Slipknot drummer Jay Weinberg has discussed the pressures of joining one of the world's biggest (and craziest) metal bands, as well as having to replace an iconic member in former drummer Joey Jordison, who left Slipknot in 2013 (Jordison passed away in July 2021).
“I never felt overawed by the pressure to replace Joey," he tells Metal Hammer magazine. "Up until that point I had always come into existing projects, primarily as the drummer for Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band; to me, that’s incredibly intimidating. I was playing to crowds of 80-90 thousand people in stadiums, and I had only been playing drums for three years! Having accomplished that, I had set myself up to be this guy who could jump in on a moving freight train, be it Madball or Against Me!. So, I put myself in that context, and I knew how to be myself, I knew how to find my own voice in another artist’s catalogue. But Slipknot was the biggest challenge. That took all my experience and turned the dials up to 20."
Weinberg, whose father Max has played with Bruce Springsteen for almost 50 years and who 'subbed' Jay in to play with the band in 2008 and 2009, goes on to explain that his experience with the E Street Band helped hone him for the demands of playing and touring with a major rock 'n' roll band.
“I’m very grateful that I got to play with the E Street Band so early on in my career," he says. "It kicked me straight into the deep end of rock ’n’ roll; very intense, you just gotta fend for yourself, and no one is gonna cut you a break. Bruce isn’t going to cut me a break. My dad isn’t going to cut me a break. The fans certainly aren’t going to cut me a break. That’s exactly what I needed. You can only take that shot in the dark and prove to people that put you in that position that you’re worthy of it. They really took a shot with me - I was 14 when I first started playing drums, and I was 17 when I started playing with Bruce. It was cool because he wanted to keep it blood, keep it family, but I had to be on it and prove myself from day one, and I took that into Slipknot.”
Read more from Weinberg in the brand new issue of Metal Hammer magazine starring Iron Maiden, out now.