Industry veteran and respected heavy culture contributor Monte Conner has penned a poignant tribute to his friend and colleague in Joey Jordison.
Published via Variety, the former Senior Vice President of A&R at Roadrunner has enjoyed a more than three decade long career and has since gone on to become the VP of A&R at Nuclear Blast Records. He responsible for signing the band back in 1998 and ultimately setting into a. motion Slipknot's continued era of dominance.
Among the takeaways from the sincere tribute, Conner framed Jordison's contributions as more than a revered drummer, but rather as an accomplished songwriter, arranger and multi-instrumentalist with a knack for "the art of crafting huge choruses and hooks."
Conner would go onto detail how the band invaded his universe in 1998 when Midwest rep for Roadrunner Records came in raving about this band of masked madmen from Iowa. Connecting with the Des Moines radio rep, Conner would eventually get his hands on a demo of "Spit It Out." He explained that the track had all of the elements that would come to embody Slipknot and referred to the track as, "guttural and beautiful all at the same time, and completely untethered from tradition."
The unconventional element of the band was part of what intrigued Conner. He explained how listening to the track was a sort of revelation. "It did not fit any genre of metal, but seemed to take the best elements from the entire metal palette and combine them all into an utterly unique, multi-dimensional beast. And it was all driven by the foundation of Joey’s over-the-top, manic drumming style. Everything had coalesced and it felt like all the planets had finally aligned — I saw the band’s true potential and knew I had to sign them."
Conner would go onto revisit the first time he met the band following a 1998 industry showcase. He talked about how the band lined up one at a time, complete in coveralls and NO masks. He likened the procession like that band was going into battle. Conner then explained how almost immediately, Joey had his ear.
"I went backstage to hang with the band, and after a few minutes, Joey immediately pulled me aside. He not only had a vast knowledge of extreme and underground heavy metal, but he was an encyclopedia on all things Roadrunner Records. He wanted to talk about Deicide, Obituary, Suffocation, Sepultura and all his favorite bands on the label, and hear some insider stories. He knew as much about Roadrunner’s roster and history as I did, if not more — and I’d been with the label since 1987."
Throughout the essay, Conner spoke highly of Jordison's passion and talent - in fact, he referred to Jordison as one of the most talented musicians he has ever worked with. Describing Jordison's impact throughout metal as "all-too-short" through undeniably seismic, the tribute frames a larger-than-life persona as beautiful human and a true fan of the art.
Read the complete essay penned by Monte Conner - HERE