SLIPKNOT guitarist Jim Root says that the band will probably never officially confirm their new drummer's identity because there is no guarantee that the band's latest addition will ever become a full-fledged member of the Iowa-based outfit.
"We're not saying who the new drummer is," Root told Guitar World magazine. "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. Who knows?"
He continued: "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."
Although the band has not revealed the names of the replacements for late bassist Paul Gray and fired drummer Joey Jordison, they are believed to be Alessandro "Vman" Venturella and Jay Weinberg, respectively. Both are wearing the same generic mask onstage.
In Gray's absence, Root and fellow SLIPKNOT guitarist Mick Thomson handled the majority of bass duties on the band's upcoming album, ".5: The Gray Chapter", although the band did some early work with SLIPKNOT's touring bassist Donnie Steele.
"Donnie's a great guy," Root told Guitar World. "We brought him in to help us out in the studio for a while. But it wasn't really jivin'. He wanted to go home and get married and do all that stuff. It's just better off for us to kinda move on from Donnie."
SLIPKNOT singer Corey Taylor has a slightly different stance on the subject of revealing the new members' identities, telling UK's Kerrang! magazine, "Maybe next year [we will tell people who the new guys are]! People have a pretty good idea who it is anyway, but I just love the fact that we're keeping people in such suspense. And it's kind of par for the course with this band, if you really think about it."
When pushed on whether Weinberg and Vman are, indeed, the new members, Corey replied: "Um… I'm not for or against [it being those guys]! That's all I'm gonna say."
Taylor said on a Las Vegas radio program that SLIPKNOT's new bassist and drummer have yet to be made full-time members of the nine-piece outfit. Taylor explained, "They're not official band members yet, but they are people who play with the band. Time will tell whether or not they're, like, full members."
Taylor continued, "With this band, you earn everything. You're not just given that shot; you have to earn it. And so far, they're doing really well. And we're really enjoying jamming with them."
Taylor admitted he was unhappy when distinctive tattoos on Venturella's hand identified him as SLIPKNOT's new bassist. The singer said, "I was, like, 'Why didn't we make him wear gloves?' I was so upset. I was, like, we thought of all this stuff. We put the hood on him and then the mask… And then there is his tattoos for everybody (to see). I was, like, 'Well, we missed the mark on that one.'"
SLIPKNOT debuted its new lineup in the video for "The Devil And I", the first single from ".5: The Gray Chapter".
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.