What Every Member Of Slipknot Looks Like In Real Life

Correction 5/2/23: A previous version of this story stated that Mick Thomson has been in the band since 1999. Thomson has been in the band since 1996, not 1999.

Unless you have been living under a rock since the turn of the millennium, you are almost undoubtedly familiar with the metal band Slipknot. They burst onto the scene in 1996 with their debut album "Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat." But they truly became popular with the release of their 1999 self-titled album, which features the single "Wait and Bleed." That track earned them the first of their 10 Grammy nominations and introduced the world to their brand of nu-metal music. Their aggressive music and nihilistic attitude inspired millions of young metalheads to embrace their style, creating a legion of loyal fans known as "maggots."

What made Slipknot stand out more than the rest — besides their music — was their bizarre dress. Every member in the band wears stage attire that includes horror masks and jumpsuits to emphasize their mysteriousness. Over the years, these masks and costumes have changed, but they have always remained an integral part of Slipknot's stage show. 

For the first few years, not even their devoted fans knew what the band looked like behind the masks, as they always wore them during performances and even in interviews. Even today, it takes a little digging to find the men behind the masks. From Shawn Crahan to Michael Pfaff, this is what every member of Slipknot looks like in real life.

Shawn 'Clown' Crahan

More than 25 years after they debuted, the only original member left in Slipknot is the percussionist, Shawn "Clown" Crahan. Crahan was one of the founders of the band in 1995, recruiting the other members to join him. In addition to being a percussionist, Crahan also provides backing vocals on several tracks. He is known for eccentric onstage performances, which involve him hitting trash cans like drums, and he has also hurt himself a few times while going all-out during a show. Apparently, he used to sniff the corpse of a crow before shows to get his adrenaline pumping.

However, Crahan is far from your typical metalhead, admitting in a 2022 interview with the Independent that he has a soft spot for the music stylings of one Ariana Grande. In 2019, Clown experienced a great personal tragedy when his 22-year-old daughter Gabrielle died. In addition, he also stated in the interview that the deaths of former bandmates Joey Jordison and Paul Gray were tough on him, calling it "pretty heavy" to be the last original member of the band.

As you have probably guessed if you were not already familiar, Crahan gets his nickname from the clown mask that he wears onstage. However, it's not just any clown mask, but one with a sadistic smile and smeared makeup. Think the legendary Joker mask from Batman, but even more disturbed and scary. 

Craig '133' Jones

Though he is known for being a recluse and not saying much, Craig "133" Jones is one of the longest-tenured members of the band. Jones originally joined as a guitar player, though he is largely known for his sampling and keyboard work (via Jason Arnopp in "Slipknot: Inside the Sickness, Behind the Masks"). Jones has appeared on every single Slipknot album since their 1996 debut "Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat."

Of all the masks in Slipknot, Jones' might be the most recognizable. Though it has gone through variations and changes, Jones commonly uses a gimp mask as a base with numerous spikes pointing out of it. It is definitely one of the more intimidating masks in the band, as those spikes look like they could do some serious damage if they were to impale you.

Jones is notorious for not talking in interviews, and bandmate Corey Taylor relayed during a Q&A session with fans that it's not an act — he's like that with the band, too. Taylor claimed he went two years without having a full conversation with Jones, which is incredible considering they were playing together almost daily at times. Still, you can tell that Jones is beloved by his bandmates, even if he is the strong 

and silent type.

Mick Thomson

One half of the electric guitar duo that powers Slipknot, Mick Thomson has been in the band since their 1996 self-titled album. He is known for his virtuoso guitar playing that includes both rhythm and solo work, as well as for playing Jackson and ESP brand guitars. He is one of the most physically imposing members of the band, usually dwarfing the smaller members (like Sid Wilson) in photoshoots and onstage. Along with fellow guitarist Jim Root, Thomson writes all of his guitar parts. According to an interview they gave in Guitar World, they do not do a lot of planning before getting into the studio, preferring to make things as organic and new as possible.

His mask design has stayed relatively stable during his tenure in the band, though it has changed up slightly. Usually, the mask resembles a cross between an old-school hockey mask and a gimp mask. His eyes shoot out from the cutouts like laser beams into the soul.

In 2015, Thomson was charged with disorderly conduct following a violent altercation with his brother (via the Des Moines Register). 

[Featured image by Irene Sassu via Wikimedia Commons | Cropped and scaled | CC BY-SA 3.0]

Corey Taylor

Of all the members in Slipknot, Corey Taylor has by far had the most success outside of the band. He has been the lead singer of Slipknot since 1997, and has appeared on every album since their self-titled release in 1999. His stage antics are widely known, and he is one of the more interactive performers, constantly getting the crowd involved in the show. In addition to his work with Slipknot, he is also the lead singer for the band Stone Sour, which also features Slipknot guitar player Jim Root.

