Joey Jordison once saved Metallica when their drummer failed to show at festival: ‘You were a giant’

‘Seeing Joey play with Metallica in his Slipknot mask was something I will never forget. Thank you, Joey – you were a giant’

Wednesday 28 July 2021 21:19
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Download’s festival boss has recalled the time Slipknot’s Joey Jordison helped to save a set at the festival.

The musician died peacefully in his sleep, aged 46, his family said in a statement yesterday (Tuesday 27 July). No cause of death has been given. His family have asked for “privacy and peace” at this time.

Born and raised in Des Moines, Iowa, Jordison co-founded The Pale Ones, who became Slipknot in 1995 after Jordison suggested the name based on one of their songs.

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.

Now, Download’s Andy Copping has recalled how Jordison stepped in to help drum for Metallica when Lars Ulrich failed to arrive at the festival in 2004. Prior to forming Slipknot, Jordison had played in a Metallica covers band.

Copping wrote on Instagram: “Download 2004. The year where there was a no show from Metallica’s Lars Ulrich. I remember receiving a call telling me to go backstage where I was given the news. There were two choices a) do Metallica cancel? or b) do Metallica convince other drummers on site to fill in? I suggested they cancel because I just couldn’t see b) happening, particularly as quite a few drummers that were asked said no.”

“One guy who stepped up was Slipknot’s Joey Jordison. The story was he’d played in a Metallica covers band prior to joining Slipknot, so knew a lot of their songs. Joey, along with Slayer’s Dave Lombardo, saved the day. Seeing Joey play with Metallica in his Slipknot mask was something I will never forget. Thank you, Joey – you were a giant. R. I. P.”

Jordison played eight songs from the eleven strong set, with Slayer’s Dave Lombardo and producer Flemming Larsen helping with the remaining songs.

Jordison reflected on the moment years later. “As cool as it was playing that show, what was cooler was playing in Metallica’s practice room” he said. ​“It was just me and those three guys, just warming up. What a dream come true, man. I’ll have dreams about it every once in a while. It was one of the best gigs of my life.”

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Following the news of Jordison’s death, fans and fellow musicians paid tribute.

On social media, Slipknot shared a black square as a sign of mourning. Trivium’s Alex Ben said: “I don’t have words, to call him an inspiration would be an understatement. Countless hours studying every move behind the kit . I owe so much to Joey Jordison and could never imagine being where I am today without his influence. RIP.”

Others paying tribute included Skunk Anansie’s Skin, Metallica, and Papa Roach.

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