Slipknot drummer Jay Weinberg: "Take care of your hearing."

A picture of Slipknot drummer Jay Weinberg
(Image credit: Joby Sessions/Rhythm Magazine - Getty)

Slipknot drummer Jay Weinberg is fronting a campaign to warn music fans and musicians to take proper care of their hearing.

Who better than the drummer with one of the loudest bands on the planet to get the message across about protecting your hearing? Weinberg appears in a public service announcement video for the Hearing Health Foundation.

He recalls how he feared he had a lucky escape from permanent hearing damage when, as a teenager, he rocked a little too hard with some friends.

Weinberg says: "I got a very quick lesson in how important hearing loss prevention and hearing protection really is. When I was 14, I got into a jam room with two buddies from school who started to teach themselves how to play guitar. And we're in a room and we're jamming, but I can't quite hear them because their amps are turned away from me.

"So I have a bright idea and tell them, 'Well, I can't really hear your guitars. Why don't you turn it all the way up to 10 and turn both of your guitar amps towards me and then I can hear your guitars?'

"That was not the most astute decision. We had a great day jamming, but then the next morning I had no high-end frequencies in my hearing. I thought I honestly lost my hearing altogether, and I was really frightened because I didn't know how to deal with that."

Weinberg goes on to say that wearing suitable protection has been non-negotiable for him ever since.

He adds: "Ever since that day, I've never sat down at a kit and played the way I play without hearing protection, not even once. It's not an option. These are dangerous tools that we have and we have to use them carefully and not shortchange ourselves for the experience of playing music and still play super hard and still play super loud, but it has to be done intelligently.

"I'd like you to head to HearingHealthFoundation.org and check out the 'Keep Listening' campaign, because it is very important, and it's very important to start at a young age to start taking care of your hearing health.

"For me personally, I don't go to a single show without wearing earplugs. I don't go on stage without wearing earplugs or in-ear monitors where I can hear myself and my bandmates. It's incredibly important, and if I had not worn earplugs and in-ear monitors from a young age, I might have done a tremendous amount of damage to my hearing.

"So I strongly encourage you, wear earplugs, do it the right way, do it intelligently. You can still rock out, you can still play the way you want to, and you'll be able to play for the rest of your life."

If you're looking for hearing protection, take a look at our guide to the best earplugs for concerts.

Stef wrote close to 5000 stories during his time as assistant online news editor and later as online news editor between 2014-2016. An accomplished reporter and journalist, Stef has written extensively for a number of UK newspapers and also played bass with UK rock favourites Logan. His favourite bands are Pixies and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Stef left the world of rock'n'roll news behind when he moved to his beloved Canada in 2016, but he started on his next 5000 stories in 2022.