To varying degrees – and among other reasons – each member of Slipknot uses his mask(s) to hide who he really is. According to bassist Alessandro “V-Man” Venturella, however, that’s not always a foolproof tactic, as his unique tattoos inevitably gave away his identity prior to the release of 2014’s .5: The Gray Chapter.
In a recent chat with YouTube channel HEAVY Interviews, Venturella revealed that he anticipated his identity leaking before the band’s fifth studio LP – which also marked the arrival of drummer Jay Weinberg, who replaced Joey Jordison – came out.
You see, Venturella took over for original bassist Paul Gray – who died in 2010 – and although both he and Weinberg appeared in the video for lead single “The Devin In I,” neither wanted to be formally introduced just yet. Nevertheless (and much to frontman Corey Taylor’s unhappiness), it happened.
As transcribed by Blabbermouth, Venturella said that he didn’t get in trouble for it, explaining:
It was a funny one, because I remember saying, “Should I put some black tattoo gloves on or something like that?” And they were, like, “Ah, no one’s gonna get it.” [Laughs] And I was, like, “Okay.” I’ve worked for quite a few high-profile bands. If it’s not gonna be called out by a fan, it’s gonna be called out by someone in a teching position or someone from another band going, “Oh, that’s fucking V-man.” [Laughs] “That’s V-man’s tattoo.”
To his point, he’d previously worked as a guitar tech for several acts (such as Coheed and Cambria, Architects and Mastodon). Plus, he was also a member of Krokodil and Cry for Silence, and those prior gigs undoubtedly helped some Slipknot fans make the connection.
Venturella continued [also via Blabbermouth]:
I mean, once you’ve seen [my tattoos], it’s pretty [obvious who it is]. And then there was also a good grace period of six months where I just disappeared off the face of the planet. And I was getting messages. I couldn’t tell anyone what I was doing. I was, like, “I’m just away at the moment.” I think it kind of got pieced together pretty quickly.
Of course, Venturella’s been an indispensable part of Slipknot ever since. For instance, his contributions to .5: The Gray Chapter surely helped it get nominated for Best Rock Album at the 2016 Grammy Awards. Fast-forward six years and the band’s latest LP – The End, So Far? – made Loudwire’s list of the 50 Best Rock + Metal Albums of 2022.
So, did you know about Venturella being in Slipknot prior to the band officially disclosing it? Let us know!
Also, be sure to check out his full chat with HEAVY Interviews below: