Love ’em or hate ’em, there’s no doubt that Slipknot is one of the biggest and most influential metal bands in the world. Their phenomonal rise from the clubs of Iowa to the largest stages on the planet has been marked with outrageous success, controversy and moments of utter darkness, generating a legacy that will last the tests of time. Soon to return to Australian shores for Soundwave, Loud caught up with drummer extraordinaire Joey Jordison for a brief word:
Q: Joey, I really appreciate you putting a few minutes aside to speak with me tonight, it’s great to see Slipknot returning to Australia in a couple of weeks time, you guys must be excited to be hitting our shores again.
A: We really are! About six months we got done doing Rock in Rio. We headlined and that was amazing. Right before that we got confirmation that we were going to do Soundwave. This was something that we really pulled for. A lot of tours get thrown our way, and sound good, and this is one where the band wanted to do Soundwave. We wanted to get back down to Australia before the next record and I think it will be a great way to really close this whole thing out. We can’t wait to get down there, I can’t believe it’s creeping up this fast, everyone’s really excited.
Q: We can’t wait either Joey; these will be very special shows! Last year you released the 10th anniversary edition of Iowa, when you look back over those recording sessions now what comes to mind?
A: It’s weird because I don’t listen to my own music all that much. You go on tour for 18 months on each record and you get sick of it, the bittersweet thing though is when you have time away from it and the same thing was with the 10th anniversary release of the first record. I listen back to it and I go, “Oh my God”. I remember everything about how it came up, the result, the energy. Remembering those times, I think to myself, “My god how the fuck did we create this”? It blows me away and it’s the same with Iowa. When we went to do the interviews and explain how the record was made, you remember everything but you want to get into the vibe of it, so you listen to the record and you’re like… ‘man we were in a dark ass fuckin place when we made that record’. There’s no acting whatsoever on any Slipknot record. Every time I listen to our records I can’t just listen to a song. If I listen to one Slipknot song, I’m in for the long haul, I have to listen to it all the way through. Every time I listen to one of the Slipknot records I’m honestly blown away and very proud of what we’ve done.
Q: As we know drums are usually tracked first in the studio. When you enter a studio to begin a recording process you have the foundations of a song mapped out already from pre-production – but do you walk in knowing exactly what you want to capture or is it more spontaneous?
A: Well that’s the thing, by the time I get into the studio I have the main structure down of what I am doing in a song and I’ll do three or four of those takes, usually the first and second takes are the best; then I’ll do three or four where I’ll alternate and change every fill. I don’t even think about the song when I do those takes, I just go and have fun with the song then I’ll listen back to them and actually say that works better and incorporate that in. Sometimes on the fly you’ll come up with something that you didn’t think of.
Q: I’ve spoken with some drummers that say they play for at least four to five hours a day, others who only jump on and warm up minutes before hitting the stage. How often and for how long do you practice?
A: Actually, since I’ve been writing and in the studio… I’m just talking about recently, probably about six or seven hours. By the end of the night your arms and legs are jello! That’s pretty much how long I’ve been practicing recently. When I’m on tour I don’t over practice because I like the show to be exciting. It’s almost like if you track a certain song so many times you start to lose interest, it’s always when you play it the first time that it’s exciting. I make sure on the road that my arms are loose and my blood’s pumping, my legs are stretched properly. Otherwise on the road I really don’t practice all that much, but at home I practice all the time.
Q: You have certainly inspired many newer drummers to get behind a kit but who have you been surprised to learn is a fan of your work?
A: Oh that’s easy right now. There’s been a lot but the one that comes to mind the most and this one was really a surprise was Stewart Copeland [The Police]! I couldn’t believe it. The first time he saw me play actually was in 2000 in America and it was at the San Bernardino show; he was actually there ’cause he did some stuff with Sepultura and he watched me play. The next thing I knew was in the next Modern Drummer that came out in the States he was talking about me. Within the last couple of years we became friends and now we talk all the time. I didn’t know that he was a real big fan of mine. The Zenyattà Mondatta record that my parents always used to play when I was a kid, just the drum tones on that record alone, his chops and the way that he plays is just amazing. Growing up I used to play to Zenyattà Mondatta and Ghost in the Machine all the time. It’s really weird that he’d be a fan of mine. You wouldn’t think so but the fact is that he really likes metal music and that’s kinda cool.
Q: Joey, although brief, thanks so much for your time. I can’t wait to see you guys again in a couple of weeks time. Do you have any last words for our readers?
A: No, we just can’t wait to get back down to Australia these are going to be some legendary shows for sure, we can’t wait to get there, we’ll see you within a couple of weeks!
Slipknot will be touring with Soundwave 2012 on the following dates-
25/2: Brisbane Showgrounds, Brisbane QLD (SOLD OUT)
26/2: Sydney Showground, Sydney NSW (SOLD OUT)
2/3: Melbourne Showground, Melbourne VIC (SOLD OUT)
3/3: Bonython Park, Adelaide SA
5/3: Claremont Showgrounds, Perth WA
You can also catch them with Trivium on the following dates-
27/2: Sydney Entertainment Centre, Sydney NSW
1/3: Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne VIC