Slipknot’s Clown Explains How Joey Jordison Got to Fill In for Lars Ulrich at Metallica Festival Show
In a new interview with Download Festival, Slipknot percussionist Shawn 'Clown' Crahan looked back on the time in 2004 when now ex-'Knot drummer Joey Jordison was tapped as an emergency fill-in for Lars Ulrich for Metallica's headlining performance.
Jordison, alongside Slayer legend Dave Lombardo, were the two skinsman Metallica brought onstage in relief of Ulrich, who is said to have suffered an anxiety attack and was unable to perform that night.
While Lombardo and Metallica practically grew up together as bands and have familiarity with each other dating back to the early '80s, he only played the first two songs of the set, leaving the rest to the 29-year-old Jordison who had jammed with the group earlier that day in preparation for the big night.
Clown said the event was "probably one of the most rememberable, favorite times in my entire career," and added (transcription via Ultimate-Guitar), "I like watching people succeed, and it really makes me happy. I love that, I love watching people earn what they work for."
"Metallica runs really tight shit, you’re not going to penetrate it for anything. So, they took a jam, a practice room with them on tour," the percussionist continued, noting the rehearsal space resembled a "sea container."
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"They had called Joey at some point to come in and practice some of these songs. I guess some would say I’m an opportunist but I like to consider myself sort of an oracle at times," posited Clown, "So I followed with a camera, and I can remember they were in that sea container for what seems like at least 60 minutes, and I can remember just listening to Joey play all these Metallica songs, and at least three-quarters of them he didn’t play onstage."
Recollecting the atmosphere, he likened it to kids jamming in a basement.
"They were seeing which [songs] they were vibing and I can remember – I had my back against the sea container, and I could feel the rumble of the bass drum, and it was hitting my back. I just turned the camera off and closed my eyes," said Clown, who recently launched his own cannabis line.
Unfortunately, Clown wasn't allowed inside the container to watch his bandmate rehearse with the mighty Metallica, which he's still miffed about today, but harbors no ill feelings toward any of the band's members for restricting his access.
“They wouldn’t let me in. That pissed me off to this day — I was pretty pissed off. But, nothing but total loyalty to them, they’re our friends, I’ve always learned so much from them," enthused Clown, who admitted, "Being told to stay outside was even better because I just got to turn the camera off and think about one of my bros just ripping it up in there."
Metallica later presented the members of Slipknot with gifts as a thank you for letting them utilize Jordison's skills in a pinch (Clown received a hunting knife), to which Clown said, "I thought, ‘Well, shouldn’t we be thanking them? Somehow I feel like we need to thank them.'"
Calling the moment "surreal," Clown acknowledged Jordison was nervous before the gig, but that was typical of him anyway.
"He loves the show so much that his nerves would always get sort of the best of him because the will to want to play was so high, so you can just imagine how he was being in there with his gods. What a remarkable day! And that did, it blasted it all off, it was like a time capsule for the future. So we’re pretty honored and lucky," concluded the percussionist.
Watch Metallica's complete Download Festival 2004 set below.
Metallica Download Festival 2004 Set List
01. "Battery" @ 1:44 (with Lombardo)
02. "The Four Horsemen" @ 7:13 (with Lombardo)
03. Bass Solo @ 14:55
04. "For Whom the Bell Tolls" @ 15:52 (with Jordison)
05. Guitar Solo @ 20:30
06. "Creeping Death" @ 22:20 (with Jordison)
07. "Seek and Destroy" @ 30:03 (with Jordison)
08. "Fade to Black" @ 38:25 (with Larsen)
09. "Wherever I May Roam" @ 46:30 (with Jordison)
10. "Last Caress" @ 53:07 (with Jordison)
11. "Sad But True" @ 55:30 (with Jordison)
12. Guitar Solo #2 - 1:00: 58
13. "Nothing Else Matters" @ 1:03:00 (with Jordison)
14. "Enter Sandman" @ 1:08:50 (with Jordison)