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Former Slipknot drummer Joey Jordison dead at 46

Joey Jordison
(Image credit: Olly Curtis)

Former Slipknot drummer Joey Jordison has died at the age of 46.

His family confirmed the news in a statement posted earlier this evening:

"We are heartbroken to share the news that Joey Jordison, prolific drummer, musician and artist passed away peacefully in his sleep on July 26th, 2021. He was 46.

"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 family of Joey have asked that friends, fans and media understandably respect our need for privacy and peace at this incredibly difficult time.

"The family will hold a private funeral service and asks the media and public to respect their wishes."

Jordison was born in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1975. He played drums and guitar as a youngster, and prior to joining Slipknot in late 1995 played with local bands Modifidious, The Rejects and the Have Nots. 

With Slipknot Jordison played on the band's infamous demo CD and unofficial debut album Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat. in 1996, and on four studio albums: 1999's Slipknot, the classic Iowa (2001), Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses) in 2004 and All Hope Is Gone four years later. 

In 2002 Jordison formed horror punk band Murderdolls with frontman Wednesday 13. He played guitar on the band's two albums, Beyond the Valley of the Murderdolls and Women and Children Last, while other extra-curricular activity included stints on tour with Korn, Ministry, Satyricon and, memorably, Metallica, with who he performed at 2004's Download Festival after Lars Ulrich was hospitalised.      

Over the course of his career Jordison became famous for an incredibly fast and precision-tooled playing style - particularly in his double kick drumming - and in 2010 was voted best drummer in the world by the readers of Rhythm Magazine. He received 37% of the vote, ahead of the likes of Mike Portnoy and Rush's Neil Peart

Jordison stayed with Slipknot until 2013, but was fired as the band were gearing up to record .5: The Gray Chapter, their first album since the death of bassist Paul Gray in 2010. In 2016, at the Metal Hammer Awards in London, Jordison revealed that he'd been suffering at the time from a neurological condition that restricted his movement.

“Toward the end of my career in Slipknot I got really, really sick with a horrible disease called transverse myelitis," Jordison told the audience as he accepted the Golden God award. “I lost my legs. I couldn’t play any more. It was a form of multiple sclerosis, which I don’t wish on my worst enemy.

“I got myself back up, and I got myself in the gym, and I got myself back in therapy to beat this fucking shit. If I can do it, you can do it. To people with multiple sclerosis, transverse myelitis or anything like that, I’m living proof that you can beat that shit.”

A week after the awards, Jordison told Metal Hammer that his firing had been "cowardly", telling the magazine that there'd been no band meeting or communication from Slipknot's management. 

“No, nothing," said Jordison. "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.”

Towards the end of his tenure with Slipknot Jordison announced a new project, Scar The Martyr, whose self-titled debut album was released in October 2013. The recording of a second album began in 2015, but the following year Jordison announced that the band were no more. 

He returned to action with Vimic, featuring members of Scar The Martyr, and blackened death metal supergroup Sinsaenum, who released two albums, Echoes Of The Tortured in 2016 and Repulsion For Humanity two years later.

“I went through some serious fucking shit." Jordison told Metal Hammer in 2016. "People didn’t know and I can’t blame them for that. But the thing is, you get up in the morning and you look in the mirror, and then you go off and fucking do it. You live your life the way you want to, and get the work done! 

"What else can I say, dude? It’s good to tell my story. I’m fucking back and I’m ready to go full force. This is the best fucking job in the world. I’m never gonna stop."