His contribution to our world is enormous, and he’s more determined than ever to keep doing what he loves
He’s sat behind the kit for Slipknot, the Murderdolls, Korn, Rob Zombie, Ministry and Roadrunner United, but for Joey Jordison, his Golden God award is more than just a recognition of his drumming achievements. The ceremony was the first time he spoke publicly of his struggles with transverse myelitis, a condition that affects the spinal cord and can even lead to paralysis. After years of speculation about why he was ejected from Slipknot, he revealed in a tearful speech that, at one point, the illness had affected his legs to the point that he was unable to drum. Everyone was reduced to tears as he spoke of his struggles, and his comeback with two new bands.
“This award is the perseverance of the soul,” he tells us. “I’ve done a lot of great things with bands I’ve been in and guested in. This is one of the most emotional and heartfelt awards I’ve ever received, because it’s for real. Looking back on my career, you forget about stuff because you’re so busy. Then you win something like this and it comes flooding back. This means more to me than pretty much any award I’ve gotten. I couldn’t be happier and I’m very proud.”
Since his diagnosis in 2013, Joey’s philosophy on life has been to take every day as it comes. “My proudest moment is being here right now,” he says solemnly. “I’m proud of all the great things I’ve done with bands, but they’re reflections. Right now, I’m proud because I’m here, I’m alive, and I’m with the people I love.”
Self-belief and a strong support network helped him conquer his condition. “You have to believe in yourself and have the determination to get back on your feet. If you don’t, you’ll be fucked,” he says, welling up. “I had a lot of great people in my life; my lady, my trainers, my doctors, people that believed in me. This is a condition that you don’t come back from very often. A lot of people don’t, but I did, because I have great people.”
Now he’s able to drum again, Joey is focusing on doing what he loves with Vimic and Sinsaenum. “Feedback has been great, but I don’t care any more what people say,” he says. “These bands I’ve formed out of what I’ve gone through – these people believe in me, and I believe in them.”
After tonight’s ceremony, it’s no stretch to say that the entire metal community is rooting for Joey, whose award is as much for his unbreakable determination as his contribution to metal. Welcome back, brother.