Roadrunner Records A&R pays tribute to Joey Jordison, recalls signing Slipknot

"I saw the band’s true potential and knew I had to sign them…" Monte Conner – who signed Slipknot to Roadrunner Records in 1998 – pays tribute to Joey Jordison.

Roadrunner Records A&R pays tribute to Joey Jordison, recalls signing Slipknot
Emily Carter

Joining the incredibly long list of Joey Jordison tributes, Monte Conner has shared an essay about the unbelievably talented drummer, and what it was like signing Slipknot to Roadrunner Records back in 1998.

Monte – who was formerly the Senior Vice President of A&R at Roadrunner, and is now VP of A&R at Nuclear Blast – writes for Variety that the late Joey Jordison was not only "one of the most talented musicians I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with", but also "a gifted songwriter, arranger and guitarist who understood the art of crafting huge choruses and hooks" away from the kit.

He shares that he first came to learn about the ’Knot "in late 1997", before hearing the demo for Spit It Out (eventually released on 1999's self-titled debut) in early 1998. "It was raw, seething, emotional, explosive, creative, guttural and beautiful all at the same time, and completely untethered from tradition," says Monte. "It did not fit any genre of metal, but seemed to take the best elements from the entire metal palette and combine them all into an utterly unique, multi-dimensional beast. And it was all driven by the foundation of Joey’s over-the-top, manic drumming style. Everything had coalesced and it felt like all the planets had finally aligned – I saw the band’s true potential and knew I had to sign them."

Read this: 13 times Joey Jordison proved he was the best of the best

Of his first meeting with the band – at a Chicago showcase on April 4, 1998 – the industry veteran recalls how Slipknot "lined up to meet me, one by one, as if they were rank-and-file soldiers meeting an officer – deadly serious, like they were going into battle. They were wearing their standard coveralls but not their masks – they wanted to look me in the eyes. They wanted to be on Roadrunner and this was the most important gig of their lives to date."

He remembers how Joey in particular wanted to nerd out over metal – "He not only had a vast knowledge of extreme and underground heavy metal, but he was an encyclopedia on all things Roadrunner Records" – leaving a remarkably strong impression on Monte. "In all of my A&R travels I had never experienced a musician who was so plugged into and knowledgeable about the label and even my career," he says. "He and his bandmates were about to change not just my life, but the entire trajectory of Roadrunner Records and the music world."

Read the full essay here.

Late last week, Slipknot shared a Joey tribute video, along with the following statement:

"Our hearts go out to Joey’s family and loved ones at this time of tremendous loss. Joey Jordison’s art, talent, and spirit could not be contained or be held back. Joey’s impact on Slipknot, on our lives, and on the music that he loved, is incalculable. Without him there would be no us. We mourn his loss with the entire Slipknot family. We love you, Joey.”

Check out more:

Now read these

The best of Kerrang! delivered straight to your inbox three times a week. What are you waiting for?