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Slipknot announce departure of sampler Craig ‘133’ Jones

A mysterious new member replaced him in Austria last night (June 7)

By Joe Goggins

Slipknot, 2021
(Photo: Press)

Slipknot have announced that Craig Jones has left the band after 27 years.

The metal titans broke the news as they kicked off their latest tour in Austria last night (June 7). Jones, the band’s live sampler, was not present as they headlined the opening night of Nova Rock Festival near Nickelsdorf.

A brief statement posted to the band’s social media channels read: “To our fans, Slipknot is announcing that we have parted ways with Craig Jones. We wish Jones all the best for the future.”

He was replaced by a new, mystery member last night, suggesting that the departure had been in the offing for some time. It meant that Slipknot took the stage without two long-time members, with founding percussionist Shawn Crahan, better known as Clown, had already announced that he would be sitting out this European run for personal reasons.

“Hello to all of our fans, it’s the clown,” said Crahan in a statement. “I would like to take a moment to tell everyone that I’m back home supporting my wife through some health issues, and I’ll be back on the road as soon as I can.

“We’ve been through this before and as always, we appreciate the love and support, he concluded. “See all of you very soon.”

The departure of Jones means that the classic lineup of Slipknot continues to splinter. Long-time bassist Paul Gray died of an accidental drug overdose in 2010, before runner Joey Jordison departed the fold acrimoniously in 2013. He subsequently died in 2021.

Meanwhile, percussionist Chris Fehn left in 2019, also under a cloud, apparently relayed to financial disagreements. There is no word on the circumstances of Jones’ exit. He joined the band in 1996 and became known for his ‘head of nails’ mask, one that appeared inspired by the character of Pinhead in Clive Barker’s 1987 cult classic horror Hellraiser.

He was also known for his enigmatic nature, even by the standards of the masked outfit; he was the only member not to show his face in the 2006 documentary Voliminal: Inside the Nine. He unmasked publicly for the first time in 2010, at the press conference announcing Gray’s passing.