Today marks the eleventh anniversary of SLIPKNOT bassist Paul Gray‘s tragic death.
On May 24, 2010, The Des Moines Register reported that Gray had been found dead in room 431 at the TownePlace Suites Hotel in Johnston, Iowa.
On the day after Gray‘s death, May 25, 2010, the band, without their usual masks, held a formal press conference in Des Moines, Iowa. They did not take any questions from the media. The band, as well as Gray‘s brother, Tony, and wife, Brenna, paid tribute to him.
Shawn “Clown” Charan stated: “He was kind of the person in the band that really wanted everybody in the band to always get along and just concentrate on the band. He was a really great friend and just a great person. He’s going to be sadly missed, and the world is going to be a different place without him.”
Five years ago, SLIPKNOT frontman Corey Taylor penned a lengthy tribute to Gray — including reflections about his life, music and legacy — in an issue of U.K.’s Kerrang! magazine.
Corey wrote: “There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about him. When I’m on the road, the live shows bring back our times together. When I’m home, this house and the pictures in it remind me of good times and bad. When I’m listening to music, I think about the two of us, cranking new and old tunes in his car or mine, rocking out like little kids and giggling because the stuff is so awesome.”
“I think that’s the overall memory I cherish the most about him: his energy and his excitement, Corey continued. “Even if you weren’t ‘feeling’ something musically or anything else to do with the band, he was the world’s best cheerleader. After one conversation with him, you’d be so ready to play or tour or record or whatever that you’d be jumping out of your skin. Whenever I’m feeling jaded, I remember that. I remember this gift that he and I and the rest of SLIPKNOT were able to buld together.”
“I had the privilege of making music with Paul Gray for 13 years. I learned so much from that man that I still use his idealogy and methods to this day,” he added. “I got to travel the world with him. I got to see things not a lot of others would ever hope to in their lifetimes. He and I built a career out of passion, music, anger and art. We may have had our ups and downs, but he loved every minute of it. I know I did.”