Joey Jordison, a founding member of Slipknot, who drummed for the influential metal band in its most popular period and helped write many of its best-known songs, has died Monday at age 46, his family said.
“We are heartbroken to share the news that Joey Jordison, prolific drummer, musician and artist passed away peacefully in his sleep,” his family said in a statement. “Joey’s death has left us with empty hearts and feelings of indescribable sorrow.”
No cause or place of death was provided.
Jordison grew up in Des Moines, Iowa, the eldest of three children, and began playing drums at age eight. He was already a veteran of the city’s metal scene when he founded the band that would become Slipknot in 1995, along with percussionist Shawn Crahan and bassist Paul Gray.
The three talked plans and concepts for the band in sessions at the gas station where Jordison worked. They would name the group after one of their early songs.
The group would become known for its rousing, epic live shows, with nine members wearing masks and sinister costumes and creating a massive, sweeping sound that, like other metal bands of the era, included elements of hip-hop.
Jordison often wore a white mask with black paint drippings and a crown of thorns when he performed.
Buzz grew through touring, including show-stealing appearances on the Ozzfest tour, and the band broke through to international popularity with its 1999 self-titled album. That was followed by the even more popular 2001 album Iowa.
Slipknot would become one of the bands credited with keeping hard rock alive and vital in the late 1990s and early 2000s, with grunge-era bands aging and fading.
Jordison was dismissed from the band in 2013. He later said it was because he had transverse myelitis, a neurological condition that left him unable to play.
His family said there will be a private funeral.