In a new interview with NME, SLIPKNOT frontman Corey Taylor said that he had reconciled with Joey Jordison in the years prior to the original SLIPKNOT drummer's death in 2021. According to Corey, he and Joey had texted back and forth, calling the exchanges "strained but civil".
"When we lost Joey, it took away the chance for us to make peace with him," Taylor told NME. "I know some of us had talked to him on the side. We never talked to him as a group, and I think that's something that we all regret. It's a hard thing to realize that you missed an opportunity."
Regarding the circumstances that led to Joey's exit from SLIPKNOT, Corey said: "We all had such a complicated relationship with Joey at one point or another. He was a man who was tormented by his brilliance and his demons. And it made it hard to live with him sometimes. I'm not saying that to cut him down because we've all gone through it. It's something that we as addicts, we as artists, we as really mentally fucked up people, have had to deal with."
Jordison died "peacefully in his sleep" in July 2021 of an unspecified cause. He was 46 years old.
Taylor previously talked about Jordison's death in a September 2022 interview with Zane Lowe of Apple Music 1. He said: "As you get older, you just start to appreciate what you do have and you lament the losses. You lament the fact that you never had to truly make peace with the people who you lost. And that's something that I've been doing just in my own life, is reaching out to people who I haven't talked to in a while and really burying hatchets because that shit will just fucking weigh you down.
"Me and Joey, we had talked over the years every now and then — it would just be random — but we never said to each other what we needed to say to each other," Corey admitted. "At least I didn't say it to Joe. But that was the complicated thing about Joey, was the fact that he was so many different people in one person, but it was hard to kind of get a beat on what was going on at any given time. He had demons that would've killed normal people. He was one of the true musical geniuses I'd ever met. He was just complicated.
"Everybody likes to sugarcoat a lot of shit after the fact, but you don't realize that what you're doing is you're dehumanizing them," Taylor added. "And I can't do that because I fucking lived with these guys. And the goddamn tragedy of it is that we did everything we could to try and be there. Not only for him, but for Paul [Gray, late SLIPKNOT bassist]. I mean, we would rally and we would rally and we would rally, and it's just a shame, man. The world is less cool without him in it."
During a February 2022 question-and-answer session at the annual Mad Monster Party, a three-day fan convention which took place at the Embassy Suites in Concord, North Carolina, Corey was asked how he had dealt with the loss of his longtime bandmate. He responded: "That's a tough one. It hit me hard, even though I hadn't seen him or talked to him in a very long time. And I won't get into certain things, but I will say that it hit us all really hard. The first person that I called was Clown [SLIPKNOT percussionist M. Shawn Crahan] to make sure he was okay. Because those guys… I can remember going down and seeing them both at the gas station that Joey worked at — like, way back in the day. And he would work the overnights. When I wasn't working at the porn shop, I would go down. And they were always scheming; they would always sit together scheming. It's, like, 'I've got this fucking idea. All right? We're gonna set our faces on fire.' And I was, like, 'No. You're really not gonna do that.'"
He continued: "All that history and all the memories came back then. And his health was obviously part of that. And it was sad because this man was probably one of the most gifted people I've ever seen in my life… It was far, far too soon. And it broke my heart. Regardless of what had gone down between us, it broke my heart. It was a hard… It's still hard to think about. I think about it now and it doesn't seem real. So it hit us just as hard. It's one of the reasons why we pay homage to him andPaul [Gray, late SLIPKNOT bassist] at the end of [each SLIPKNOT] show — to make sure that people realize that even though he was gone, he's still part of the family, and he always will be."
Corey initially opened up about Joey's death during a September 2021 appearance on SiriusXM's "Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk". At the time, he said: "Our first concern was obviously his family, so we reached out immediately to make sure that they were okay, to let them know if they needed anything from us, they could absolutely ask.
"It's a damn tragedy," Taylor continued. "He was way too young, and he was way too talented to lose him like this.
"I know a lot of people wonder about the circumstances that led to him not being in the band anymore, and it's, like, we're not gonna talk about that, because I'd rather talk about his legacy, which is that he helped create this band that we all have fought to keep out there and keep going.
"Just the fact that he's not here now, it's still — I still can't believe it," Corey added.
SLIPKNOT announced its split with Jordison in December 2013 but did not disclose the reasons for his exit. The drummer subsequently issued a statement saying that he did not quit the group.
Several years ago, Jordison overcame the neurological condition acute transverse myelitis, an inflammation of the spinal cord which damages nerve fibers, which ultimately led to the drummer temporarily losing the use of his legs.
Jordison and the members of SLIPKNOT had been silent and evasive about the reasons for his dismissal from the band, but Joey finally spoke about it in 2016 while accepting an award at the Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards in London, England.
At the time, Joey 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."
Back in 2014, Taylor told Metal Hammer that firing Jordison after 18 years was "one of the hardest decisions" the group ever made, adding that Joey 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."
Four years ago, Joey revealed that he was working on his first-ever book.
In 2018, Jordison completed a European tour with the international death metal supergroup SINSAENUM.
The same year that he exited SLIPKNOT, Jordison launched the band SCAR THE MARTYR and later, VIMIC.