SLIPKNOT percussionist Shawn Crahan has revealed to Rolling Stone magazine that one of the first things he did with the band's new drummer — rumored to be Jay Weinberg, the son of Bruce Springsteen drummer Max Weinberg — was take him to the Des Moines, Iowa cemetery where late SLIPKNOT bassist Paul Gray's body is buried. "I made him pay his respects and say hello," Crahan told the magazine. "I told him what we're gonna do, and we got on a fucking plane and flew to fucking L.A." to begin recording the new SLIPKNOT album, ".5: The Gray Chapter".
SLIPKNOT guitarist Mick Thomson said that the drummer who replaced founding member Joey Jordison "grew up with" the band's music and "knew all the material" before stepping in and joining the group during the songwriting sessions for ".5: The Gray Chapter".
"We kinda knew who we wanted [to play drums on the new CD] from the start, and we got him," Thomson told Guitar World magazine. "We knew from the get-go that there wasn't going to be any issues with him. We did get lucky, I guess. He knew all the [old] material anyway. He'd grown up with the band. That made things easier."
SLIPKNOT also has a replacement for late bassist Paul Gray, all but confirmed to be Alessandro "Vman" Venturella, but has not revealed his name either. Both new members are wearing the same generic mask onstage.
Weinberg was previously in the punk band AGAINST ME! and left under less-than-friendly circumstances. AGAINST ME! singer Laura Jane Grace tweeted last month, "Dear SLIPKNOT, good luck with that. #shitbag."
SLIPKNOT guitarist Jim Root recently said that the band may never reveal the identity of the drummer who replaced Jordison. Speaking with Guitar World, Root explained, "We're not saying who the new drummer is. Even if people find out beyond a shadow of a doubt who the new drummer is, I think we're always going to deny who it is. He might not last. He might tour with us a year and figure out we're all insane and he can't handle being around us. Or we might shut him out."
Root added, "For SLIPKNOT, I'd say drumming is only 50 or 60 percent of the job. The rest of it is who you are and what your personality is. Will you clash with guys like me, Mick, Clown, Corey, Craig and Chris? We all have these strong alpha-male personalities."
Root and SLIPKNOT guitarist Mick Thomson handled most of the bass duties on the band's new album, ".5: The Gray Chapter", with some help from former touring bassist Donnie Steele.
The first all-new SLIPKNOT disc since 2008 will arrive on October 21, followed by the two-day Knotfest in California and a North American tour.