Slipknot: Legendary American heavy metal band

Slipknot is an American heavy metal band known for their aggressive musical style, visually intense live performances, and distinctive masks worn by the band members. The band was formed in 1995 in Des Moines, Iowa, and has since gained worldwide recognition and a dedicated fan base.

Slipknot’s music is often categorized as nu-metal, combining elements of heavy metal, alternative metal, and other genres. Their sound is characterized by heavy, down-tuned guitars, aggressive drumming, and powerful vocals. The band’s lyrics often explore anger, frustration, and personal struggles.

In 1999, Slipknot released their self-titled debut album, which gained significant attention and critical acclaim. The album’s success was fueled by the singles “Wait and Bleed” and “Spit It Out,” and it eventually achieved platinum certification. Slipknot’s intense live performances and participation in the Ozzfest tour helped them further establish their reputation as a formidable live act.

The band’s second studio album, “Iowa,” was released in 2001 and debuted at number three on the Billboard 200 chart. It featured darker and more aggressive songs and was praised by critics for its intensity and rawness.

Slipknot Current Band Members
Pic: Slipknot Current Band Members

Slipknot’s third album, “Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses),” released in 2004, marked a more melodic and experimental direction for the band while still maintaining their heavy sound. This album included the hit singles “Duality” and “Before I Forget” and reached the top of the charts.

Throughout their career, Slipknot has released several more albums, including “All Hope Is Gone” (2008), “.5: The Gray Chapter” (2014), and “We Are Not Your Kind” (2019). They have received numerous awards and nominations, including a Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance.

In addition to their musical accomplishments, Slipknot’s visual aesthetic, with their different masks and jumpsuits, has become an integral part of their identity. The masks are worn to represent individuality and to create a sense of mystery and anonymity.

Their dedicated fan base, known as “Maggots,” continues to support the band’s music and eagerly awaits their future releases and live performances.

Why Did Slipknot Wear Masks?

Slipknot emerged onto the music scene in the late 1990s, shrouded in mystery and donning striking masks. The enigmatic group, known for its explosive performances and aggressive sound, captivated audiences worldwide with its unique visual aesthetic. But what drove these masked musicians to embrace this distinctive persona?

The genesis of Slipknot’s masked identity can be traced back to the band’s early days, when co-founder and percussionist Shawn “Clown” Crahan made an indelible mark during rehearsals by donning a clown mask, earning him his enduring moniker. Inspired by Crahan’s bold choice, the collective decision was made in 1997 to adopt individual masks for each band member, forging a bond between their music and their visual expression.

Slipknot Current Band Members Masks
Pic: Slipknot Current Band Members Masks

During a candid interview with Kerrang! Radio in February 2020, frontman Corey Taylor lauded Crahan’s ingenuity and credited him with shaping Slipknot’s artistic direction. Taylor expressed admiration for his bandmate’s imaginative prowess, stating,

I give a lot of credit to Clown. His imagination, his vision in a lot of ways has helped shaped this for so many years.

Corey Said

For Taylor, the mask became more than just an external facade, it became a physical representation of his inner self, enabling him to fully embody his true persona.

Slipknot’s decision to wear masks was a deliberate departure from the prevailing norms of the heavy metal scene at the time. Each mask became a symbolic extension of the wearer’s personality and artistic expression, allowing them to unleash their creativity without inhibition.

Shawn “Clown” Crahan, reflecting on the band’s choice to adopt masks, explained that it was a pivotal moment of clarity.

“One day, it just so happened, it was that moment of clarity to decide what I want to project,”

he revealed.

Through their masks, Slipknot found a means to communicate their innermost thoughts and emotions, while simultaneously shielding their individual identities.

Slipknot’s Iconic Masks

From their debut album to the era of “.5: The Gray Chapter,” Slipknot’s masks have become an integral part of their visual identity, each member crafting a unique persona that evolves with each album. Let’s delve into the comprehensive list of masks worn by each member.

Shawn Crahan, known as Clown, has consistently embraced his clownish alter ego. While always retaining an air of grotesqueness, his masks have taken on various forms, such as the hauntingly eerie Iowa mask. Sid Wilson, on the other hand, has maintained a distinct gas mask aesthetic, deviating briefly during the “Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses” era to adopt a skeletal appearance.

