THE DAY… Jay Weinberg found out he was going to audition for SLIPKNOT

© Christian Ballard | HARD FORCE​

When his manager contacts him to offer him a “mystery” audition, Jay Weinberg has been putting his flight cases down for a few months to return to university. It is only when he arrives at the rehearsal studio that he finds out who his potential new employers are…

On December 12, 2013, Joe Jordison learns – by e-mail – that he is no longer part of SLIPKNOT, the band he co-founded and drummed for 18 years. Victim of a rare neurological disease, transverse myelitis, which he will discover later, his world collapses … Remains with the group, who accuses him of being completely stoned because he couldn’t play anymore and had to be carried on stage to his seat, to find him a worthy replacement. Which is not easy given his game, the place he occupied in the formation of Iowa and his popularity rating. Although this last factor rarely comes into play when a group has decided to part ways with one of its members… However, given the reputation of SLIPKNOT, difficult for musicians to advertise. Fortunately, “word of mouth” will work.

The lucky one, who doesn’t know it yet, is called Jay Weinberg. Son of Max Weinberg, drummer of the prestigious E-STREET BAND of Bruce Springsteen (in which also played Tom Morello, guitarist of RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE and AUDIOSLAVE), the drummer, who will replace his father in 2009 on the “Working On A Dream” by the Boss when he was only 17 years old, already had a few punk rock bands to his name: HESITATION WOUND, THE REVELING, MADBALL and AGAINST ME!. But he decided to take a break and headed back to college in his native New Jersey at the Stevens Institute Of Technology, majoring in mechanical engineering. It is his manager who will bring him out of retirement. “ He phoned me and told me he had a plan that should interest me. “Can you trust me and come to LA?” he asked me » remember Jay.

He is immediately ready to take up the challenge. “A free trip to LA to smash a drum set?” I was in! » he confirms, he who had offered his services a few weeks earlier to a music store which had declined them. It is only 20 minutes before meeting his new potential employers that he will discover their identity. “When I arrived at the studio, I was told: “Here’s the drums. The guys from SLIPKNOT will be here in 20 minutes. Is that good for you?”. “Uh, yes that’s cool”, I replied. » The drummer, who was then 23 years old, 20 years younger than the original members of the ‘KNOT, listened to them a lot when he was a child and teenager. “ Clown asked me if I knew any of the band’s songs. I said yes and we started with “Before I Forget” and “Duality”. »

“When I got to the studio, I was told, ‘Here’s the drums. The guys from SLIPKNOT will be here in 20 minutes. Is that okay for you?’ “Uh, yeah that’s cool” I replied. » – Jay Weinberg

It should be kept in mind that the young musician not having prepared himself, it is from memory that he plays the pieces that he took up in his room 5 or 6 years earlier. “As soon as we attacked them, the mood started to change in the room.he recalls. They liked it and when they asked me if I could play something else, I replied: “Disasterpiece”. And it continued with B-sides. In the end, we played 20 songs. At the end of the audition, they told me that if I was interested, I had the job. »

Thus in August 2014, three months before the release of “.5: The Gray Chapter”, dedicated to the memory of bassist Paul Gray, who died of an overdose in 2010, SLIPKNOT announces the arrival of its new drummer. However, his identity will not be officially revealed until nine months later by Jim Rootone of the two guitarists, during an interview with Ultimate Guitar. This will not prevent his name from circulating on social networks, but Corey Taylorthe singer, insists at the time that, as is also the case for the bassist Alessandro Venturellawhose tattoo on the hand betrayed the identity: “They are not session musicians who came for a fee, but they are not yet officially part of the group”. Same treatment for Michael Pfaffaka Tortilla Man, who will take over from Chris Fehn after his resounding ousting in March 2019.

“14 years old: I have never held chopsticks in my life. 23 years old: I’ve been asked to play with my favorite band. » – Jay Weinberg

For the record, it was on October 31, 2001 in East Rutherford, New Jersey, that Jaywho wore a mask reminiscent of that of the “Iowa” period singer, attended his first concert of the ‘KNOT. And, as we see in the second photo below where he is accompanied by his father, he meets the musicians of his future group. What he says in a video posted in June 2019 by SJC Custom Drums, the drum brand that endorses him. “14 years old: I have never held chopsticks in my life. 23 years old: I’ve been asked to play with my favorite band. » In 2019, he had fun recreating the image of his first backstage meeting with Jim Rootas seen below…

An obviously striking memory that he also shared on Halloween night 2021…

“Attending my first SLIPKNOT concert made me realize that my life would never be the same again” he said. Three years later, he moved in behind his father’s old kit that sits in the basement. of their house. But when the latter offers to give him some lessons, Jay declines his proposal. “I had taken guitar lessons when I was 9, but it reminded me of school and I didn’t like ithe explained during an interview with the Stevens Institute of Technology, from which he is now a graduate. Same for bass when I was 12. So when my father offered to give me lessons, I told him that I preferred to play on the albums that I liked. And that’s what I did. As soon as I got home from school, I sat behind the drums. » And Weinberg Jr. is a perfect autodidact, he will still have listened to and implemented a precious advice from his father: “Hit your drums like it owes you money!” ». Of which act.

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