Slipknot Bassist Paul Gray Was Found Dead
Here’s a sad news for heavy metal fans.
The bassist for Grammy-winning metal band Slipknot, Paul Gray, was found dead Monday near the group’s home town of Des Moines, Iowa.
The circumstances of his death were unclear. His body was discovered at a TownePlace Suites hotel in Johnston, north of Des Moines, by a hotel employee.
According to the police, foul play isn’t suspected in the death of 38-year-old Gray, who was went by the stage monikers “#2″ and “The Pig.” An autopsy is expected on Tuesday.
Gray formed the band with Shawn “Clown” Crahan and Anders Colsefini in 1995, and emerged in the mid-1990s with an aggressive mix of heavy metal and a vocal style that included growling, rapping and singing.
Known for its grotesque masks, trashing sound and aggressive, dark lyrics, Slipknot released its self-titled debut in 1999, and it sold about 2 million copies. Being an unusual band, inspired by their heroes KISS, each member is identified by a number.
One of the biggest bands in the metal genre, the band has been known for extreme behavior during live performances , including urinating and vomiting on stage, according to biographies. They endearingly call their fans “maggots.”
Slipknot has collected seven Grammy nominations over the years, the nine-man band won a best metal performance Grammy in 2004 for its song “Before I Forget.” Concert industry trade publication Pollstar ranked Slipknot 18th in its Top 20 Concert Tours list in 2009.
Most of the band’s members grew up in the Des Moines area, and remained there. While some of its members actually lived rather humdrum existences with their families, Gray evidently preferred the hotel life.
A decade ago, Rolling Stone magazine reported that the soft-spoken musician lived in a local Holiday Inn. Upon his death, Urbandale Sgt. Dave Disney said that Gray had been staying at the hotel for “a couple days,” declining further comment.
Fans and friends were saddened by his sudden death. One of Gray’s friends, Papa Roach frontman Jacoby Shaddix said in a statement late Monday. Shaddix said, “Paul Gray was an awesome person on and off stage. He will be missed by many including myself. His spirit will live on through the killer music he wrote.”
Andy Hall, music director of Des Moines rock station Lazer 103.3, said he’d known Gray for 10 years. Hall also addeid that Gray was a talented bass player and one of the friendliest, most caring people he knew.
Regarding his death, Hall said, “It’s a devastating loss. Paul was a wonderful human being. This is a big blow, not only to the community of Des Moines but fans of metal at large, worldwide.” The radio station where Hall worked planned to broadcast an hour-long tribute to Gray on Monday night.
Keep playing the music up there, Paul, you’ll always be missed.
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