Of all the masks in Slipknot, Taylor's has probably evolved the most. It started off with fake dreadlocks sewn into a largely gray mask that wrapped around his head. Eventually, he dropped the dreadlocks and went to face-only masks. During an interview with Kerrang!, Taylor commented that the mask he unveiled in 2019 was purposefully designed to make fans uncomfortable, and that he wanted it to look less professionally designed and more authentic.

Outside of his life in music, Taylor is also a New York Times bestselling author. He has released several books and authored comic books and graphic novels.

Sid Wilson

Besides lead singer Corey Taylor, Sid Wilson, the man who controls the turntables and keyboards, might just be the most recognizable Slipknot member to the average fan. This is mainly due to his relationship with Kelly Osbourne, the daughter of metal god Ozzy Osbourne. They met all the way back in 1999, when Slipknot was just finding their footing. It's unclear when they started dating, but they revealed their relationship in early 2022. They welcomed their first child later that year, a boy named Sidney.

Wilson's mask has undergone many changes throughout the years, starting out as mainly a gas mask before morphing into various skulls. He has also experimented with masks that look like nods to the Transformers (pictured above), as he is a big fan of the series. In addition to playing in Slipknot, Wilson also has a solo career under the moniker DJ Starscream, which pays homage to the Transformers, too.

Wilson joined the band prior to the release of their self-titled album and has been with them ever since. During an interview with Revolver, Wilson revealed that in order to make an impression on band founder Shawn "Clown" Crahan, he head-butted Crahan repeatedly at an early Slipknot concert, showing his dedication and convincing Crahan on the spot to make him a member of the band.

Jim Root

If you play guitar and listen to rock or metal music, you have most likely heard of Slipknot guitar player Jim Root. In addition to appearing on every Slipknot album since their self-titled release in 1999, Root has also appeared on albums for the bands Mindless Self Indulgence and John 5, as well as on Slipknot member Sid Wilson's solo project DJ Starscream. He is also one of the main guitarists in the band Stone Sour, which he plays in with Slipknot vocalist Corey Taylor. Like fellow Slipknot guitarist Mick Thomson, Root is known for his incredible ability to play both rhythm and lead styles effectively.

According to an interview Root gave with Guitar World, he is one of the primary songwriters in Slipknot and is always looking for ways to evolve their sound. During the interview, Root also revealed that he was the main reason that bass player Alessandro Venturella joined the band following the death of longtime bassist Paul Gray in 2010.

Root is known for having one of the more stable mask designs in the band. They usually feature an array of zippers and a jester's face, often with large sockets for his eyes. Some of his masks, like the one pictured above, have almost channeled a Phantom of the Opera vibe, while others are just downright sinister, like his "Iowa"-period mask.

Chris Fehn

Chris Fehn was a percussionist and backing vocalist in Slipknot from 1998 until his departure in 2019 under acrimonious circumstances. Before his dismissal, Fehn had appeared on every Slipknot album from the 1999 self-titled to 2017's live album "Day of the Gusano." According to an interview Fehn gave in 2008, his first years in the band were full of hazing, and it was hard for him to fit in. They refused to let him record on the albums and did not give him a stage number like everyone else for what he felt was a long time. He described the treatment as "mental abuse."

In March 2019, Fehn filed a lawsuit against the band and members Shawn Crahan and Corey Taylor. He sued them over breach of fiduciary duty, breach of implied in fact contract, and unjust enrichment. Fehn alleged that Crahan and Taylor had gone behind Fehn's back and created multiple companies and LLCs that sold Slipknot merchandise, and he claimed they did so in order to get out of compensating him. A year and a half later, in September 2020, the lawsuit was sent to mediation (per MetalSucks); according to Rock Feed (via Loudwire), it was withdrawn that November. It's unclear if a settlement was ever reached.

Fehn's masks have always been distinctive for their long, Pinnochio-esque nose and zipper mouths. They looked every bit as sinister and malevolent as his bandmates', and added a nuanced layer of psychotic horror to his persona. 

Alessandro Venturella

When Slipknot's original bass player Paul Gray died in 2010, the band was absolutely devastated. Fans wondered how the group would ever be able to continue, considering Gray was such an integral and recognizable piece. Yet, in 2014, Slipknot finally hired his replacement, Englishman Alessandro Venturella. As he relayed in a 2019 interview with Musicradar, the reason he got the job was in part due to longtime guitarist Jim Root. Root and Venturella were friends, and Venturella was working as a guitar tech for fellow metal guitarist Brent Hinds of Mastodon.

