"Who could have guessed that a band that hide behind masks would be so mysterious?" Everything you need to know about Slipknot's chaotic year - and what comes next

Corey Taylor on stage
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Muuuum, Slipknot are being cryptic again! Over the past year, the Iowa legends have dropped a drummer and a keyboardist, and now they’ve leaked a link to a strange new website, are posting weird photos and announcing super-intimate shows. Who could have guessed that a band that famously hide behind grotesque masks would decide to be so mysterious? While the band refuse to spit it out, we thought we’d try to make sense of what the hell has been going on in the run up to their 25th Anniversary Tour.

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Who is Slipknot’s new keyboardist? 

June 7 2023 was a pretty chaotic day in Slipknot history - it saw the band confirming they’d parted ways with Craig Jones, before deleting the announcement post and sharing an eerie photo of a sunken eyed, zip-mouthed mystery member. Some Redditors have hooked on to the idea that Korn collaborator Zac Baird will be Jones’ masked successor. This is due to a backstage snap shared by Michael ‘Tortilla Man’ Pfaff that showed the name ‘ZAC’ on a costume rail, which he quickly took down. However, some believe it was an April Fools prank, as he later re-posted the photo and covered the name with a ‘Gotcha!’ sticker. There’s also rumours that it could be Chris Fehn’s grand return, despite him being a percussionist for the band previously. But Fehn has previously gone on record saying "the fans really were the only part that was great for me… the rest of it can fuck off,” so we’re not so sure. 

Why did Jay Weinberg leave Slipknot? 

Weinberg didn’t leave Slipknot - he was kicked out. Weinberg’s 2014-2023 stint in the band came to an end over ‘creative differences.’ As Shawn ‘Clown’ Crahan explained to NME, “Jay did not leave the band… we’re moving on. Like our statement said, we’re choosing to do something different.” When Weinberg broke his silence, it’s clear he was devastated. “Despite the confusion and sadness, there is something that’s provided an equal amount of comfort,” he wrote. “For many of you reading this: 10 years ago, we weren’t yet acquainted. And now, we are. For that, I’m thankful in ways I’ll never be able to fully express.”

Who is Slipknot’s new drummer? 

We don’t know. All we have so far is an Instagram photo of a broken drumstick, simply captioned ‘Rehearsal’. Fans seem to think it’s Eloy Casagrande as it’s his signature stick choice - and it fits, following his departure from Sepultura. Sepultura’s announcement noted that Casagrande left to ‘pursue a career in another project’ - and we’re certain only a huge offer would tempt Casagrande to bail on Sepultura’s grand Farewell Tour. Fans who were lucky enough to secure a ticket to Slipknot’s intimate 350 cap California show tonight (April 25) will have the privilege of seeing the new drummer up close and personal. Others will see him in action at Las Vegas’ Sick New World festival on Saturday April 27.

What does the the Slipknot billboard mean? 

We now know the mysterious billboard that popped up in Indio, California, reading ‘ONE NIGHT ONLY, LONG MAY YOU DIE’ with a link to youcantkillme.com, was to create buzz around the tiny $9 gig happening on the 25th. All ticket proceeds will be donated to Joshua Tree’s No-Kill Animal Shelter and Boys & Girls Club of the Hi Desert, a youth support program for ages 5-18.

Is there a new single coming out? 

Some believe youcantkillme.com could also be teasing new content. It’s being regularly updated with Easter Eggs, including a hidden skull that takes you through to the SIC PIC OF THE WEEK page which changes every Sunday.  The page has already had a run of photos, currently boasting a video alluding to the intimate gig. Even if the site isn’t intent on sharing new content, the nostalgic design compliments the 25th anniversary of the masked metallers’ debut. The site posted the Feed The Seed statement which featured on the Slipknot website 20 years ago, while the guestbook has an announcement up top reading: “Thanx for checking out our site. If you want to add to our guest book you should’ve been here 25 years ago.”

When is the Slipknot 25th Anniversary Tour?

Slipknot will be performing their debut in full for its 25th anniversary at the end of this year.  They’ve just added two new dates in Mexico on November 8 and 9, before they’ll hit arenas around Europe in December. Speaking on the anniversary, Clown explained how the band are hoping to ‘going back to basics’ in honour of their huge 25 year milestone. “Nobody knows truly what’s happening,” he explained to NME. “I want to come full circle and get back to when the dream was only a dream. I can’t promise you anything until it’s happening though. As far as the new album, that’s happening, but that’s another plan,” he continues. “These live dates are coming first and we’re here to have a good time.”

Emily Swingle

Full-time freelancer, part-time music festival gremlin, Emily first cut her journalistic teeth when she co-founded Bittersweet Press in 2019. After asserting herself as a home-grown, emo-loving, nu-metal apologist, Clash Magazine would eventually invite Emily to join their Editorial team in 2022. In the following year, she would pen her first piece for Metal Hammer - unfortunately for the team, Emily has since become a regular fixture. When she’s not blasting metal for Hammer, she also scribbles for Rock Sound, Why Now and Guitar and more.