SLIPKNOT singer Corey Taylor insists that the drummer and bassist who replaced founding members Joey Jordison and Paul Gray are not just "session players coming in for a paycheck," and explains that their identities have not been revealed because they are "not full members yet."
SLIPKNOT's new drummer is believed to be Jay Weinberg, son of E STREET BAND drummer Max Weinberg. Joey Jordison was dismissed from the band last year.
Weinberg was previously in the punk band AGAINST ME! and left under less-than-friendly circumstances. AGAINST ME! singer Laura Jane Grace tweeted last month, "Dear SLIPKNOT, good luck with that. #shitbag."
SLIPKNOT also has a replacement for late bassist Paul Gray, all but confirmed to be Alessandro "Vman" Venturella, but has not revealed his name either. Both new members are wearing the same generic mask onstage.
Speaking to BBC Radio 1's Zane Lowe, Taylor said about SLIPKNOT's latest additions (hear audio below): "They don't have numbers, but they do have masks, and they have uniforms.
"We've taken a lot of heat because of this, because they're not full members yet.
He continued: "We earned everything we've got. Whether people wanna admit that or not, we've earned every bit of the success that we've had. So it's only fair that if you get a shot to be in this band, you're not automatically in this band.
"The cool thing is that we really enjoy these guys' company, they're really good at what they do, and the cool thing is that they're fans. These aren't just session players coming in for a paycheck, these are fans."
According to Taylor, SLIPKNOT's new musicians have been great at taking direction from the band's longtime members and are welcome to offer suggestions of their own once they have settled into their new jobs.
"The cool thing is they're listening to us," Taylor said. "It's not that they're not smart, it's not that they're not savvy, because they've done other music and they've been in other bands or whatnot, at least in one way or another, but if it's worth listening to, absolutely, we'll listen to it. But, you know, for the most part, we kind of know how we're guiding this band right now anyway. So if they have something they wanna say, we're definitely gonna listen to it, but it takes time."
SLIPKNOT guitarist Jim Root recently said that the band may never reveal the identity of the drummer who replaced Jordison. Speaking with Guitar World, Root explained, "We're not saying who the new drummer is. Even if people find out beyond a shadow of a doubt who the new drummer is, I think we're always going to deny who it is. He might not last. He might tour with us a year and figure out we're all insane and he can't handle being around us. Or we might shut him out."
Root added, "For SLIPKNOT, I'd say drumming is only 50 or 60 percent of the job. The rest of it is who you are and what your personality is. Will you clash with guys like me, Mick, Clown, Corey, Craig and Chris? We all have these strong alpha-male personalities."
Root and SLIPKNOT guitarist Mick Thomson handled most of the bass duties on the band's new album, ".5: The Gray Chapter", with some help from former touring bassist Donnie Steele.
The first all-new SLIPKNOT disc since 2008 will arrive on October 21, followed by the two-day Knotfest in California and a North American tour.