“We are heartbroken to share the news that Joey Jordison, prolific drummer, musician and artist passed away peacefully in his sleep,” his family said in a statement provided to the Associated Press. “Joey’s death has left us with empty hearts and feelings of indescribable sorrow.”
Jordison was born and raised in Des Moines. He played in a number of bands and was already well-known in the local metal scene before he joined the group then known as the Pale Ones, later Meld and ultimately called Slipknot in 1995.
“The first mask I had was an original pale-white Kabuki mask,” Jordison told Revolver magazine in 2011. “One Halloween, when I was about 8 years old, I came home from school and my mother popped around the corner with that mask on and a long robe. … It’s always stuck with me. So I had to use that for my mask.”
Jordison wrote many of the band’s songs; Slipknot’s first, self-titled album in 1999 went double-platinum, followed by an even more popular 2001 album “Iowa.”
He parted ways with the band in 2013 for personal reasons. Jordison later said it was because he had a neurological condition that left him unable to play.
“I got really, really sick with a horrible disease called transverse myelitis; I lost my legs,” he told the audience at the Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards in 2016, according to NME magazine. “I couldn’t play anymore. It was a form of multiple sclerosis, which I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.”
He was a prolific musician who also played guitar in the glam-inspired horror-punk group the Murderdolls. He formed a new band, Vimic, in 2016 after throwing himself into therapy and the gym in a bid to beat his condition.
He started his first band while in elementary school, Rolling Stone reported. Jordison played guitar with a friend who reportedly wasn’t very good at drums, driving him to make the switch to drums in fifth grade.
He played on the drums over the years for Metallica, Ministry, Korn, Satyricon and Rob Zombie.