Slipknot Masks
Pic: Slipknot Masks Over the Decade

Chris Fehn’s elongated nose has remained a staple feature in his masks, serving as a distinguishing mark throughout the band’s history. Craig Jones, recognized by his lengthy spikes, has consistently sported a bondage-inspired mask, showcasing his enigmatic persona.

Mick Thomson’s metallic hockey mask, reminiscent of a formidable warrior, has endured as a symbol of his fierce presence. James Root’s masks have perpetually exuded an evil jester vibe, complementing his stage persona.

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Joey Jordison’s Kabuki-style mask, with its mysterious allure, became a signature element of his image. Paul Gray, initially adorned with a pig face mask, transitioned into a Hannibal Lecter-esque visage, infusing his persona with chilling intensity.

Corey Taylor, the charismatic frontman, has seen a notable evolution in his masks. Starting with a dreadlocked Leatherface on the band’s self-titled album, he later transformed into a haunting old man figure, complete with a detachable jaw during the “.5: The Gray Chapter” era.

Mask NameWorn By
Bondage Mask with spikesCraig Jones
Black FemaleJoey Jordison
Pig Face MaskPaul Gray
Gas MaskSid Wilson
Battered Hockey MaskMick Thomson
Evil Jester MaskJames Root
Clown MaskShawn Crahan
Liar MaskChris Fehn
Ghost Glow MaskCorey Taylor
Source: WorldWideTune

Yes! Slipknot still wears masks

Originating in 1997 from Shawn Crahan’s creative vision, the enigmatic character of Shawn The Clown set the foundation for Slipknot’s captivating aesthetic. Since then, the band has donned masks and boiler suits, channeling a unique blend of artistic expression and theatricality.

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Although glimpses of their unmasked faces are occasionally captured in public settings, Slipknot’s commitment to their iconic masks remains unwavering. While some band members, like Craig Jones, opt to remain in the shadows, obscuring their faces behind their chosen masks.

Slipknot’s Decision to Reveal Their Faces

For years, Slipknot had maintained a mystery by hiding behind intricate masks that became synonymous with their enigmatic identity. However, as the digital age brought forth, the band faced the challenge of preserving their hidden personas in an increasingly connected world. Eventually, Slipknot made the decision to unmask themselves in the year 2006.

Slipknot embarked on a bold venture known as the ‘Voliminal: Inside the Nine’ DVD, a project that aimed to provide fans with an intimate look into the inner workings of the band. It was during this endeavor that the band members, one by one, revealed their true identities in a series of candid interviews.

The interview exposed the faces of Slipknot’s’s key members such as Corey Taylor, Shawn Crahan, and Joey Jordison to the eager eyes of their devoted fanbase. Instantly recognizable, these individuals stepped out from behind their masks and into the realm of public recognition.

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However, not all members of Slipknot were thrust into the spotlight. Some, like Craig Jones and Chris Fehn, managed to maintain a certain level of anonymity.

The decision to unmask was not taken lightly by Slipknot. It was a calculated move that aimed to strike a delicate balance between preserving the band’s mystique and adapting to the changing landscape of the digital age.

All Slipknot’s Members throughout Their Career

Over the past decades, Slipknot has witnessed a dynamic rotation of members, each bringing their own style and energy to the band. With a total of 16 members joining the band at various points in time, the history of Slipknot is rich with talented musicians who have contributed to their unique and powerful sound.

  • Shawn Crahan (1995 – Present) – Founding Members
  • Joey Jordison (1995 – 2013, Died in 2021) – Founding Members
  • Paul Gray (1995 – 2010, Died in 2010) – Founding Members
  • Donnie Steele (1995 – 1996) – Past Members
  • Josh Brainard (1995 – 1999) – Past Members
  • Anders Colsefni (1995 – 1997) – Past Members
  • Craig Jones (1996 – 2023) – Past Members
  • Greg Welts (1997 – 1998) – Past Members
  • Mick Thomson (1996 – Present) – Present Members
  • Corey Taylor (1997 – Present) – Present Members
  • Sid Wilson (1998 – Present) – Present Members
  • Jim Root (1999 – Present) – Present Members
  • Alessandro Venturella (2014 – Present) – Present Members
  • Jay Weinberg (2014 – Present) – Present Members
  • Michael Pfaff (2019 – Present) – Present Members

Over the years, the band has experienced a few lineup changes, with members departing and new members joining, but the core members have remained relatively consistent until 2023 Craig Jones left the band for his wife, Chantel, who has chronic health issues.

