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Slipknot’s Crahan Talks Mysterious New Percussionist ‘Tortilla Man’: ‘Everyone’s Really Happy’

The Clown also says the long-running group has a ‘whole new family.’

In addition to the fresh masks they recently unveiled in advance of the release of their latest album, We Are Not Your Kind, Slipknot founder and percussionist Shawn "Clown" Crahan spoke about the latest addition to their bone-crunching crew for Spotify's "Metal Talks" series.

"We just had a lot of things happen. We've been doing it so long. I just put my foot down. We changed all of our crew," Crahan said in the interview, posted on Monday (Aug. 12). "We're just a whole new family. We really wanted to bring it in. It's got nothing to do with everybody that was with us; it has to do with us trying to find each other and literally being happy with the nine of us being out here. 'Cause there's things happening all the time. We're older. I'm gonna be 50 in September."

Slipknot has yet to identify the percussionist who replaced departed member Chris Fehn — who left following a long-running pay dispute with the group — a gentleman that fans have taken to calling "Tortilla Face" or "Tortilla Man."

"Recently, we just had to get a new member. Things happen. It's nobody's fault," Crahan said, without diving into the story behind Fehn's departure, or explaining which crew members he was referring to; a spokesperson for the group was not available to elaborate on any crew changes at press time.

"These things happen. Humans are humans. Things happen. I always hate it when things change, and I always feel bad, but people have to be responsible for their own lives," Crahan said. "I can't tell people what to do or what I think — they have to make their own decisions. And like I said, we've been doing this a long time now. We're not just a baby band anymore. And we're all getting older. We were old to begin with. I started the band when I was 26, got signed when I was 29, and was 30 years old when I was on the road."

"Tortilla Man" (the origins of the name are unclear) first appeared in the video for the song "Unsainted" three months ago. Crahan said he's "ecstatic" about the latest recruit, who seems to be fitting right into the high-energy, hard-pounding groove. "It's just nice that, at this stage of the game, when something like this happens, we can actually get someone who appreciates it and will bring 190 percent," he said, noting that it would be easy to get low about the things written about the group. 

With more than half a dozen former members — including bassist Paul Gray, who died in 2010 — Crahan said there is "much love for all the guys" no longer in the band. "If Slipknot's gonna continue, we've gotta pick up the pieces and we've gotta do the best we can for the culture," he said. "So that's what we do. So we just picked up the pieces recently, and we've done what we've done, and we're moving on and everyone's really happy, and we're very happy. Sorry things had to change."

Listen to Crahan's "Metal Talks" interview on Spotify below.


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