One night while on tour in Atlanta, Root called Venturella — a guitarist by trade — and asked if he could set the band up with any bass players to audition. Venturella volunteered, learning to play bass on the fly just before the audition. In another interview Venturella gave in 2023 with Heavy Interviews, he talked about how at first the band wanted to keep his identity a secret. However, after a few promo shots captured his distinctive tattoos, the word quickly got out, and everyone knew Venturella was the new bass player.

Having not been in Slipknot nearly as long as most other members, Venturella's mask has not had the chance to evolve as much. His first mask looked like a cross between an orc and a piece of rock, and it has slowly morphed into looking like it consists of only his face muscles, stripped of skin — definitely one of the more frightening masks in the group.

Jay Weinberg

For most people, their first jobs out of college are usually something temporary and ephemeral — quick stops on their way to their larger career. Well, most people aren't Jay Weinberg. Upon graduating from the Stevens Institute of Technology in 2013 — with a business degree, no less — one of Weinberg's first jobs was to start playing drums in Slipknot (via Weinberg's website). Their longtime drummer Joey Jordison had just departed the band, and Weinberg immediately stepped in as his replacement. However, Weinberg wasn't just any college kid; he was already a seasoned veteran, having previously toured with bands like Against Me! 

Weinberg appeared on Slipknot's 2014 release ".5: The Gray Chapter," and has played on all releases since. According to an interview he gave with Metal Injection in 2016, he was actually still in school finishing up his final tests when he got the call to potentially join Slipknot. Needless to say, he jumped at the opportunity. He was a big part of the writing process for their 2014 album, and had been a fan of the band since he was a teenager.

Like fellow newcomer Alessandro Venturella, Weinberg's mask had not had as many iterations as most of his fellow members. They at first featured a zipper mouth and pentagram on the forehead, before slowly morphing into an all-white face with a sewn-shut mouth.

Michael 'Tortilla Man' Pfaff

Slipknot welcomed their newest member in 2019: percussionist Michael Pfaff. He is affectionately known as the "Tortilla Man," due to the interesting nature of his mask. Pfaff's story is a little different from the other newcomers in Slipknot, because they were actually able to hide his identity for a few years. Where they failed with Alessandro Venturella and Jay Weinberg, they succeeded with Pfaff, and his identity was not revealed until 2022, just prior to the start of that year's Knotfest Roadshow tour. Pfaff took part in a Reddit Ask Me Anything segment, where he revealed his identity and face for the first time.

Previously, internet sleuths had fingered Pfaff as the Tortilla Man, but no one could definitively say so until he revealed himself for the Reddit AMA. Though he joined in 2019, Pfaff is apparently still new enough that security does not always recognize him — even when he's in full attire — as evidenced by this Instagram video showing him being stopped from going onstage during a concert in 2022.

As you have probably surmised, Pfaff's mask looks like a cross between a serial killer and, well, a tortilla, complete with sinister vertical eye-slits and a disturbing zipper mouth. Who knew a tortilla could be so scary?

Paul 'the Pig' Gray

When Paul Gray passed away in 2010, a huge hole opened up in Slipknot. Gray had been one of the founding members and the group's bass player since 1995, appearing on every single Slipknot album until his death. He was one of the most beloved members of the band and his loss severely impacted them, especially lead vocalist Corey Taylor, who eventually got a tattoo of Gray in remembrance during a very emotional episode of "New York Ink." Gray's death was the result of a long struggle with substance abuse, which culminated in a tragic and fatal overdose.

Seen by many as the heart and soul of the band, Gray's masks went through some considerable changes during his time in Slipknot. First, it was a pig-face mask strapped to his head, which he eventually turned black. He later modified it to resemble the infamous Hannibal Lecter mask, and he looked truly deranged and possessed behind it.

If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Joey Jordison

For many young metal fans, the reason they started listening to Slipknot was due in no small part to original drummer Joey Jordison. Widely known for his incredibly virtuoso drumming, Slipknot concerts would frequently have drum solos featuring Jordison playing alone on his kit as it spun and flipped all over the stage. Jordison, along with Shawn Crahan and Paul Gray, was one of the original founding members of Slipknot, helping to form the band in 1995. He played on every album from 1996's "Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat." through 2008's "All Hope Is Gone," departing the band in 2013.

Though at first all that was said about him leaving the band is that it was for "personal reasons," he later announced that he had been diagnosed with transverse myelitis, a neurological condition that compromised his ability to drum effectively with his legs (via NME). After recovering, Jordison played in a number of bands, including Murderdolls, Scar the Martyr, and Vimic. Tragically, Jordison passed away on July 26, 2021, at the age of 46.

Jordison's mask remained relatively consistent during his time in Slipknot. It usually featured a lighter base with black paint, and his final one adopted a crown of thorns to adorn his horror mask. It was unsettling to say the least.