Jay Weinberg is now the second member of Slipknot to visit the home of the largest Slipknot mask collection in the world, The House of Masks, after Sid Wilson went in late 2022. In a new video, the drummer tells the story behind each of his Slipknot masks, starting with the very first.
Weinberg joined Slipknot in 2014 after the departure of Joey Jordison, and at first he and fellow newcomer Alessandro “V-Man” Venturella’s identities hadn’t been revealed. Therefore, both musicians had different variations of masks for 2014’s .5: The Gray Chapter, 2019’s We Are Not Your Kind and 2022’s The End, So Far.
In The House of Masks’ video, the drummer sat down with AJ Good to explain the meaning behind each mask. Read some quotes about each mask below, and watch the full video toward the bottom of the page.
.5: The Gray Chapter
Weinberg recalled that the very first version of his .5: The Gray Chapter mask was much bulkier than the one he ended up using on tour for that album cycle.
“It wasn’t anything that we talked about. It just was the one,” Weinberg said. “I honestly didn’t know that I could ask to have another one made.”
The drummer explained that they’d spent a long time working on the album, and the masks weren’t really a focus until they started playing live shows.
“So the mask that I originally had made, I didn’t know anything about the construction of it. I didn’t know how heavy it should be, what it should feel like. I was jumping into that for the first time,” he recalled. “It was so fucking heavy, it was this solid rubber… The rubber was like, that thick off my face, and it had like three straps that kind of held my neck in place. I was like, if this is what I gotta wear, this is literal torture.”
That mask, in particular, was used in the photographs to promote .5, as well as for the video “The Devil In I.” But Weinberg found it unbearable to play in, so they recreated a lighter, more durable version of it.
“And that’s the only one I ever had,” he added.
We Are Not Your Kind
“My idea with it was to kind of take elements of this and act like there was this kind of ritualistic act of cleansing and bleaching it out. It definitely looks gnarlier than when it was first made,” Weinberg said. “But that was the idea, kind of sharpening some elements of what this was, kind of burning away some of the burlap stuff. There’s a patch with the logo on my forehead and I wanted to sharpen that and make it more like a carving.”
Upon being asked if Weinberg’s second mask was a tribute to the late Paul Gray, the drummer denied that that was the intention behind the design, but acknowledged the similarities between the two, especially because of the stapled mouth.
“I could say it’s accurate in that it definitely took on characteristics of Paul’s old masks. Wasn’t intentional, but I thought that that was cool, once people started to see that,” he added.
Weinberg had another version of this mask created, with slightly different colored accents, but he noted that he wore the original one more frequently during the We Are Not Your Kind album cycle.
The End, So Far
“That was definitely a step in a different direction,” Weinberg said. “It came about after we had finished the record. And to me, that’s always been what comes first… So finishing the record, what became evident to us was that this is the probably one of the most experimental things the band has ever done, and this very large leap in a new direction. I felt like this kind of characterized that.”
The musician added that in addition to representing the sonic changes the band had taken with the new album, he also wanted it to be symbolic of how he and the majority of the human population felt during the last few years while they’d been making it during the pandemic.
“That was a tough window of time to get through, of like, having the door slammed in our face,” he elaborated. “I came to Jim [Ojala, mask maker] with this sort of idea like, I want things to be different, I want it to reflect this anxiety and this confusion and sadness and all of that, and have that represented in this way.”
Some members of Slipknot debuted their The End, So Far masks on tour long before the album came out, when they were playing rescheduled shows from the We Are Not Your Kind era. Weinberg described this time period as being “weird,” because they knew the album was done and they were ready to embark on that album cycle, but they still weren’t playing any new songs or revealing album details at the time.
This mask is Weinberg’s favorite at this time.