Music Instrument News is sad to report the passing of heavy metal drumming star Joey Jordison at the age of forty-six.
Born Nathan Jonas Jordison, he grew up in Des Moines, the capital of Iowa.
After time in a variety of local outfits, Jordison joined a band called The Pale Ones, which was eventually to become the nine-member Slipknot.
Slipknot were musically ground-breaking at the time of their formation – not only for the total metalic ferocity of their sound, but for the size of the line-up, nine members which included two additional percussionists, giving the band a uniquely dense sound.
A multi-talented musician, in 2002, Jordison revived a previous side-project, The Rejects, renaming them Murderdolls, a band in which he played guitar rather than drums.
A number of other side-projects came and went during Jordison’s tenure with Slipknot, which lasted until December 2013, when Slipknot’s official website announced Jordison’s departure from the band, citing ‘personal reasons’.
Jordison immediately released a personal statement advising that he had not left the band, but had in fact been fired. No further details emerged from either side until 2016, when Jordison advised that he was suffering from transverse myelitis, a neurological condition causing inflammation of the spine, with attendant loss of feeling and mobility in the legs and some loss of attendant motor skills. Jordison advised that there was a potential for his condition to be mistaken for substance abuse, but the result was an inability to continue to play drums until his recovery thanks to medication and physical therapy.
Joey Jordison will be remembered by drummers as a fearsomely talented technical player with a blistering speed and attack, which he brought to the various bands and side projects in which he was involved throughout his career. The power and force with which Jordison played belied his lack of physical presence, at around five feet tall, he played with the muscle and control of a man considerably larger.
Jordison won a variety of awards from magazines and websites, reflecting his status as a drummer of versatility and invention. One unofficial award was ‘Hero Of The Day’ from Metallica in 2004 when Jordison stepped up before a sell-out crowd with only a couple of hours rehearsal, to play eight songs in a thirteen-song set with the band, after Lars Ulrich was hospitalised hours before the band were due on stage.
Joey Jordison claimed his drumming heroes were Keith Moon, John Bonham, Gene Krupa and Buddy Rich, and followers of those legends will be able to detect their influence on his playing style in which his technical skills were matched only by his sense of curiosity and adventure as a musician.
Joey Jordison’s death was announced by his family, who confirmed that he passed away peacefully in his sleep. No direct reference has been made to the cause of death, and it is not known if Jordison’s medical issues were a factor in his untimely passing.
Joey Jordison’s drumming will live on as an inspiration to heavy metal and rock players everywhere, his unique presence and sound will not come again.
Music Instrument News extends sympathies to all Joey’s family, friends, and colleagues, past and present, and to The Maggots everywhere.