Viral Air-Drumming Slipknot Kid Plays ‘Sulfur’ on ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’
Do you remember the viral video clip of five-year-old Caleb Hayes air-drumming at a Slipknot show that circulated in early 2020? It caught the attention of Slipknot, who showered the little one with praise, and evidently the producers of The Ellen DeGeneres Show were impressed enough to invite the sensational drummer to play "Sulfur" on the daytime talk show.
The plain fact that Slipknot's music is being played on such a program is almost unimaginable. The sheer aggression and heaviness of the band's music does not quite align with the presumed listening habits of Ellen's core viewing demographic and it's a sign of just how far heavy metal has come, especially music as extreme as Slipknot's. Perhaps as a collective society we have finally moved on past the tired "Cookie Monster vocal" bit and have come to realize that harsh vocals are a legitimate art form.
Or, what's more likely, is that the viewers of Ellen are simply blown away by young kids with talent well beyond their years, which is the case with Hayes, who slayed it on TV.
"My next guest is the cutest little drummer I have ever seen. All the way from Cumbria, England, please welcome seven-year-old Caleb Hayes," DeGeneres said, introducing the young drumming star.
Outfitted with a leather jacket (the leather jacket frequently worn by metalheads for decades), the mohawk-rocking youngster put on a clinic for the live studio audience and viewers at home, playing "Sulfur" off Slipknot's 2008 album All Hope Is Gone.
After his performance, he sat down next to DeGeneres for a brief interview, where he revealed he has been drumming since he was two years old. Unsurprisingly, he named Slipknot as his favorite band and, surprisingly, he said that thinking about chocolate helps distract him from the pressures of performing.
Leading up to a big surprise, DeGeneres suggested that Hayes has been saving up for something special — a Jay Weinberg signature snare drum. "Okay, well then we'll give it to you," the host told Hayes, who was in complete disbelief that he had been gifted the snare drum of his dreams.
Weinberg even gave him a shoutout on Twitter and exclaimed, "Once again, you've made all your big brothers in Slipknot proud! What a way to own the moment, and deliver a fantastic performance. So stoked to see you rip it up on The Ellen Show, and that you're heading home with a new SJC Drums snare."
Watch the full performance and interview further down the page.