Greg Welts

Slipknot band members

Current lineup performing in 2012.

Slipknot is a heavy metal band formed by vocalist and percussionist Anders Colsefni, guitarists Donnie Steele and Josh "Gnar" Brainard, bassist Paul Gray, drummer Joey Jordison and percussionist Shawn Crahan, in Des Moines, Iowa.[1] Since its inception in 1995, the band has gone through multiple lineup changes, many occurring before the release of its debut album Slipknot, in 1999. The band is known for its large lineup, which consists of nine members, including a vocalist, two guitarists, a bassist, a primary drummer and two additional percussionists, a sampler, and a turntablist.[2]

In 1996, during the mixing stage of the band's demo album Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat., Slipknot saw its first lineup change when guitarist Donnie Steele left the band and was replaced by Craig Jones. Shortly after, drummer Jordison suggested they would need a full-time sampler and Jones fit the position as "he liked doing that anyway."[3] Mick Thomson was brought in to fill the open position on guitar. After the release of Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat. the band members were working on new material which required more vocal melody and vocalist Colsefni struggled with this.[4] In 1997, Corey Taylor was recruited from local band Stone Sour and after practicing with Slipknot "everything just clicked."[5] As a result, Colsefni was moved to backing vocals and percussion. However, Colsefni became unhappy with his new role and left the band a month later.[6]

Wanting to retain their percussive edge, the band chose Greg Welts as Colsefni's replacement. Towards the end of 1997, each member chose a number as his alias.[7] Slipknot considered including a DJ in their lineup, but had difficulty finding one because "the people [they] knew who were DJs all sucked!"[8] Sid Wilson approached the band after seeing them live. He proceeded to impress the band with his ability and his antics, especially his crowd surfing skills.; Wilson was considered "Slipknot material" and his hiring brought the lineup to nine members.[9] In 1998, Welts was asked to leave the band and was replaced by Brandon Darner, who, in turn, didn't stay for long and was replaced by Chris Fehn. The final change in the lineup came in the latter stages of the recording of the band's debut album, Slipknot, in 1999. During a break in recording, Brainard decided to leave the band and was replaced by Jim Root.

This lineup remained unchanged until May 2010, when bassist Paul Gray was discovered dead in a hotel room near his Iowa home. On June 21, the cause of his death was confirmed as an accidental overdose of morphine and fentanyl, a synthetic morphine substitute.[10] The band toured in the summer of 2011 with former guitarist Donnie Steele filling in for Gray.[11]