Founding Members of Slipknot

  • Shawn “Clown” Crahan
  • Joey Jordison
  • Paul Gray

The majority of the current Slipknot members were not original members, in fact, only Shawn Crahan remains from the early days. Formed in Iowa in 1995, Slipknot’s founding members are Shawn “Clown” Crahan on percussion, Paul Gray on bass, and Joey Jordison drummer.

Slipknot Founding Members
Pic: Slipknot Founding Members (Corey Taylor shares photo of Joey Jordison, and Paul Gray)

However, the lineup was shortlived with the first two members being replaced by Corey Taylor, Mick Thompson, and Jim Root. The band also recruited Chris Fehn and Sid Wilson.

Shawn “Clown” Crahan

Shawn “Clown” Crahan, is an acclaimed American musician and co-founder of the renowned heavy metal band Slipknot.

Born on September 24, 1969, Crahan is widely recognized for his distinctive stage persona, aptly known as “Clown.” With his percussive prowess, he holds the designated position of #6 within the band. Alongside fellow visionaries Paul Gray and Joey Jordison, Crahan played a pivotal role in the formation of Slipknot in 1995.

Slipknot Founding Members Shawn Clown Crahan

However, as of 2023, he stands as the sole remaining founding member of the band. In a recent turn of events, the devoted musician temporarily withdrew from Slipknot’s European tour to be by his wife’s side in Iowa. Regrettably, his wife is grappling with an undisclosed health condition, necessitating Crahan’s compassionate support during this challenging period.

Joey Jordison

Born on April 26, 1975, Jordison was an esteemed American musician who made an indelible mark as the original drummer and co-founder of the iconic heavy metal band Slipknot. Designated as #1 within the group, his unrivaled drumming skills helped define the band’s aggressive sound and fueled their meteoric rise to fame.

Slipknot Founding Members Joey Jordison

In a candid 2016 interview with Metal Hammer, he revealed his battle with acute transverse myelitis. This debilitating condition first manifested its symptoms during a tour with Murderdolls in 2010, although the diagnosis came much later.

Tragically, on July 26, 2021, Jordison passed away peacefully in his sleep at the age of 46, as confirmed by his family the following day.

Paul Gray

Born on April 8, 1972, Gray was an exceptional American musician who co-founded the renowned heavy metal band Slipknot. Within the band, he played a pivotal role as the bassist and backing vocalist, designated as #2.

Tragically, on May 24, 2010, Gray passed away at the age of 38. According to a report by The Des Moines Register, he was discovered lifeless in room 431 of the TownePlace Suites Hotel in Urbandale, Iowa, around 10:50 a.m. local time. The distressing scene was further compounded by the discovery of a hypodermic needle and scattered pills throughout the room, as disclosed in a 911 call obtained by TMZ.

Slipknot Founding Members Paul Gray

The autopsy results, revealed on June 21, 2010, unveiled a devastating reality. Gray had succumbed to an overdose of morphine and fentanyl, two potent narcotics, underscoring the tragic nature of his passing. Additionally, the examination indicated that he had developed “significant heart disease,” further complicating the situation. Traces of the anti-anxiety medication Xanax were also detected in his system.

The current Members of Slipknot and their ages

  • Shawn “Clown” Crahan – (53 years)
  • Corey Taylor – (49 years)
  • Mick Thomson – Guitar (49 years)
  • Jim Root – Guitar (51 years)
  • Sid Wilson – Turntables (46 years)
  • Alessandro Venturella – Bass (45 years)
  • Jay Weinberg – Drums (32 years)
  • Michael Pfaff – Tortilla Man, Percussion, Keyboards (43 years)

Meet Shawn “Clown” Crahan, the Last Founding member of Slipknot and Percussion

Shawn Crahan, commonly referred to as “Clown,” is one of the percussionists and founding members of Slipknot.

Slipknot Founding and Current Band Members Shawn Clown Crahan

Born on September 24, 1969, in Des Moines, Iowa, Crahan is known for his energetic and visually captivating performances. He is recognized for his unique percussion style and theatricality on stage.

