Slipknot have finally provided official confirmation of the identity of their newest member.
The percussionist and backing vocalist who replaced Chris Fehn in 2019 had come to be known affectionately as ‘Tortilla Man’ by fans on account of the colour and texture of his original mask; the band had declined to reveal his true identity.
Today, though (March 16), the metal titans shared a social media post to promote his ‘Ask Me Anything’ session on Reddit with a new photograph that confirms that Tortilla Man is in fact Michael Pfaff, who has previously played keyboards in Slipknot bandmate Shawn Crahan’s other band, Dirty Little Rabbits.
The photo shows Pfaff, in full stage gear and mask, holding a sign that says “I am Michael Pfaff”, along with the details of the Reddit Q&A. The Twitter caption read “You’ve been warned.” Previously, amateur sleuths among the band’s fanbase had deduced Pfaff’s identity based on his stature, posture, and the fact that he is bald.
Slipknot, though, had never confirmed this until now – not counting an accidental reveal of Pfaff’s name in 2020, when they made a range of face coverings available styled after each individual member’s masks; Pfaff’s covering initially was listed on the group’s online store as “Pfaff Neck Gaiter Face Cover,” before it was quickly changed to “New Guy Neck Gaiter Face Covering.”
The post appears to show that the band have softened their initial stance on new members, which was to keep their identities secret. In 2015, fans quickly deduced who new bassist Alessandro Venturella was, based on distinctive hand tattoos, while a leaked personnel list from a tour later that year revealed drummer Joey Jordison’s replacement to be Jay Weinberg, son of E Street Band sticksman Max Weinberg.
Pfaff reflected on the secrecy in the Reddit Q&A. In response to a question about how difficult it was to remain anonymous, he wrote: “It was pretty hard. These days everybody is on the internet and has a phone….you could tell a person at the grocery store and the next thing you know it’s on the internet. I flew to LA twice before my wife even knew.” He added that he enjoyed watching the mystery play out, telling another user: “It was the best. Watching it all unfold was amazing. The theories, the detectives. amazing.”
Pressed for more details about Slipknot’s forthcoming new record, which frontman Corey Taylor has confirmed for a 2022 release, Pfaff declined. He did, however, reveal another crucial tidbit: asked what the best tortilla-based meal he’d had on the current tour was, he replied: “I’m a chicken fajita guy. Flour tortilla.”