Current members

Sid Wilson (#0)
Active: 1998–present
Instruments: turntables, keyboards
Release contributions: all Slipknot releases from Slipknot demo (1998) to present
The band was interested in adding a DJ to their lineup, but were reluctant because they didn't know any that they considered good enough. After seeing the band live, Sid Wilson proclaimed, "I knew I was born to be in this band."[9] Wilson contacted the band to show his interest in joining. After his attending rehearsals and an incident before a show in which he head-butted all the band members, he was deemed "Slipknot material" and has remained in the lineup since.[9]
Joey Jordison (#1)
Active: 1995–present
Instruments: drums
Release contributions: all Slipknot releases
Joey Jordison joined soon after the band was formed in 1995.[1]
Chris Fehn (#3)
Active: 1998–present
Instruments: custom percussion, backing vocals
Release contributions: all Slipknot releases from Slipknot (1999) to present
Following the departure of Greg Welts, Chris Fehn was brought in to fill the void in percussion and backing vocals.[12] Previously, Fehn had asked the band if he could roadie for them; reportedly, his initiation resembled the vetting process from the film Fight Club. After a month of "[seeing] if he would fit into Slipknot", Fehn was finally admitted. He has remained in the lineup ever since.[13]
James Root (#4)
Active: 1999–present
Instruments: guitar
Release contributions: all Slipknot releases from Slipknot (1999) to present
James Root joined the band in 1999, near the end of the recording of Slipknot. He was brought in as a guitarist following Josh Brainard's departure and is the most recent member in the current lineup.[14]
Craig Jones (#5)
Active: 1996–present
Instruments: guitar(1996), samples, media, synthesizers(1996-Present)
Release contributions: all Slipknot releases from Slipknot demo (1998) to present
Craig Jones was first brought in to fill the guitar position after Donnie Steele's departure.[15] Joey Jordison realized that they were incorporating an increasing number of samples in their recordings and couldn't produce them live, so Jones became Slipknot's full-time sampler.[3]
Shawn Crahan (#6)
Active: 1995–present
Instruments: custom percussion, backing vocals
Release contributions: all Slipknot releases
Shawn Crahan was a member of the original band formed in 1995 and was initially the drummer until Joey Jordison joined the band.[1] After Paul Gray's death, Crahan is now the only founding member left in Slipknot.
Mick Thomson (#7)
Active: 1996–present
Instruments: guitar
Release contributions: all Slipknot releases from Slipknot demo (1998) to present
Shortly after Craig Jones entered the band as a guitarist, the band decided that he would move to samples. Thomson was brought in to play guitar and has remained in the lineup since.[3]
Corey Taylor (#8)
Active: 1997–present
Instruments: lead vocals
Release contributions: all Slipknot releases from Slipknot demo (1998) to present
Corey Taylor was recruited from fellow local band Stone Sour in 1997; Slipknot's music required more melodic singing, which vocalist Anders Colsefni struggled to perform. The initial idea was to have the vocalists share duties, but it was later decided that Taylor would take over the majority of the vocals and Colsefni was moved to backing vocals.[16]
Donnie Steele
Active: 1995–1996, 2011–present
Instruments: guitar (1995-1996); bass guitar (2011–present)
Release contributions: Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat. (1996)
Donnie Steele was a member of the original band formed in 1995.[1] In February 1996, during the mixing process of Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat., Steele decided to leave the band. Steele was a "devout Christian" and realized that the band was no longer a project he could be a part of.[15] The band announced on March 10, 2011 that Steele would be their touring bassist for their Summer shows as a replacement for Paul Gray who died on May 24, 2010.[17]

Slipknot performing on the Mayhem festival in 2008

Former members

Anders Colsefni
Active: 1995–1997
Instruments: lead vocals, custom percussion, backing vocals, tribal drums
Release contributions: Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat. (1996)
Anders Colsefni was a member of the original band formed in 1995.[1] In 1997, Corey Taylor joined the band to share the lead vocalist position. However it was decided that Taylor would replace Colsefni and he was subsequently moved to backing vocals.[16] Colsefni was unhappy with his new role in the group, and left shortly thereafter to revive the band Painface. His last name is often mistakenly spelled "Colsefini".[6]
Greg Welts (#3)
Active: 1997–1998
Instruments: custom percussion, backing vocals
Release contributions: Slipknot demo (1998)
After the departure of Colsefni, Greg Welts was recruited to fill the spot left on percussion and backing vocals.[18] In 1998, prior to the band signing with Roadrunner Records, Welts was demanded to leave the band becoming the only member to actually be kicked out.[19]
Brandon Darner (#3)
Active: 1998-1998
Instruments: custom percussion, backing vocals
Release contributions: Slipknot demo (1998)
Brandon was the replacement for custom percussionist Greg Welts. He didn't stay long and was later on replaced by Chris Fehn. Later, he joined Shawn Crahan's new band To My Surprise.
Josh Brainard (#4)
Active: 1995–1999
Instruments: guitar, backing vocals
Release contributions: Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat. (1996) Slipknot demo (1998), Slipknot (1999)
Brainard appears on the cover of the band's self-titled. Was a member of the original band formed in 1995.[1] Brainard left the band during the recording stages of Slipknot in 1999. The reasons for his departure are unclear, it was widely thought to have been because of family constraints however Brainard dispels these rumours, explaining that; "some decisions were made that I wasn't particularly happy with."[14]
Paul Gray (#2)
Active: 1995–2010
Instruments: bass, backing vocals
Release contributions: all Slipknot releases
Paul Gray was a member of the original band formed in 1995.[1] He was with the band until his death from taking an accidental overdose of morphine mixed with fentanyl on May 24, 2010 at the age of 38.

