SLIPKNOT percussionist Shawn "Clown" Crahan says that he is "ecstatic" about the band's newest member — the percussionist nicknamed "Tortilla Man."
Tortilla Man joined SLIPKNOT three months ago, when he was first featured in the video for comeback single "Unsainted". He came into the group following the acrimonious departure of Chris Fehn. The masked metallers have seen a number of other lineup changes during their 20 years together, including the death of bassist Paul Gray and the exit of drummer Joey Jordison.
Speaking to Spotify's "Metal Talks" about SLIPKNOT's personnel shuffles, Crahan said: "We just had a lot of things happen. We've been doing it so long. I just put my foot down. We changed all of our crew. We're just a whole new family. We really wanted to bring it in. It's got nothing to do with everybody that was with us; it has to do with us trying to find each other and literally being happy with the nine of us being out here. 'Cause there's things happening all the time. We're older. I'm gonna be 50 in September.
"Recently, we just had to get a new member," he continued. "Things happen. It's nobody's fault. These things happen. Humans are humans. Things happen. I always hate it when things change, and I always feel bad, but people have to be responsible for their own lives. I can't tell people what to do or what I think — they have to make their own decisions. And like I said, we've been doing this a long time now. We're not just a baby band anymore. And we're all getting older. We were old to begin with. I started the band when I was 26, got signed when I was 29, and was 30 years old when I was on the road. I'm gonna be 50 in September. So, you know, things are tough.
"I think the world has an expectation that a band can stay together. Health — mental, spiritual — these are all things that get alleviated as you go on. Things change. And we're not really good with change, but we're really good with picking up the pieces and getting to work.
"I'm really ecstatic with the new member," Crahan added. "It's a lot of fun. And it's just nice that, at this stage of the game, when something like this happens, we can actually get someone who appreciates it and will bring 190 percent. Because we could easily get down, and I can easily let the press get to me, and fans and things, but they don't know all the circumstances, do they? And they're never gonna, because they shouldn't anyway. It's our family business, and there's much love for all the guys who are no longer in SLIPKNOT. Paul Gray has passed away, and he's missed every single day. Not our choice, but if SLIPKNOT's gonna continue, we've gotta pick up the pieces and we've gotta do the best we can for the culture. So that's what we do. So we just picked up the pieces recently, and we've done what we've done, and we're moving on and everyone's really happy, and we're very happy. Sorry things had to change.
"There's no such thing as control for all of us," Crahan concluded. "All of us have to let that go. I can't control people. I can't control their outcomes. I can only get up and do the best I can every day, so that's what I'm doing."
Crahan previously refused to reveal the identity of the band's mysterious new ninth member in an interview with Kerrang! magazine, saying it was "nobody's fucking business."
Fehn, sued the band in March, claiming he hadn't been properly compensated for his years of touring and recording with the group. Fehn, a member since 1998, was officially dismissed from the band earlier this year.
In an interview with Zane Lowe on Beats 1, SLIPKNOT singer Corey Taylor said Tortilla Man had won the respect of bands and fans. "He's doing great and is a great dude," he said. "He's killing it, man."
Asked how anyone becomes an official member of SLIPKNOT, Taylor said: "First of all, you've got to wear the tortilla on your face. And the audience has to figure out who you are. With Tortilla Man, it's kinda cool. It's brought this whole new energy to everybody as well, so it's a lot of fun to watch him as well."
SLIPKNOT's sixth studio album, "We Are Not Your Kind", was released on August 9. The band kicked off its North American headlining tour on July 26 in Mountain View, California.