Never Mind Their Identity, Slipknot’s Mysterious New Member Is Awesome
Since their incredible comeback last month with epic new single Unsainted and a ridiculously brilliant performance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Slipknot have been keeping shtum on the identity of the replacement for departed percussionist Chris Fehn; not only because they want fans to make up their own minds, but also because they understandably want the focus to be on their full-throttle live experience.
“The position you may or may not be talking about is nobody’s fucking business,” Clown responded to Kerrang! when we asked him the forbidden question about Chris’ successor back in May, before he emphatically (and rightly) added: “The proof is in the pudding.”
Here’s the thing, though: we want to talk about the masked member that Maggots are fondly referring to as either Chrisn’t (very clever), or Tortilla Man (we’re guessing because that mask looks a little bit like a tortilla? Um…).
While Slipknot clearly aren’t keen for fans to speculate, there should nevertheless be a whole lot of attention on their new member. Why? Because the band’s latest addition is really fucking great.
If you tuned in to The Nine’s stunning live stream from Germany’s huge Rock Am Ring Festival on June 10, you’ll have noticed that this enigmatic new figure received a whole lot of camera time – more than one would necessarily expect considering the legendary company they’re keeping onstage.
A Slipknot live show is an all out (life) assault on the senses, with each of the Iowa titans bringing their own unique flair – from guitarist Mick Thomson’s menacing stares as he plays effortlessly through the ’Knot’s iconic riffs, to DJ Sid Wilson and his unbelievably unsettling onstage behaviour in what is by far the creepiest mask he’s ever worn *shudders*.
But this mysterious figure not only fitted in perfectly – they added a whole new layer to Slipknot’s live show in 2019.
For starters, their energy is absolutely off the scale. Just as Chris would prowl the stage and get in fans’ faces, this new member isn’t shy when it comes to showing Maggots just how much power they possess as a performer. Whether it’s the point in which they totally lose themselves in (sic) and clamber over the drum kit head-banging while Corey Taylor utters, ‘I’ve just begun / It’s about that time’, or when they hilariously start dancing up-close with Sid during Disasterpiece before the pair enjoy another touching moment at the end of Vermilion, their enthusiasm for the music is undeniably infectious.
Just as any other Slipknot superfan would have the same sort of, ‘Oh my God, I’m onstage with my favourite band, so I’m gonna lose my shit for 90 minutes straight,’ mentality, this percussionist seemingly loves The Nine with every fibre of their being – and it really, really shows.
Then there’s what they bring to the table sonically. Chris and fellow drummer Shawn ‘Clown’ Crahan’s signature call-and-response screams alongside Corey’s testicle-bursting roar have been a massive part of what makes Slipknot’s brand of metal so exceptional – both on record and in a live setting. And this secret new member’s back-up vocals are right up there with the best of them. Highlights include the titular Psychosocial chant, People = Shit’s throat-shredding chorus, and the ‘Six! Six! Six!’ of The Heretic Anthem. Obviously.
What’s perhaps most impressive of all is that this is the new member’s fourth-ever performance with Slipknot. They were thrown in at the deep end performing on live TV as a debut, and just three gigs later they’re in front of 85,000 diehard Maggots at Germany’s most famous metal festival. That this person not only survived this most extraordinary of inductions but grows in both confidence and personality each time is no mean feat. Just how far will they push things in a week? A month? Even a year? Their presence is already formidable, and this injection of fresh blood will undoubtedly benefit the rest of the band, too. Sure, Slipknot are fresh from a break and have been raring to go for quite some time now, but this extra shot in the arm is very much a welcome bonus.
Maybe one day we’ll learn more about the person behind the mask. But for now, we’re more than happy to just watch them do their thing. Slipknot picked them for a reason, and we sincerely trust that they’ve made the right decision here.
Watch the band’s full Rock Am Ring set below:
Slipknot will be heading out on a ton of international tour dates later this year, including European festival shows, their Knotfest North American tour and a handful of dates in Australia and New Zealand opening for Metallica.
Find the full list of remaining shows below:
11 Prague, Czech Republic @ O2 Arena
13 Nickelsdorf, Austria @ Novarock
14 Interlaken, Switzerland @ Greenfield
15 Derby, UK @ Download Festival
17 Leipzig, Germany @ Arena Leipzig
18 Hannover, Germany @ TUI Arena
21 Copenhagen, Denmark @ Copenhall
22 Dessel, Belgium @ Graspop
25 Krakow, Poland @ Mystic Festival
26 Sopron, Hungary @ Volt Fest
27 Bologna, Italy @ Sonic Park
29 Madrid, Spain @ Download Festival
1 Nîmes, France @ Amphitheatre Nîmes
4 Lisbon, Portugal @ VOA
5 Viveiro, Spain @ Resurrection Fest
8 Quebec City, Quebec @ FEQ
26 Mountain View, CA @ Shoreline Amphitheatre
27 San Bernardino, CA @ San Manuel Amphitheater
1 Salt Lake City, UT @ USANA Amphitheatre
3 Albuquerque, NM @ Sleta Amphitheater
4 Phoenix, AZ @ Ak-Chin Pavilion
6 Denver, CO @ Pepsi Center
8 Lincoln, NE @ Pinnacle Bank Arena
10 Des Moines, IA @ Iowa State Fairgrounds
11 Tinley Park, IL @ Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre
12 Clarkston, MI @ DTE Energy Music Theatre
14 Virginia Beach, VA @ Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater
16 Noblesville, IN @ Ruoff Home Mortgage Music Center
17 Bonner Springs, KS @ Providence Medical Center Amphitheater
18 Maryland Heights, MO @ Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre
20 Toronto, ON @ Budweiser Stage
21 Saratoga Springs, NY @ Saratoga Performing Arts Center
23 Burgettstown, PA @ KeyBank Pavilion
24 Scranton, PA @ The Pavilion at Montage Mountain
25 Darien Center, NY @ Darien Lake Amphitheater
27 Mansfield, MA @ The Xfinity Center
28 Wantagh, NY @ Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater
30 Holmdel, NJ @ PNC Bank Arts Center
31 Camden, NJ @ BB&T Pavilion
1 Bristow, VA @ Jiffy Lube Live
3 Alpharetta, GA @ Ameris Bank Amphitheatre
4 Tampa, FL @ MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre
6 Austin, TX @ Austin 360 Amphitheater
7 Dallas, TX @ Dos Equis Pavilion
8 The Woodlands, TX @ The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
17 Perth, AUS @ Optus Stadium
20 Adelaide, AUS @ Adelaide Oval
22 Melbourne, AUS @ Marvel Stadium
24 Melbourne, AUS @ Marvel Stadium
26 Sydney, AUS @ ANZ Stadium
29 Brisbane, AUS @ QSAC
31 Auckland, NZ @ Mt. Smart Stadium
2 Auckland, NZ @ Mt. Smart Stadium
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According to the band’s Instagram, the exchange appears to be all in good humor.