Slipknot drummer Jay Weinberg has recalled how he started work on .5: The Gray Chapter just hours after being auditioned by the band.
And he’s enjoying the fact that he now takes part in meet-and-greet sessions with fans, even though he originally wasn’t supposed to.
Weinberg, 25, first encountered Slipknot when he was 10 years old, via his father Max, who plays drums for Bruce Springsteen. By the time he was invited to Los Angeles to try out as replacement for Joey Jordison in 2013, he’d been heavily inspired by their music.
Weinberg tells MusicRadar: “It was a sombre occasion – there was a definite mood in the room of what the band was going through, moving forward without a brother that has been with them for 20 odd years. I wanted to treat the situation with a delicate, careful respect.
“I wanted to kick the door in with the Slipknot attitude, but I wanted to be respectful of what they were going through because it was a really heavy thing. I was one of the first people to know that the band was moving forward without Joey Jordison.”
He recalls playing around 20 songs during the day, and adds: “Then we got to talking about, ‘Hey, let’s work on some new songs – we have riffs that we’re working out, do you want to jam on those?’
“Literally the day after we had my audition, we began working on the new Slipknot record. From the first song I think we all knew that it was going to work out.”
One of Weinberg’s first acts as the band’s drummer was to visit the grave of bassist Paul Gray, who died in 2010. “It meant a lot to me, to start this journey by paying my respects to one of the founding pillars of this band,” he says. “Then we went right out to LA and didn’t leave for six or seven months!”
Slipknot refused to reveal the identities of Weinberg and new bassist Alex ‘Vman’ Venturella, insisting that it had yet to be decided whether they’d become permanent fixtures.
Now that he gets to meet the maggots on tour, Weinberg says: “I see myself in them, they see themselves in me – 10 years ago I was screaming my lungs out, getting my ribs crushed against the barricade, and now I’m the one that made it over the barricade on to the stage.
“People tell me, ‘It makes me want to chase my dreams. Look at you, you did this, you made it on to the stage.’ You can set your goals to whatever you want to accomplish. You have to sacrifice a lot but, with all that hard work and sacrifice comes great reward. And I view playing with Slipknot to be a great reward.”
And he says that his respect for Jordison is undiminished after facing the challenge of replacing him. “Joey’s one of the greatest drummers we’ve ever had the privilege of witnessing. As a fan of the band and someone who respects the people and the music, I didn’t want to come in and try to be a copycat.
”That’s not interesting to me, that’s not interesting to the band – it would be insulting to everyone involved, including the fans.”
Slipknot tour North America with Marilyn Manson and Of Mice & Men starting in June.
Slipknot, Marilyn Manson, Of Mice & Men 2016 North American tour
Jun 09: Salt Lake City USANA Amphitheatre, UT
Jun 11: Auburn White River Amphitheatre, WA
Jun 13: Concord Concord Pavilion, CA
Jun 14: Inglewood The Forum, CA
Jun 15: Chula Vista Sleep Train Amphitheatre, CA
Jun 17: Las Vegas MGM Grand Hotel & Casino, NV
Jun 18: Phoenix Ak-Chin Pavilion, AZ
Jun 19: Albuquerque Isleta Amphitheater, NM
Jun 21: Morrison Red Rocks Amphitheatre, CO
Jun 24: Austin Austin 360 Amphitheater, TX
Jun 25: Dallas Gexa Energy Pavilion, TX
Jun 26: The Woodlands Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, TX
Jun 28: Nashville Bridgestone Arena, TN
Jun 29: Atlanta Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood, GA
Jul 01: West Palm Beach Perfect Vodka Amphitheatre, FL
Jul 02: Tampa MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre, FL
Jul 03: Simpsonville Charter Amphitheater, SC
Jul 06: Wantagh Nikon at Jones Beach Theater, NY
Jul 08: Hartford Xfinity Theatre, CT
Jul 09: Holmdel PNC Bank Arts Center, NJ
Jul 10: Scranton The Pavilion at Montage Mountain, PA
Jul 12: Cincinnati Riverbend Music Center, OH
Jul 13: Noblesville Klipsch Music Center, IN
Jul 15: Oshkosh Rock USA, WI
Jul 14-16: Cadott Rock Fest, WI
Jul 17: Bridgeview Chicago Open Air, IL
Jul 19: Toronto Air Canada Centre, ON
Jul 20: Montreal Bell Centre, QC
Jul 21: Quebec Videotron Centre, QC
Jul 23: Syracuse Lakeview Amphitheater, NY
Jul 24: Saratoga Springs Saratoga Performing Arts Center, NY
Jul 26: Bristow Jiffy Lube Live, VA
Jul 27: Camden BB&T Pavilion, NJ
Jul 29: Clarkston DTE Energy Music Theatre, MI
Jul 30: Burgettstown First Niagara Pavilion, PA
Aug 02: Charlotte PNC Music Pavilion, NC
Aug 04: Maryland Heights Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre, MO
Aug 05: Des Moines Wells Fargo Arena, IA