Once Filled in for Korn on Tour
Metallica wasn't the only band to receive an assist from Jordison and his time with Korn actually lasted considerably longer. Some may not remember that Jordison stepped in for Korn in 2007 when drummer David Silveria went on hiatus from the group. "I'm lucky to have had the opportunity to perform with bands that have influenced me as a musician over the years. When I first heard Korn, they blew me away, and I have been a fan ever since. I'm looking forward to playing drums with these guys for the next five months," he said at the time. Revisit Jordison rocking "Blind" with Korn at the 2007 Rock am Ring festival below.
Joey Jordison Plays "Blind" With Korn
7. Joey Jordison Wanted to Continue Slipknot After Paul Gray's Death Because the Bassist Would Have Wanted It
There was a period after the death of Paul Gray where Slipknot's future was uncertain. But Jordison was one of the members who pushed for the band's return, feeling they owed it to Gray to continue.
Speaking with Australia's Soundwave TV in 2012, Jordison stated, "He would be really upset. He would be more hurt, but he would be pissed off as well if we didn't continue this, because of course he's one of the guys that got us here. That tragedy was a big blow but if we can't push forward then I don't think we're doing ourselves a service and eventually if we just let the band go, we'd implode and we can't do that."
The drummer added, “We’ve worked hard for everything. When the time comes [for a new album], we’ll be back.”
8. Joey Jordison "Did Not Quit" Slipknot
In late 2013, it was revealed that Slipknot would continue without founding drummer Joey Jordison. Just after the new year started in 2014, Jordison issued a public statement on the matter that read, "I would like to start the New Year by addressing the recent rumors and speculation regarding my departure from Slipknot. I want to make it very clear that I DID NOT QUIT SLIPKNOT. This band has been my life for the last 18 years, and I would never abandon it, or my fans. This news has shocked and blindsided me as much as it has all of you."
The drummer would later reiterate that point with AXS in 2017, stating, "I didn't quit Slipknot. I would never have quit Slipknot, ever. I just want the fans to know that. It's important for everyone to know that."
9. Joey Jordison Revealed That a Neurological Condition Affected His Final Days in Slipknot
In 2016, nearly three years since he and Slipknot parted ways, Jordison revealed that he had overcome a neurological condition that plagued his final period in Slipknot. Speaking at the 2016 Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards (starting at 16:30 in the video below), Jordison shared with the audience that he had suffered from a career-threatening condition known as transverse myelitis.
“Towards the end of my career in Slipknot I got really, really sick with a horrible disease called transverse myelitis — I lost my legs. I couldn’t play anymore. It was a form of multiple sclerosis, which I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy," the drummer shared. Explaining his personal triumph to overcome this condition, Jordison held back tears when he said, "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. 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. To people with multiple sclerosis, transverse myelitis or anything like that, I am living proof that you can fucking beat this shit."
In a separate interview with Metal Hammer, Jordison stated, "It was at the end of the memorial shows we did for [bassist] Paul Gray. We were in Canada, at the end of my last run of shows with Slipknot and something happened to me, but I didn't know what it was. I was super ill. You can be sick and still play, but this was something I'd never felt in my life before."
Skipping forward, he continued, "We found out what I have is transverse myelitis — a neurological condition that hits your spinal cord — and it wiped my legs out completely. It's like having your legs cut off, basically. I played those last couple of shows and it scared the living shit out of me. I didn't know what it was."
The drummer came under fire from fans appearing to be intoxicated onstage for these shows, but Jordison vehemently denied this, stating, "I wasn't even drinking. Everything was straight-laced and fucking perfect. Everything was on point," adding, "But I had to be carried to the stage. The pain was something I'd never experienced in my life before, and I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy."
Jordison kept his condition under wraps as he wanted to overcome the condition on his own before disclosing it publicly. He would tell Metal Wani in 2018, "Failure was not an option whatsoever, 'cause I'm here to play music — that's what I've been put on earth for. I think, honestly, in a weird way, it was a life lesson more than anything, and I wouldn't change it for anything. I just was not gonna let this beat me.”
10. Joey Jordison Used His Status to Give an Unknown Singer a Start
One of Jordison's other projects following his run in Slipknot was Scar the Martyr, who was then fronted by an unknown vocalist going by the name Henry Derek. Speaking in 2013 about the origins of the the project, Jordison revealed, "I’ve done the bulk of the work in the studio but now I’ve got Jed [Simon, Strapping Young Lad] and Kris [Norris, Darkest Hour] to play lead guitar on everything … Chris [Vrenna, Nine Inch Nails] is doing the keyboards and synths and all that stuff and I have an unknown guy on vocals. His name’s Henry and he’s super talented and a great vocalist. I didn’t want someone from a known band singing in this band, because then it just becomes some supergroup thing and that’s not what this is.”
Jordison went on to reveal to Full Metal Jackie that the vocalist was recommended to him by a friend and he was taken by the singer's early contributions. "When I was looking for vocalists, a friend of mine recommended Henry Derek, and I sent him 'Blood Host,' 'Dark Ages,' 'Soul Disintegration,' 'Never Forgive Never Forget,' 'Last Night on Earth' — those are a few of the titles from the record — and he instantly got them back to me. When I first heard 'Dark Ages,' I think that was the first song that he sent; it was everything I was looking for. It was perfect. So, from then is when I think I started taking it really seriously, because sometimes vocalists are one of the harder things to find — especially someone who sounds fresh and exciting. After that, Henry and I started exchanging songs and working on everything, I went in the studio and started the record."
11. Joey Jordison Had More Unheard Slipknot Material
The drummer had left the door open for a return to Slipknot someday and in 2018 while speaking with Metal Hammer, he revealed he also still had some material that had been unreleased from his time with the group. "Maybe some day they’ll surface, maybe they’ll never be heard, but I don’t translate them to any other band. They still stay in the Slipknot safe. I won’t use them for anyone else besides Slipknot, if that ever happens again.”