After a few aborted attempts, PureGrainAudio finally got Scar The Martyr/Slipknot drummer Joey Jordison on the phone at his home in Iowa right before he headed out on the road with Scar The Martyr on a U.S. tour opening for both Korn and Rob Zombie. Clearly excited by his new band, Joey talked about touring, his band members and, of course, the next Slipknot record.
Hey Joey, how are things at the moment?
Jordison: Things are going great thanks. I’m at home at the moment just resting up and having a break before we head out on the road on the Korn/Rob Zombie tour.
Ah, yes, we were expecting you in the UK to open for Alice In Chains, but that was recently cancelled…
Jordison: I know, it was a tough call but, you know, tours like the Rob Zombie/Korn tour don’t come along very often so we had to take the opportunity which meant cancelling the UK shows. I’ve played with both of those bands before so this tour should be amazing.
How does it feel being the opening act again?
Jordison: It feels great and do you know why? It’s because that feeling never left me. It’s the exact same feeling I had in the early days of Slipknot and the Murderdolls. People have asked me this a couple of times and said “how can you go back to being the opening act after what you’ve done with Slipknot?” Well, the thing is, I don’t see it as going back and starting over again, I just see it as getting the chance to relive those first times as a band all over again. It’s like revisiting that journey again.
Opening bands usually get a rough deal, but do you think you’ll be treated different because of who you are?
Jordison: You know what? I’d be lying to you if I said that the fact of who I am didn’t have any extra pull, of course it will but, with all the bands I’ve been in, I think I have earned the right to get some respect. I’ve worked my ass off and I think that the people who work with me know that I put an enormous amount of effort into everything I do.
So, were you looking for those sort of qualities in the musicians you got for Scar The Martyr?
Jordison: I wanted top-shelf musicians. I wanted musicians with talent. I didn’t want guys who were brand new. I wanted guys who had been around the block more than once. Chris, Jed, they’ve all been there. Some of those guys I’ve looked up to and they’ve influenced me as a musician so, just to get them on board, that was a fuckin’ accomplishment. The musicians I got in the band was important to me. It wasn’t just about getting musicians for the record. We had to be able to work in the studio together, we had to get along, we have to live on a bus together and all want to put on a killer live show.
And do you feel you got the right guys?
Jordison: It was so cool how easily we all connected. I’d known a couple of the guys from their other bands already but, as soon as we all got in the studio we hit it off and it just felt amazing. I wrote most of the music on the album but when we go out live it’s pretty much the band that was in the studio. The only different is that Chris can’t come out with us so we have a different keyboard player, Joey Blush, and also Kyle Konkiel from In This Moment is coming out doing bass on the tour and he’s an insane bass player.
Check out the song “Blood Host”
It’s all going well for you then? What are your plans apart from the Korn/Zombie tour?
Jordison: Yeah, it’s been great so far. I think the plan is to tour, probably, until the fall of next year. I think that’s the plan anyway.
I presume your “day job” will summon you back at some point?
Jordison: Obviously, and I think it’s just going to be a constant cycle. I think the plan is for me to finish the tour cycle for this album then get dropped off after the very last date of the tour and head straight into the new Slipknot record. I’d personally like to work the way we worked on the Vol III record and do a few months straight in the studio but we’ll see.
What is your plan for Scar The Martyr and future recordings?
Jordison: The thing about this band is that every member of the band is a song-writer so that takes some of the pressure off me. It’s the first band I’ve been in where that has happened. It means I’ll be able to share the responsibility of the next record and it also means that it won’t just be my ideas, it will be a whole bunch of different flavours because of the different backgrounds of the people in the band. It also means that, when I’m away doing Slipknot, they’ll be working on their own ideas.
Is it easier for you knowing that the musicians you’ll be leaving behind when you go to Slipknot all have other projects and won’t be out of work?
Jordison: That does make it easier but, you know, they were all aware of what I did when they joined the band. None of them came into this blind. They all knew what they were getting into and have all been really supportive. In fact I don’t think that there is one of them that isn’t waiting to hear a new Slipknot record so I have their full backing which is a great thing to have.
You’ve mentioned touring this record then heading straight into the studio with Slipknot. Would you describe yourself as a workaholic?
Jordison: You know, I’ve been asked that question a couple of times and I’d have to say yes. I am. If the definition is someone who works hard at something they love then yes I am but it isn’t difficult for me. I’m someone who gets to spend their time making music and doing something they love. It’s not a job if you love it. I’m inspired by the music I make which inspires me to make better music for myself and the people who listen to it. I’m constantly thinking about making music and I can’t wait to get in and work on a new Slipknot record and see how that evolves because, you know, the process that goes into a Slipknot record is insane, there are so many different levels involved in making a record. I’ve no idea what to expect.
Does it bother you that, because of who you are, any project you’re involved in will end up with you touring, doing press and turning it into a full time band?
Jordison: The way I look at it is that it’s all part of what I do. If I do a record then promoting that record is part of the process, touring the record is, doing this interview is, interacting with the fans is. It’s a small community – journalists, bands, fans, they’ve all crossed paths at some point along the way. It’s a small world and no matter what I have done in Slipknot it’s still only metal and it’s still a small world. The way I see it is that metal is still a sacred ground. It’s an outcast. It’s rebellious music. Even a band like Metallica, no matter how big they are, what they do is still rebellious music. It’s still not a mainstream thing.
What has the reaction been from Slipknot fans to Scar The Martyr?
Jordison: The reaction has been great so far. Metal fans are the most brutal, the most opinionated music fans on the planet and, even though this is still quite an early stage for the band, the fans have been great.
Check out the song “Soul Disintegration”
What are your touring plans for the album and will you be making up for the cancelled UK shows?
Jordison: Well, we’re doing this tour with Korn and Rob Zombie next but, after that, I’m still waiting for confirmation on when we will be over in the UK although I’m pretty sure it is going to be before the end of the year or early next year. I can’t wait for the band to get over there and play shows for the UK fans.
Yeah, going right back to the early days and I’m thinking right back to that London Astoria show, the shows you’ve played in the UK have always been nuts….
Jordison: Absolutely. The guys in the band are stoked to be touring America and keep saying how appreciative the US crowds are. I’ve had to tell them that when they get to the UK, those motherfuckers will show you something else. That show you mentioned in London, it’s one of only a few shows that I can remember the actual date of. It was legendary and I think, to date, it’s one of my five favourite Slipknot shows ever. The tension in the air around that show was something else. I’ve never felt anything like it.
Okay Joey, thanks for your time and good luck with the tour….
Jordison: No problem. Thank you for your support and thanks to all the maggots out there who have supported me. Those guys are the reason I do this, they’re the heartbeat that keeps me making music and I can’t wait for fans to see the Scar The Martyr show.