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Mike Portnoy Reflects on Memorable Moments With Joey Jordison

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In a conversation with Anthrax’s Charlie Benante, Mike Portnoy lamented the recent death of co-founding Slipknot drummer Joey Jordison, calling him not only an “incredible drummer” and an “incredible musician,” but a “great guy” as well.

Portnoy’s son, Tallah drummer Max, is a noted Slipknot mega-fan, having taken a lot of influence from Jordison, who was regarded as the premiere metal drummer of the 21st century. He detailed Jordison’s connection with Max and also relayed the moments that he learned of the death via Benante, who texted him in a group thread that also contained Fozzy singer and wrestling superstar Chris Jericho.

“I couldn’t believe it,” Portnoy said in the chat (video below) which was first hosted by Modern Drummer on Instagram Live before being syndicated to Benante’s YouTube channel.

“I was actually getting in my car to go pick up a pizza, I had to get out of the car and run back in the house to tell [my son] Max, ’cause Joey was — is — Max’s biggest drum hero. I mean, I was devastated and shocked, but I know especially for Max it’s hard. It’s really the first time he’s lost a drum hero. But for me, it’s shocking as well,” said Portnoy (transcription via Blabbermouth).

“Joey was an incredible drummer, an incredible musician,” added Portnoy before drawing a comparison from the Slipknot legend to Benante. “Like you, he wrote a lot of the songs for his band, and he played guitar and was a multi-instrumentalist. But he was also a great guy. I’m sure we both have stories.”

Taking note of his own Instagram Story posts, Portnoy shared some memorable moments and interactions with Jordison through the years.

“One [Instagram Story post] was how once he heard that Max was such a big fan, he sent this big box of swag over, filled with masks, Slipknot shirts and hoodies and all this stuff. And every time Slipknot came through town, he was always so hospitable to Max and always invited him backstage and hung out with him,” the drummer recalled.

“I also mentioned about when I filled in for Stone Sour, we went to Brazil together, ’cause Stone Sour was playing one night and Slipknot was playing the other night,” began Portnoy, highlighting another memorable moment.

“So, the whole Slipknot camp traveled together, and he really made me feel at home during that trip; he made me feel part of the whole Slipknot family for that weekend,” the drummer beamed.

Portnoy even once sought advice from Jordison, who notably played live with a myriad of other bands, sometimes as a session member.

“I also remember calling him when I got offered to do the Avenged Sevenfold tour,” said Portnoy. “I had never gone on a tour with another band before, and he had been doing that.”

“In the early 2000s, he was playing with everybody — he did a whole tour with Korn; did a tour with Rob Zombie, he did a tour with Ministry. It wasn’t just like he played only with Slipknot. So when I got offered that Avenged gig, I called him up and we chatted on the phone for, like, an hour. I was just getting advice from him on what to expect as being kind of like a hired gun for a major band like that. He had some great advice,” he praised.

News of Jordison’s death came on July 27, where, in a statement, his family revealed that the 46-year-old “passed away peacefully in his sleep.” He was remembered warmly by countless peers who paid tribute to him and, later, Slipknot and the band’s members blacked out their social media in honor of their late bandmate.

Mike Portnoy Chats With Anthrax’s Charlie Benante

Rockers We’ve Lost in 2021

R.I.P. to the rockers who died in 2021.



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