Speaking to the sense of community that remains at the core of all things Slipknot, drummer Jay Weinberg launched the Jam With Jay digital campaign this year. In what would evolve into a game changing fan-to-band interactive experience, Weinberg solicited musicians of all walks, from all corners of the globe to take his uploaded drum tracks to Slipknot anthems and submit their very best - effectively creating a digital jam session with universal reach.
Inspired by his connection with the guys at Two Minutes To Late Night and their quarantine series of remote jams in their Bedroom Covers series, Weinberg envisioned and fan-driven version, planting the seed of what would eventually become the online juggernaut. What resulted with the launch of Jam with Jay was a wave of entries from some incredibly talented participants - literally thousands of submissions from musicians of all levels. Vying for the chance to score a hefty prize pack and to get some face time with Weinberg, the drummer took on the added workload of vetting each and every submission personally (even editing all but one of the finalists) to ensure that very best had their shot at earning the top spot in the inaugural event.
For the finale, after months of collecting submissions, Weinberg joined host Daniel DeKay for an extensive streaming event that saw the duo sort through a skilled selection of the very best entries from throughout the campaign. Combined with a real time chat going off on an international level, fans from all over the world had their chance to chime in as each jam session was aired and considered - ultimately having the final vote on who took the title.
As the guys shifted through the finalists, there was plenty of discussion about the various facets of Weinberg's creative world. In addition to his hefty workload among the nine of Slipknot, he spoke about being immersed in an "iron sharpens iron" kind of environment and because of that, he believes anything worth doing is worth overdoing. For Weinberg, that means diving into each day with a unique artistic drive that includes making music, performing, painting, and doing his very best at making sure he has his finger on the pulse of the community with Knotfest.com at the core.
Underscoring his commitment to his craft and why his is championed, during the broadcast Weinberg was awarded the 2022 Readers' Poll for Modern Drummer's Metal Drummer of the Year.
During the broadcast Weinberg also spoke about the kind of anticipation that swelling over the prospect of new Slipknot music that is imminent. DeKay recalled the electricity of the live debut of "The Chapeltown Rag" during last year's Knotfest Los Angeles spectacular and how fans' collective appetites are rabid for more. According to Weinberg, the band is equally as eager, now armed with a completed new album and sorting the details of exactly how it will be unleashed on the world.
Citing this record as a "new and interesting chapter in Slipknot's sonic progression" and explaining that the experimentation was certainly amped for this go 'round, Weinberg confided that exploring new creative terrain in that way is what gets him excited as a artist and a member of a bigger collective. Referencing songs like "Spiders" from We Are Not Your Kind and going further back with "Tattered & Torn" and the 15-epic in "Iowa" Weinberg discussed how pushing the envelope has always been part of the band's creative DNA. He shared that while this album has the kind of maximum volume kind of aggression that has is synonymous with the band, there are creative tangents that shows the band is still brave enough to challenge themselves artistically and bring the fans along for the ride.
Further professing his love for the experimental side of the band, Weinberg said it has always been a dream of his to do a show or series of shows of strictly the Slipknot anomalies - including cult favorites like "Skin Ticket", "If Rain Is What You Want", and maybe "The Virus of Life" for the first ever live performance to showcase the kind of versatility that exists within the collective of the band. He went on to cite how playing "Snuff" live during the most recent touring cycle has been one of his favorite stretches of the set - adding dynamics to the band's live presentation that really emphasizes their range.
When asked to summarize the progression from We Are Not Your Kind to this new album with a single adjective, Weinberg seemed at a loss. What he did explain was that fans have never heard Slipknot like this before - a descriptor that hurls a gas can on an already raging fire of anticipation among the band's most passionate followers.
The guys also spoke about Weinberg's start with Slipknot just prior to the recording of .5: The Gray Chapter. Jay recalled being all of 23 years old and getting into a room with the band with very little notice and literally being asked, "Do you know any of our songs?" He shared how they would go onto jam some 20-something songs and though it wasn't as polished as he would have hoped, the potential was obvious.
Weinberg shared that in the last decade he has been with the band he has learned that playing the music is only a small part of what it takes to be fully Slipknot. Citing work ethic and ethos among the intangibles that are most important, the drummer talked about how all of that really is channeled into the kind of live catharsis that erupts onstage nightly with any Slipknot show. He added that the energy that is reciprocated and shared between the stage and the crowd is huge driver in what creates the complete Slipknot experience and what ultimately creates something more than a concert.
Watch the complete Winner's Stream from the Jay With Jay finale below via TWITCH