Ex-SLIPKNOT drummer Joey Jordison says that only one member of his former band visited him in the hospital while he was battling a rare disease of the nervous system which left him unable to play the drums properly.
Jordison and the members of SLIPKNOT had been silent and evasive about the reasons for his dismissal from the band in December 2013, but Jordison finally spoke about it last year while accepting an award at the Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards in London, England. He revealed that he had been struggling with the career-threatening neurological condition acute transverse myelitis, an inflammation of the spinal cord which damages nerve fibers, which ultimately led to Jordison losing the use of his legs.
In a brand new interview with Jay Nanda of AXS.com to promote Jordison's new band VIMIC, the drummer talked about his health issues and described the circumstances that led to him being diagnosed with this spinal-cord disorder.
"Basically, what it was is after a tour, I was getting… Actually, during the end of a SLIPKNOT tour, I was getting really ill, and I didn't know what it was," he explained. "My legs were starting to fail on me as I was playing, and it was scary, sitting up on stage with thousands and thousands of people right in front of me looking at me. And everyone thought I might be under the influence of something, and that was absolutely not the case whatsoever. And I'm sitting there and I'm trying to play my parts that come like second nature to me, that I have been doing for years and years and years with no problem. And it was freaking me out. And I was getting carried offstage, and all of a sudden I had to be carried onstage, all this stuff. My legs completely just dropped off pretty much the bottom of my body. And the scary thing was I had no clue what the condition is."
He continued: "So when I got back home after the tour… I made it through the tour, and I had to go into the hospital. It took 'em a little while to diagnose exactly what it was, and when we found out, it was, like, 'Oh my God! It makes total sense.' It's a weird, weird condition. But what I did is I kept myself positive, and I kept my eye on the prize. And no matter what, I'm, like, drumming is my gift, music is a gift, life is a gift, and I'm not going to not walk again. And it was tough, man, to get back this point. And the people that I had around me that surrounded me, with, like, my lady and all the trainers, all the people in the gyms that I went to… There was a ton of people — the doctors and all that stuff — that helped me get back, make me stronger than I've ever been. And I'm just more positive."
Jordison added: "That's the big thing about life — it just makes you appreciate exactly what you have when you come back from something like this, when some people just don't; they just don't. It's a weird thing. It's a rare thing. And when you get it back, man, you appreciate life so much more. And that's why I called the [upcoming VIMIC] record 'Open Your Omen'. I came back from it, and you really pay attention to what life is all about. I'll leave it that."
Asked why the other members of SLIPKNOT weren't more forthcoming with the press about Jordison's health issues and why they didn't try to be more accommodating while Joey was in the throes of his illness, the drummer responded: "That's a really great question, and that's a hard question to answer, as I know that everything is publicized right now, so I've gotta really watch my words.
"The thing is, I got visited in the hospital by one member of the band when they all knew I was in there. When someone's in the hospital — be it a family member or anyone that has something wrong with them — if you love 'em, then you visit them. I didn't get visited by anyone. And next thing you know, I got exited from the band. And I don't know why. I don't understand what the deal was."
He continued: "There's been a bunch of rumors and stuff, like, you know, why it was, and it is absolutely untrue. I have all the documents and pictures and photo albums that [cover everything that happened] like an encyclopedia — all the documents from being in there with this condition, to all my rehab, all the way to getting back with doctors, and getting back to what I'm doing. But, you know, it's okay. Life takes you down weird paths.
"I came back right after I got through with this, and I came back, and I did the festivals, and I killed it. I did great, and all that stuff."
Jordison added: "I didn't quit SLIPKNOT. I would never have quit SLIPKNOT, ever. I just want the fans to know that. It's important for everyone to know that. And I think people just move in different directions in life, and it's okay."
Joey last year claimed that he was fired from SLIPKNOT without a band meeting or "anything from management." He said: "All I got was a stupid fucking e-mail saying I was out of the band that I busted my ass my whole life to fucking create. That's exactly what happened and it was hurtful. I didn't deserve that shit after what I'd done and everything I'd been through.
"They got confused about my health issues and obviously even I didn't know what it was at first," he continued. "They thought I was fucked up on drugs, which I wasn't at all.
"I've been through so many things with those guys and I love them very much. What's hurtful is the way it went down was not fucking right. That's all I want to say. The way they did it was fucking cowardly. It was fucked up."
Despite the circumstances surrounding his dismissal from SLIPKNOT, Jordison praised the band's latest album, ".5: The Gray Chapter", which features his replacement, Jay Weinberg, as well as new bassist Alessandro Venturella. He said: "I listened to the whole record multiple times. And I think it's great. It's fucking cool and I'm glad they moved on."
SLIPKNOT singer Corey Taylor has explained that the band has gotten very comfortable with its current rhythm section. "It was interesting at first, but it's just gotten better and better with every show to the point where, you know, we feel very comfortable with them now, and they bring like a different kind of energy out of us, you know," he said. "So we kind of resigned ourselves to the fact that it would never be the same, but it's different, and sometimes different is okay."
Jordison was a founding member of the band, one of its main songwriters and drummer for SLIPKNOT for 18 years.
VIMIC will release "Open Your Omen" later in the year. Joey is joined in thegroup by singer Kalen Chase Musmecci, who has toured with KORN as a backing vocalist and percussionist, and Joey's former SCAR THE MARTYR bandmates Jed Simon (guitar), Kyle Konkiel (bass) and Matthew Tarach (keyboards). VIMIC also features guitarist Steve Marshall.