Timeline

ImageSize = width:800 height:auto barincrement:20 PlotArea = left:100 bottom:60 top:0 right:20 Alignbars = justify DateFormat = dd/mm/yyyy Period = from:01/01/1995 till:01/01/2014 TimeAxis = orientation:horizontal format:yyyy Legend = orientation:horizontal position:bottom ScaleMajor = increment:2 start:1995 ScaleMinor = Increment:2 start:1996

Colors =

 id:Vocals   value:red     legend:Vocals
 id:Guitar   value:green   legend:Guitars
 id:Bass     value:blue    legend:Bass
 id:Drums    value:orange  legend:Drums
 id:Custom   value:claret  legend:Percussion
 id:Samples  value:purple  legend:Samples,_Synthesizers
 id:DJ       value:tan2    legend:Turntables
 id:Lines    value:black   legend:Studio_Releases
 

LineData =

 at:31/10/1996 color:black layer:back
 at:29/06/1999 color:black layer:back
 at:28/08/2001 color:black layer:back
 at:25/05/2004 color:black layer:back
 at:25/08/2008 color:black layer:back

BarData =

 bar:Colsefni text:"Anders Colsefni"
 bar:Taylor text:"Corey Taylor"
 bar:Steele text:"Donnie Steele"
 bar:Jones text:"Craig Jones"
 bar:Thomson text:"Mick Thomson"
 bar:Nong text:"Kun Nong"
 bar:Brainard text:"Josh Brainard"
 bar:Root text:"James Root"
 bar:Gray text:"Paul Gray"
 bar:Jordison text:"Joey Jordison"
 bar:Crahan text:"Shawn Crahan"
 bar:Welts text:"Greg Welts"
 bar:Darner text:"Brandon Darner"
 bar:Fehn text:"Chris Fehn"
 bar:Wilson text:"Sid Wilson"

PlotData=

 width:10 textcolor:black align:left anchor:from shift:(10,-4)
 bar:Colsefni from:01/01/1995 till:01/05/1997 color:Vocals 
 bar:Colsefni from:01/05/1997 till:12/09/1997 color:Custom
 bar:Colsefni from:01/05/1997 till:12/09/1997 color:Vocals width:3
 bar:Steele   from:01/01/1995 till:01/01/1996 color:Guitar
 bar:Brainard from:01/08/1995 till:30/06/1999 color:Guitar
 bar:Brainard from:01/08/1995 till:30/06/1999 color:Vocals width:3
 bar:Gray     from:01/01/1995 till:24/05/2010 color:Bass
 bar:Gray     from:01/01/1995 till:24/05/2010 color:Vocals width:3
 bar:Jordison from:01/05/1995 till:end color:Drums
 bar:Crahan   from:01/01/1995 till:01/05/1995 color:Drums
 bar:Crahan   from:01/05/1995 till:end color:Custom
 bar:Crahan   from:01/05/1995 till:end color:Vocals width:3
 bar:Jones    from:01/01/1996 till:05/04/1996 color:Guitar
 bar:Jones    from:05/04/1996 till:end color:Samples
 bar:Thomson  from:05/04/1996 till:end color:Guitar
 bar:Taylor   from:01/05/1997 till:end color:Vocals
 bar:Welts    from:13/09/1997 till:01/07/1998 color:Custom
 bar:Welts    from:13/09/1997 till:01/07/1998 color:Vocals width:3
 bar:Darner   from:01/08/1998 till:19/08/1998 color:Custom
 bar:Darner   from:01/08/1998 till:19/08/1998 color:Vocals width:3
 bar:Fehn     from:19/08/1998 till:end color:Custom
 bar:Fehn     from:19/08/1998 till:end color:Vocals width:3
 bar:Wilson   from:01/04/1998 till:end color:DJ
 bar:Root     from:01/07/1999 till:end color:Guitar
 bar:Steele    from:01/01/1995 till:01/01/1997 color:Guitar
 bar:Steele   from:10/03/2011 till:end color:Bass

References

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