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Joey Jordison, Slipknot’s founding drummer and co-writer, has died aged 46.
A representative for his family told Rolling Stone that he died peacefully in his sleep. A cause of death has not been disclosed.
“Joey’s death has left us with empty hearts and feelings of indescribable sorrow,” a statement from Jordison’s family read.
“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.”
Born and raised in Des Moines, Iowa, Jordison played in a number of metal bands including the Pale Ones, who later became Slipknot. Jordison named the group after one of their song titles.
Jordison featured on the band’s first release, “Mate. Kill. Feed. Repeat”. A few years later in 1999, their self-titled debut album went double-platinum; Jordison’s furious, thundering rhythms were considered crucial to the band’s success.
A renowned double bass drummer, he had to be strapped into his seat to play live as he performed on a spinning stage tipped to a 90-degree angle.
He was also a central part of the group’s songwriting team, along with late bassist Paul Gray. Shawn “Clown” Crahan is now the only remaining original member of the group.
Jordison left Slipknot in 2013 for what he described at the time as “personal reasons”. He later revealed that it was due to a neurological condition that left him unable to play.
“I got really, really sick with a horrible disease called transverse myelitis, I lost my legs,” he told the audience at the Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards in 2016.
“I couldn’t play anymore. It was a form of multiple sclerosis, which I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. I got myself back up, and I got myself in the gym and I got myself back in f****** therapy, to f****** beat this s***.”
The same year, Jordison formed heavy metal band Scar The Martyr. He drummed with the band until they disbanded in 2016.
Following the news of Jordison’s death, fans and fellow musicians paid tribute.
One fan tweeted: “One Of The Best Metal Drummers To Ever Perform Whether It’s Slipknot or Anything Else”.
“Rest in peace Joey Jordison. Seeing another founding members of Slipknot pass away hurts bad. That band means so much to myself and others. Thank you for being apart of my life growing up with your music.”
I remember watching a live VHS of Slipknot when I was in Junior Highschool and when the arena lights went out and came on with double bass and an upside down drum set illuminating a pentagram I immediately went to Hot Topic and became a metal head. Thank you Joey Jordison! RIP ❤️ pic.twitter.com/dihOdgkQVJ
— Levi Benton (@levibenton) July 28, 2021
A third commented: “RIP Joey Jordison. No matter what you think of nü metal, he was an absolute tornado of drummer. Incredibly fast, incredibly precise, totally inventive.”
System of a Down’s Serj Tankian wrote: “RIP Joey J-an amazing drummer and a fantastic guy.”
Ginger Wildheart, founder of The Wildhearts, tweeted: “Joey Jordison was better upside down than any other metal drummer sitting normally.”
US band Anthrax said “a great musician and person has left us”, while Trivium tweeted: “We are saddened by the news of the passing of our dear friend, Joey Jordison.
We are saddened by the news of the passing of our friend Joey Jordison. A great musician and person has left us. Sending our love to his family. R.I.P pic.twitter.com/a185j4rJbQ
— Anthrax (@Anthrax) July 27, 2021
“From being able to share the stage with him numerous times throughout the years to Matt standing alongside him for the Roadrunner United album. He was always super gracious to all of us in Trivium.”
Slipknot shared a black square from their Twitter account, as a sign of mourning.
Jordison’s family has said that a private funeral will be held.