Music Exec Who Signed Slipknot Recalls First Hearing ‘Spit It Out’
Late Slipknot drummer Joey Jordison is remembered by Monte Conner, the music executive who signed Slipknot to Roadrunner Records in the 1990s, in an illuminating new tribute in Variety.
Jordison died last week (July 26) at age 46, as his family confirmed in a statement that did not specify a cause. Slipknot subsequently shared their own remarks honoring the founding member, along with a tribute video covering his career. Others who've worked with the masked metal band also gave remembrances, including Conner, the former president of A&R for Roadrunner who recalls a pivotal moment when he first heard Slipknot's classic "Spit It Out."
Connor calls Jordison "one of the most talented musicians I've ever had the pleasure of working with. Fans know him for his explosive, no-holds-barred drumming style, but most don't realize he was also a gifted songwriter, arranger and guitarist who understood the art of crafting huge choruses and hooks."
He continues, "Along with the band's bassist, Paul Gray (who died in 2010), Joey wrote the majority of the band's music, with vocalist Corey Taylor adding the unforgettable lyrics that would resonate with and speak to the 'Maggots,' as the band called their fans. Tying it all together was percussionist Shawn 'Clown' Crahan, Slipknot's creative leader and the one behind the band's concept and image. Those songs impacted music far beyond the metal world; they reached the masses and will live on as anthems for the ages."
Explaining how Slipknot's music reached him through channels stemming from radio play in the band's hometown of Des Moines, Iowa, Conner reveals how a successive series of Slipknot demos sent to him for review ultimately elicited "Spit It Out."
He remembers it as the "first track they'd written that contained all the elements that ultimately would define Slipknot and put them on the map: It was raw, seething, emotional, explosive, creative, guttural and beautiful … completely untethered from tradition."
He adds, "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."
Of course, as diehard listeners are well aware, "Spit It Out" ended up as one of the singles on Slipknot's 1999 self-titled debut, issued on Roadrunner.
Jordison was a "truly groundbreaking character who will be sorely missed by metal fans worldwide," Connor concludes. "I feel incredibly lucky to have been a part of his all-too-short but seismic journey."
Many musicians reacted to Jordison's death. Here are 11 Joey Jordison quotes to remember the drummer; also, see photos of him from his career.