Lead Vocalist, Corey Taylor

Corey Taylor is the lead vocalist of Slipknot. Born on December 8, 1973, in Des Moines, Iowa, Taylor is known for his versatile vocal range and intense stage presence. Apart from his work with Slipknot, he is also the lead vocalist of the rock band Stone Sour. Taylor has been an integral part of Slipknot since its formation in 1995 and has contributed to the band’s success with his powerful and dynamic vocals.

He welcomed a son named Griffin on September 17, 2002, during his relationship with his then-fiancée Scarlett. Prior to this, Taylor also had a daughter named Angeline from a previous relationship. He tied the knot with Scarlett on March 11, 2004, but unfortunately, their marriage ended in separation in 2007.

Slipknot Current Band Members Corey Taylor

In 2009, Taylor exchanged vows with Stephanie Luby at the Palms Hotel in Las Vegas on November 13. The couple welcomed a daughter named Rian into their lives. However, they divorce in 2017.

In recent years, On April 7, 2019, he revealed his engagement to Alicia Dove, the creator of “Cherry Bombs,” through his Instagram profile. Their love story culminated in marriage on October 6, 2019, as they embarked on a new journey together.

Mick Thomson, Guitarist

Mick Thomson, also known as “Number 7,” is one of the guitarists for Slipknot. Born on November 3, 1973, in Des Moines, Iowa, Thomson is recognized for his heavy riffs and technical guitar playing. He has been a member of Slipknot since 1996 and has made significant contributions to the band’s musical style and sound.

Slipknot Current Band Members Mick Thomson

Mick Thomson is married to his dear wife Stacy Riley. He dated her for over years and finally got married on October 5, 2012.

Jim Root, Guitarist

Jim Root, also known as “Number 4,” is another guitarist in Slipknot. Born on October 2, 1971, in Des Moines, Iowa, Root joined Slipknot in 1999.

Slipknot Current Band Members Jim Root

He is known for his heavy guitar work and songwriting contributions to the band. Root’s collaboration with Mick Thomson forms the foundation of Slipknot’s guitar-driven sound.

Sid Wilson, Turntables

Sid Wilson, renowned as “Sid the 3rd” or “DJ Starscream,” is the exceptional turntablist and DJ of the influential metal band Slipknot. Born on January 20, 1977, in Des Moines, Iowa, Wilson officially joined Slipknot’s lineup in 1998.

Slipknot Current Band Members Sid Wilson

In 1999, he crossed paths with Kelly Osbourne at the renowned Ozzfest music festival, and their friendship blossomed quickly. In due course, their relationship evolved into a romantic one, and they confirmed their status as a couple shortly after Wilson’s 45th birthday in 2022. The couple welcomed a son into the world in late 2022.

Alessandro Venturella, Bass

Alessandro Venturella is the bassist of Slipknot. Born on March 7, 1978, in England, Venturella joined the band in 2014, replacing the late Paul Gray.

Slipknot Current Band Members Alessandro Venturella

He has contributed to Slipknot’s live performances and studio recordings, adding a powerful low-end to their music. Venturella married Lisa Graham on 13 July 2020.

On July 13, 2020, he exchanged vows with his partner Lisa Graham.

Jay Weinberg, Drums

Jay Weinberg is the drummer for Slipknot. Born on September 8, 1990, in the United States, Weinberg joined the band in 2014, replacing Joey Jordison. He is known for his technical drumming skills and has quickly become an essential part of Slipknot’s rhythm section.

Slipknot Current Band Members Jay Weinberg

Hailing from Middletown Township, New Jersey. His mother followed the Methodist faith and his father was of Jewish descent. Jay also has a Sister, his Sister is Ali Weinberg Rogin (married to Josh Rogin). Weinberg’s early years saw him honing his skills as a goaltender in travel team ice hockey.

At the age of 9, he witnessed the legendary E Street Band in action during their Reunion Tour in 1999-2000. Weinberg would go on to attend numerous shows on subsequent tours, particularly in Europe.

Michael Pfaff, Keyboardist

Michael Pfaff, better known as “Tortilla Man,” assumes the role of percussionist and keyboardist. Pfaff became a part of the band in 2019, filling the void left by the departure of Chris Fehn.

Slipknot Current Band Members Michael Pfaff

He gets a master’s degree in music from the prestigious New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. Prior to that, he completed his undergraduate studies in music at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin. Reports indicate that he is married, and he and his wife have been blessed with a child.