SLIPKNOT's fifth album, ".5: The Gray Chapter", will be released on October 21 via Roadrunner. It's the band's first CD without founding drummer Joey Jordison, who was fired in 2013, and late bassist Paul Gray.The identities of the band's new bassist and drummer have not yet been revealed, but both appeared — disguised in the same newly designed mask — in the video for "The Devil In I", the first single from the new album. Nonetheless, it is widely believed that the new bassist is Alessandro "Vman" Venturella, who sports the exact same tattoo on his hand that was spotted on the hand of the new bassist in the video. Venturella has served as a guitar tech for MASTODON, COHEED AND CAMBRIA and others, while also playing in the band KROKODIL. SLIPKNOT's new drummer is thought to be Jay Weinberg, son of longtime Bruce Springsteen drummer Max Weinberg. Asked how he feels the new members acclimated to the SLIPKNOT recording process, guitarist Jim Root told Australia's Music Feeds: "I think they did really well considering the circumstances that were thrown at them. We threw the book at the drummer, we fuckin' put him through the wringer. He did not have it easy. But he was up to the challenge with everything that we threw at him. He took it all and props to him for that. The bass player was a little bit of a different situation, because we kind of had a little bit of a revolving door of dudes coming in and out and trying things. Even Donnie [Steele, the group's original guitar player who played bass with SLIPKNOT since they resumed touring in 2011] came into the studio for a while and it just to a point where we were struggling looking for somebody and then the right guy presented himself sort of at the last minute. It worked out pretty cool." Root also spoke about the way fans immediately began analyzing the "The Devil In I" video to find clues about the new members. He laughed and said: "I sort of try to stay away from seeing what the fans… I have a hard time with any sort of criticism; not because I have some huge ego or anything like that. This is the most personal record I've ever done, it's probably the most deeply involved record that I've done, so it kind of crushes me a little bit when somebody doesn't get it or they're comparing it to something else. It kind of makes me throw my hands up in the air, so I haven't paid too much attention to all that type of shit. I like to keep my world positive. There's enough negativity kicking around." Asked if he was able to comment on Joey's departure at all, Root said: "Not really, and only because I haven't spoken to him and I don't really think it's fair to him to really talk about until I've at least spoken to him. I love the guy to death and we're just going through some shit. I haven't spoken to him since October of last year, so I'd rather not say anything until there comes a time where I see him and talk to him or whatever." SLIPKNOT frontman Corey Taylor said in a new interview with Metal Hammer that firing Jordison in 2013 after 18 years was "one of the hardest decisions" the group ever made, adding that Jordison is "in a place in his life" which is "not where we are."
Taylor said he could not get into specifics for legal reasons, but admitted, "It's when a relationship hits that T-section and one person's going one way and you're going the other. And try as you might to either get them to go your way or try and go their way, at some point you've got to go in the direction that works for you. This is me speaking in the broadest terms, with respect to Joey. I guess to sum it up, it was one of the hardest decisions we ever made." Taylor said that the band is "happy right now and we hope that he is… He's just in a place in his life, right now, that's not where we are." The singer would not answer whether drug use played a role in Jordison's dismissal, and confessed that he had not been in touch with his former bandmate. Taylor said, "I haven't talked to Joey in a while, to be honest. That's how different we are. It's not because I don't love him and I don't miss him. And it is painful; we talk about him all the time, but at the same time, do we miss him or do we miss the old him? That's what it really comes down to."