Dude Who Built Jay Weinberg’s First Slipknot Drum Kit Didn’t Know What He Was Making
The world of Slipknot is perpetually shrouded in secrecy. When drummer Jay Weinberg and bassist Alessandro Venturella joined the fold for 2014’s .5: The Gray Chapter, their identities were meant to remain confidential, until the Internet confirmed the musicians’ involvement. And over a year after adding “Tortilla Man” as their new percussionist, the band still won’t confirm that it’s Michael Pfaff, who plays keyboards in Shawn “Clown” Crahan’s Dirty Little Rabbits, behind the mask… even though, once more, sleuthing fans have already determined this to be the case.
But lest there was any doubt that Slipknot put a premium on furtiveness, Weinberg has now revealed that when he had his first drum kit for his tenure with the group commissioned, he had to conceal its true purpose from its designer SJC Drums co-founder Mike Ciprari.
Weinberg shared the lengthy story on Instagram, starting with a photo of the first kit he ever designed, two years before becoming entangled with the ‘Knot:
“In the summer of 2012, I took my first shot at designing my own drumset. I drove up to the SJC Drums warehouse with some acrylic and spray paints. They gave me three shells and a corner of their shop, and I made this… thing? 🥴
“The ‘PokéVomit’ kit, as I came to call it, had a brief touring life, and resides in Europe at the moment. I love this drumset and can’t wait to play on it again someday. It’s very punchy, for its smaller dimensions, and the addition of SJC’s ‘Butcher’ badges to color-match elements of the shell was a good call by Mike Ciprari.
“Painting this drumset was a thrill. Such a trip to paint on a circular canvas; hoping things would connect, mirror each other, make sense, and line up on the other side. I’m still pretty stoked with the design. But these wouldn’t be the last drums I’d design with SJC. Not by a long shot…
The story then continued in a separate post, which featured photos of the Slipknot kit itself:
“A year and a half later, when I first started playing with Slipknot, I knew that when we would eventually start playing live, I’d need a drumset that would match the intensity and complexity of the music we’d be playing. The three-piece I had painted wasn’t gonna cut it.
“I vividly remember calling Mike Ciprari after recording The Gray Chapter, and sort of non-explaining: ‘OK…something’s happening, and I can’t tell you about it…but…can you make two giant double-bass kits with five toms and snare drums and marching snares and gong drums by mid-October?…..Yeah, no, I can’t tell you what it’s for…..OK, yeah, it’s going to be awesome…..OK, great.’
“A testament to Mike and SJC’s trust and character: they beasted-out two copies of the touring The Gray Chapter kit: an ‘A-Rig’ all-mirrored finish on Maple shells and a ‘B-rig’ set of stained Bubinga shells. To this day, it blows me away that Mike was willing to journey down the rabbit hole — given ZERO information — and understand that something larger than explanation was happening.
“Mike’s first time finding out what that drumset was built for was right before our first show together Knotfest 2014, as he and Lindsey Ciprari were seated next to [Rancid drummer] Branden Steineckert and my mom. I finally got to thank him profusely for this tank of a kit after the show.
“Sitting at those mirrored drums every night was boot camp, and I’m grateful for SJC Drums’ support throughout the process. A process that doesn’t stop, ever. Thankfully, neither does SJC.”
You can check out both posts, complete with the pics, below.
Speaking of Slipknot: Clown recently revealed that the band has been working on new music. I suspect we still won’t get a new Slipknot album before 2024ish, but good to know they’re already thinking about it.