ELOY CASAGRANDE Explains Decision To Leave SEPULTURA And Join SLIPKNOT: 'It Was Complicated'

May 10, 2024

Former SEPULTURA drummer Eloy Casagrande has opened up about his recent decision to leave the band and join SLIPKNOT. The 33-year-old musician, who was a member of the veteran Brazilian/American metal band for 12 years before exiting the group in February in order to hook up with the Iowa-based masked metallers, told Brazil's Veja São Paulo in a new interview that he was originally approached about auditioning for SLIPKNOT last December by the band's manager, shortly after SEPULTURA had already announced its 40th-anniversary farewell tour. "They asked me to record and send them some videos from right here in Brazil," he explained in comments that were published in his native Portuguese but translated to English by fans on Reddit. "Initially there were three songs, then they asked me for three more, and asked if I had any plans to go to the United States, and I was scheduled to perform there in January with my instrumental music project, CASAGRANDE & HANYSZ. So they moved my flight up a bit, and I spent five days in Palm Springs, rehearsing with the full band. Then they asked me to extend my stay by another five days, so we could record some things. I think that was also part of the audition. They threw new ideas at me to see what my songwriting was like. They wanted to test me in every way."

Asked when he finally got the confirmation that he was the new drummer of SLIPKNOT, Eloy said: "SLIPKNOT is made up of nine musicians, so there are many spheres and layers, and they needed everyone's approval before they gave me the okay. I think it was on February 5th [or February] 6th that I received confirmation that I had passed the test."

Regarding how the actual audition went, Eloy said: "At first, they didn't explain what we were going to do. It was all kind of in the dark. The first thing they sent was a NDA [non-disclosure agreement] document, so I couldn't discuss it with anyone. I learned the setlist, prepared myself and, four days before the trip, they sent me a list of 32 songs that it would be important for me to know. Many of the songs I was learning weren't on that list, so I started looking for sheet music. When I got there (in the United States),they gave me a setlist on the first day, which had some songs I didn't know either, but we went out playing. On the first day, I was very nervous, because the band was complete, and it's quite an impact to see the guys there in front of you. It's a band I've been listening to since I was a teenager and followed on TV. On the first day I was terrible, I didn't like my performance, but from the second day on I improved. Each day they played a different setlist in the morning, so I had a few hours to learn a song or two that was missing. Overall, it was very smooth. I had everyone's support."

On the topic of his decision to leave SEPULTURA, Eloy said: "I received the invitation to audition [for SLIPKNOT] after the [SEPULTURA farewell] tour was announced. The big thing, the reason I agreed to audition, was the end of SEPULTURA. The band was going to break up, and I didn't want to stop playing drums at the age of 33. I had a chat with SLIPKNOT, asked about their schedule and if it would be possible to juggle the two bands, but they said no, it wouldn't be possible, I'd be exclusive. So it was my decision to leave SEPULTURA. It was complicated. I told [SEPULTURA my decision] when I had closed the deal [with SLIPKNOT] on February 5th or 6th. That very day I called a meeting and explained the situation. That was it, an individual decision."

As for whether playing with a mask and make-up presented any big changes for him, Eloy said: "The first big change when wearing a mask is mental. It's another persona in there. The mask has life. If someone else puts it on, it won't be the same. I created it together with Shawn [Crahan, SLIPKNOT percussionist and co-founder] — we worked out the design together — so it's a combination of SLIPKNOT and my personality. But when you put the mask on, something different happens. I can't explain it yet. And the physical aspect of playing is calm, I thought it would be worse. Of course it gets hot, because it's full of foam, so I get very sweaty. But there's a good space to breathe. Before the first performance, I was rehearsing with a mask made for athletes, which simulates altitude. It has several valves and covers the nose and mouth, restricting breathing. This helped me play more calmly."

Casagrande's addition to SLIPKNOT was officially announced on April 30.

SLIPKNOT made its first festival appearance of 2024 on April 27 as one of the headliners of Sick New World in Las Vegas, Nevada. The show marked SLIPKNOT's second performance with Casagrande.

Prior to Sick New World, SLIPKNOT played an intimate show on April 25 at Pappy + Harriet's in Pioneertown, California.

For both the Pappy + Harriet's and Sick New World gigs, SLIPKNOT adopted a classic look, bringing back the 1999 red jumpsuits and elements of their early masks into their modern versions, tying into the fact that SLIPKNOT is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.

After parting ways with Jay Weinberg last November, SLIPKNOT teased fans with a hint about a new drummer nearly two months ago, posting a photo of a single broken drumstick online with the caption "Rehearsal."

The band explained in a statement that the split with Weinberg was a creative decision. Jay followed up with a statement of his own, saying that he was "heartbroken and blindsided" by his dismissal.


Casagrande abruptly quit SEPULTURA three months ago, shortly before he was supposed to begin rehearsals for the band's recently launched 40th-anniversary farewell tour.

"February 6th, a few days prior to the first rehearsal, drummer Eloy Casagrande informed the band that he was leaving SEPULTURA to pursue a career in another project," the band said in a statement.

Casagrande joined SEPULTURA in 2011 as the replacement for Jean Dolabella.

In February 2020, SEPULTURA singer Derrick Green told Australia's Everblack Media that Casagrande had had "a tremendous impact" on the group since he joined 13 years ago. "It's undeniable because he's such a strong force," he said. "He loves playing metal music. He's one of the most talented drummers I've ever seen, honestly. That power is consistent from beginning to the end. It really has rubbed off on all of us to really push ourselves further. He's such a perfect match for the band. He really is always influencing us in so many ways to really go beyond — above and beyond."

SLIPKNOT's latest album "The End, So Far", arrived in August 2022. It marked the band's the last full-length LP before the departure of both keyboardist Craig Jones, who left the group in June 2023, and Weinberg.

SLIPKNOT photo credit: Jonathan Weiner

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