Sid Wilson Recalls Showing Iowa to Papa Roach Drummer: “His Face Drooped Out like When You Have a Seizure”


It’s a generally agreed-upon statement that Iowa is one of Slipknot’s heaviest and most sonically-punishing records. It blew a lot of listener’s minds when they first heard it, including Papa Roach’s drummer when the two bands were on tour together. In a new interview with Revolver, Slipknot’s Sid Wilson recalls the first time he showed the album to Papa Roach drummer Dave Buckner.

“We had the Iowa album when we were on tour with Papa Roach. And to Dave, the original drummer, we were like, ‘Hey man, you want to listen to the new album?’ I don’t think it was out yet. And he was like, ‘Yeah.’

“He comes up on the bus and I think we were into maybe the third track. And I just watched his face and he started getting uneasy, and he’s looking around at the ground and stuff. And then he looks up and I’m looking at him, and his face collapses. One whole side of his face. And it drooped out like when you have a seizure.

“His whole face collapsed and it just stayed down there. His eye, everything. The music collapsed his face. It destroyed his whole world right in front of me. I was like, ‘Are you OK?’ And he’s like, ‘I got to go.’ And he stood up and [we were like], ‘What the fuck?’

“And I’m not lying. It wasn’t just him making a face. This thing [pointing to his face] lost all will to live. One whole side of his face. He left, I looked at the guys, I’m like, ‘Oh my God, did we just fuck him up? I hope he’s OK.’ I don’t even really know what happened that day. He was still out there the rest of the tour and stuff … I guess he saw a doctor or something. But that’s how dangerous that shit was.”

Humorously, Buckner contacted Revolver to set the story straight—according to him, he heard the album for the first time in the studio, but agrees with the important point: that he felt like he’d had a stroke the night before.

“The *real* story is that me, Jacoby [Shaddix, Papa Roach singer], and Tobin [Esperance, bassist] went up to Houdini Mansion [Robinson’s studio] with the Slipknot guys while they were there recording Iowa. They played us the album in the mixing room with the volume cranked to 11. I left the room with my ears ringing, and when I woke up the next day and the left side of my face was hanging off my skull, totally paralyzed!

“I thought I had a stroke during the night! I immediately saw a doctor, and turns out I had Bells Palsey, which is triggered by trauma to the facial nerve that runs through the ear canal in the skull. Causes can include blunt force trauma, extremely loud noise, and, apparently, Slipknot! Slipknot music literally melts faces.”

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