Joey Jordison: Same fire, new perspective11/30/2016
More than three years ago, Joey Jordison wasn’t sure what was wrong with him. He was getting an excruciating tingling in his spine. He would wake up some mornings unable to walk. For his final shows with Slipknot in 2013, he had to be carried to his drum set.
In December 2013, Jordison was fired from the band he helped found. At the time there was speculation that substance abuse was behind his physical problems and the firing, but this summer Jordison finally spoke up about what had been troubling him: transverse myelitis, a neurological condition affecting his spinal cord.
On Dec. 26, Jordison will play his first show with his new band, Vimic, at Wooly’s.
“It’s the scariest thing I have ever gone through,” Jordison said during a phone interview. “I would not wish it on my worst enemy. Sometimes people don’t come back from it, but I fought hard and saw a bunch of different doctors in Des Moines and Iowa. They got me back to not only walking, but running. And I’m playing better than I ever had. I’m very lucky and fortunate that everything is coming full circle and is happening again. It’s hard to digest.”
Fans of Jordison’s previous metal band, Scar the Martyr, will recognize many of the faces in Vimic. Jed Simon, Matthew Tarach and Kyle Konkiel all switched from CTM to Vimic, with former Korn member Kalen Chase added on vocals. Jordison first worked with Chase when he filled in drumming with Korn in 2007.
Jordison described Scar the Martyr as a bridge, leading him to the spot he’s in now. He feels better than he has in years, his band has a singer who Jordison describes as “my best friend in the world,” and Vimic recently signed a management deal with Nashville’s CTK Management. Roadrunner, which has been home to Jordison’s projects dating back to Slipknot, will release Vimic’s debut album, “Open Your Omen,” in 2017.
But Jordison is also quick to shut down any suggestion that his leaving Slipknot was a mutual decision.
“I didn’t leave Slipknot. That got misattributed in the press,” he said. “It’s a bunch of bullshit.”
Jordison is splitting his time between Vimic and Sinsaenum, another metal band the drummer started in 2016. Sinsaenum released its debut album, “Echoes of the Tortured,” in July. Jordison expects to be on the road with the two bands in 2017.
Determining if a song he’s writing fits with a specific band isn’t always immediately obvious for Jordison, but the one constant is that the material is born from an emotional place.
“I can’t just sit down, pick up a guitar and write a song. Usually there’s an emotion, like I’m having trouble with something, or I’m happy about something,” Jordison said. “If everything is going normal, I can’t write with any substance. It’s a puzzle that always seems to come together; it just seems to take longer than I want it to. I can’t just sit down and write a riff because it’s a riff. It has to remind me of an experience or something in my life.
“That’s the beauty of why I continue to do this. The older I get, I’m not just trying to prove something; it has to mean something now. I’m not trying to recreate the old days. That music means so much to me, and it always will. I’m playing with the same fire, but with a different perspective.” ♦