Neomedia Group recently conducted an interview with former SLIPKNOT and current VIMIC and SINSAENUM drummer Joey Jordison. You can listen to the full chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On how he recovered from acute transverse myelitis, an inflammation of the spinal cord which damages nerve fibers:
Joey: "What happened was toward the end of my SLIPKNOT touring cycle, I became very ill — like, very sick. And like I've said before, we all know when you have a cold, we all know when you have the flu, we all know these symptoms. I suffered from asthma when I was a kid. There was a pain and a weirdness that I'd never felt before. And next thing I know, my legs just started failing on me. And next thing I know, my playing was going downhill, and then next thing I know, I was unable to walk. And then next thing I know, I was paralyzed from the waist down. It literally happened within the span of, like, three weeks. So I instantly, of course, checked myself into the hospital and went into intensive care. I had amazing, amazing doctors that really were working around the clock to find out what was wrong. It turned out to be the acute transverse myelitis condition. And from then, what I did is I spent some time in the hospital, like a couple of months and started working with therapists. And next thing after that, once I got discharged from the hospital, I went into intense physical therapy. And I still stay in it. Now, even though I'm fully recovered — I'm literally stronger than I've ever been in my life — I just still stay on that regiment, man. I'm just in the gym constantly and I just work out non-stop. And I play more than I ever have, especially with the two bands, but I just practice non-stop. And I just go to the gym and eat healthy and get plenty of rest and that's all I do. But I was really lucky — really, really, really fortunate — to beat this."
On whether he missed playing drums during his illness:
Joey: "Oh my God, man. That's what I do. Playing drums for me is like breathing, it's like thinking, it's like eating, it's like walking. Playing drums is how I communicate. It's how I speak to people. That's my God-given gift. And when it was robbed from me with this weird-ass thing that came out of nowhere, the fact of my love of music and life in general, I just fought my way back and went, 'There's no way I'm not gonna play drums and make music again.' And that really showed me — more than just playing drums or playing guitar and creating music or writing songs; any of that — my love and determination for life and family and music, and what this music's given me, I had to fight back to get it back and give back to it to show my appreciation for it. So that's basically how my determination, how I was able to get back with this. The faith and the heart, and [with] full force. I have no symptoms, I'm fully back. I'm totally alright. It was a lot work getting there, man."
On whether he feels "reborn":
Joey: "It depends on how you describe 'reborn.' If you're taking religion out if it, then yeah, it is [like I am] reborn. I don't want to confuse people with religion or get involved with their opinions — I don't want that to be misconstrued in the interview — but, like, reborn, as far as in my heart and what I'm seeking in life and what I'm doing musically and where I'm headed, absolutely, I've been reborn… Honestly, I hate calling attention to this, but I guess people wanna know, so I'm gonna answer it. If people were there — like all of my fans were with me day in and day out, and watched what I had to go through — that's the only way they'd truly understand. But let me tell you, what I had to go through to get back to this point was not easy, and it took every ounce of determination and will in my heart and my brain and just my strength, and just wanting to… I'm, like, 'I'm not gonna let any affliction ever take me away from my music and my craft and my instrument.' It's not gonna happen. That's the gift of music that I've been blessed with. If I didn't have that, I might still not be able to walk. I don't know."
On the other members of VIMIC:
Joey: "I've known these guys for a long time. Our vocalist Kalen Musmecci, I toured with him when I guested in KORN for a year and a half. And that's how I met him. And he's one of the best vocalists I've ever met in my life, and I've met a ton. And he's actually pretty much my best… My best friend passed away — [SLIPKNOT bassist] Paul Gray, he passed — but a living best friend that I have right now besides my lady is Kalen. I've known him forever. So it was a really hard decision to bring Kalen into VIMIC, which was SCAR THE MARTYR at the time, because I didn't wanna ruin anything that we had. But it was honestly the best damn decision I ever made as far as choosing a bandmember. He's absolutely gold, man, all the way around. Jed Simon [guitar] from STRAPPING YOUNG LAD, I've known him for a long time. He's probably one of the… If I use the term 'men' or 'man' in metal, he is that guy. And we all looked up to him. Even though I might be the boss in the band, he's kind of like the dad of the band still, because we all look up to him. And Kyle [Konkiel, bass] is just the complete muscle, and Matt [Tarach, keyboards] is the technical genius [as] a producer, and our new guitar player, Steve Marshall, is one of the best guitar players I've heard in a long time; I'm completely floored with him. So I couldn't be happier, man. It's a great team of guys. We're pushing forward. We cannot wait to get out on the road, man. We are so ready."
VIMIC has just completed its first string of U.S. tour dates and will release its debut album, "Open Your Omen", later in the year. A European tour will kick off in March.