SLIPKNOT has parted ways with keyboardist Craig Jones.
Earlier today (Wednesday, June 7),the band released the following statement via social media: "To our fans, SLIPKNOT is announcing that we have parted ways with Craig Jones.
"We wish Jones all the best for the future."
No reason was given for Jones's departure from SLIPKNOT, and it is not clear if he will be replaced for the band's spring/summer 2023 European tour, which is scheduled to kick off tonight at the Nova Rock festival in Austria.
Jones joined SLIPKNOT in early 1996, shortly after the band had finished the recording of its demo album "Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat." He was initially brought in to replace Donnie Steele, one of the two original guitarists, though he quickly moved on to the role of sampling and keyboards. Following the departure of drummer Joey Jordison in 2013, Jones was the second-longest-serving member in the band.
More than a decade ago, SLIPKNOT singer Corey Taylor was asked why Jones never speaks publicly. Corey said: "There are several joke answers I can give you, one of which is that he's an android. Another of which is that he's secretly a serial killer. Which we all call him, like, you're just a killer, dude. And he just goes [nods yes] and he doesn't say a damn word."
He added: "The honest answer is that's just the way he is. I mean, I'm talking about a dude who I knew before SLIPKNOT was even a band, you know? We used to go to 'Rocky Horror Picture Show' back in the day. He would come out. He wasn't really a part of the crowd that I ran with, but he knew people that I was friends with, and he would just show up and he'd just kind of sit at a table, you know? And it was like two years before we had an actual conversation. I'm talking about a cat I sat at the same table with him… I can't even remember if I ever just looked at him and said, 'Do you say anything?' You just knew he wasn't going to say a damn thing. But when he did talk, it was like it scared the hell out of you. Like he'd pipe up and be, like, 'That was a hell of a show.' … Jesus Christ, really? I didn't even know you were there! That’s just the way he is, man. He's a guy that when he says something, you listen, basically. Because he doesn't say anything. There's a reason we call him the killer because you never know when it's going to come. So you're just, like, 'God, I can just feel his presence.' Without that mask, he'll just come up behind and he's strangely, strangely strong. Okay, he's deceptively strong. He'll put you in a headlock that you weren't prepared for, and you can't get out of. You're, like, 'Get off me, Craig! I'm trying to get on a plane.' That's true. It'd be right in the middle of the airport, he'll just take your hat and throw it and put me in one of these [headlocks] and I'm, like, I'm gonna kick you right in the gooch, dude. Get off me.'
"So yeah, there's no real reason that he doesn't talk… He just doesn't," Corey added. "And if you asked him, he'd go [shrugs shoulder] and that would be it. He'd just move on his way."
Earlier today, SLIPKNOT announced that percussionist Shawn "Clown" Crahan would sit out some of the band's upcoming tour dates so that he can stay home to support his wife "through some health issues".