#2 – Paul Gray – Bass
Full Name: Paul Dedrick Gray
Date of Birth: April 8, 1972
Place of Birth: Los Angeles, California (but he was raised in Iowa, just like all members of Slipknot)
Date of Death: May 24, 2010
Place of Death: TownePlace Suites – Urbandale, Iowa
Nickname: The Pig, Balls
Currently Paul wears a very thick latex mask with deep eye and mouth areas. The mouth area of the mask has a dense amount of metal bars which obscure his mouth. The nose of the mask is almost flush to the rest of the mask and has the characteristics of a pig’s snout with the nostrils appearing face on. There is also a large amount of grazed and scratched areas on the mask and even stitches in some places, making the whole mask look damaged. It’s a variation of his Vol. 3 mask, just more destroyed. There are various color schemes: dark gray, gray with white color.
During the self titled era, it was a halloween pigs mask, in IOWA Paul wore a latex pig’s face mask. MEANING: “Right now it represents breathing problems and it’s somewhat more uncomfortable than the last ones.” During the Vol. 3 era Paul was wearing a hard Hannibal lecter style, which had a styled crack from a bullet taken to the forehead.
Side Project: None
Paul is the cofounder of Slipknot with Shawn and Anders (Ex-Slipknot Singer). Paul is a friendly down to Earth guy. Paul was not born in Des Moines Iowa, like the rest of the band, he was born in L.A. and moved to Iowa when he was 16. Paul has appeared in bands such as Vexx, Body Pit, Anal Blast and Inveigh Catharsis – all before Slipknot. he also made an appearance with “The Havenots”. Besides Slipknot, Gray has filled in as bassist for Unida during their 2003 tour, appeared on Drop Dead, Gorgeous’ Worse Than a Fairy Tale, toured briefly with Reggie and the Full Effect and appeared on the Roadrunner United project, performing bass on “The Enemy” and “Baptized in the Redemption” from the project’s album The All-Star Sessions. He also performed the song (SIC) live unmsaked along with Corey and Joey during the Roadrunner Records special anniversary concert.
At the beginning of 2008 Paul married Brenna. He has her name tattooed on his fingers.
He is one of the 2 of Slipknot‘s founding line-up remaining in the band, and the only one who has maintained his original role in the band.
Here’s what Paul has written about himself on his myspace:
“People say Im too fucking nice, I guess they’re right.They say nice guys finish last,but not to be cocky, I know I’m not in last fucking place and that’s for fucking sure! Karma, what goes around comes around.What I think is funny is why would you wanna take advantage of your friends. The ones that when it comes down to it would get your back everytime. I wonder how many people started their saving accounts ( you people know who you are) It’ll come back to me and it sure as fuck will come back to you. assholes!! AND IF YOUR GONNA CALL MY CELL PHONE AND TALK A BUNCH OF SHIT , UNBLOCK YOUR NUMBER OR LEAVE YOUR NAME SO I CAN RESPOND, AND TALKING SHIT ABOUT MY WIFE ISNT GOING TO FLY EITHER I’M NOT THAT FUCKING NICE. YOU JEALOUS SCARED FUCKING PUSSIES”
That just shows what kind of person Paul is.
On May 24, 2010 Slipknot lost their brother – Paul Gray. But he will never be forgotten.
On May 25, 2010, the band held a formal press conference, stating: “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 a really great person. He’s going to be sadly missed, and the world is going to be a different place without him.” – Shawn Crahan
Brenna Gray: “Paul was my husband. He was an amazing person and I just want people to remember him for just that, and his daughter will remember him for the way he was.”
Quotes and Interviews
“When we go to radio stations for interviews, we wear the masks and never fail to freak people out. Are the masks a fetish thing? I’m definitely into that stuff. Des Moines definitely has more than its fair share of freaks.”
“Paul, number 2 and I play bass”
Paul Gray On Fans’ Dedication
Paul about the Maggots: “I don’t know how they do it, man, but they find my address, my actual home address, and I’ll get letters and paintings. I have huge murals, big paintings of us that these guys put hours and hours into. And they’ll send them into my house. I don’t know how they do that, but … it’s really cool,” he laughed. “I’ve had people just show up at my house, and they’re sitting on my back porch drinking beer, waiting for me to come home. And, like, I come home at 2 in the morning and there’s these kids just sitting there, and I’m like, ‘What the fuck are you doing here?’ and they’re like, screaming and, like, ‘Can we come in and hang out?’ And I’m the kind of person who lets them in, tells them, ‘Here, shit, have another beer, whatever, I’ll drive you home.’ It’s crazy, man.”
In the June (2009) issue of Terrorizer Paul Gray talks about ten years of torment. In this 5 page article #2 talks about his influences, first steps in metal and all these years with Slipknot. Below you can read some excerpts from the magazine.
“After the third record, everything went a lot easier so when it came to ‘All Hope Is Gone‘, we took our time and it paid off. The tours have been the biggest we’ve ever done and it’s all been pretty low maintenance so far. We’re still fuckin’ here. I’m just going to hope that it continues that way. Hopefully we can do this a lot longer. I’m not talking Rolling Stones long, though!”
“You know what, man? I think we’ve done a lot for extreme metal. We’ve taken out a lot of bands that wouldn’t normally have a chance. I know Ozzy wouldn’t put them in an arena, but we would.”
“I’ve got to meet all these bands that have influenced us. That’s what’s been so amazing for me, I’ve got to meet all these bands that I grew up worshipping, you know what I mean? I found out that they’re fans of my band and it’s just amazing to me.” One of the first times we went to England [Judas Priest guitarist] Glenn Tipton came out and he breought his kid and said, ‘Do you mind of my son gets a picture?’ and I said, ‘Do you mind if I get one with you? Fuck, dude! You’re Glenn Tipton!’ Stuff like that, man, it goes on and on. It’s been a pretty remarkable ten years.”
#2 has also picked 5 albums which influenced him the most. Paul talks about albums from Mercyful Fate, Slayer, Testament, Carcass, and Venom.
Kerrang! Magazine: A lot of people didn’t expect you to get past your second album, what would you say to anyone who might count you out?
Paul Gray: “It’s funny, I don’t really care if anyone counts us out. I know the true Slipknot fans are there, they’ve always supported us, and the people who want to hate? I don’t give a shit. Start your own fucking band. If you think you can do better, go do better.”
Here’s some quotes from Paul’s ArtistDirect Interview…
ArtistDIRECT: You guys need that release that Slipknot gives as much as the fans need it.
Paul Gray: “I definitely need it! I know there are kids that need it. I couldn’t tell you how many emails and letters I get from kids thanking us for being the band that’s gotten them through their hard times in life. Kids have said that they would’ve killed themselves if they didn’t have our band. Fuck man, it’s the same thing with me. If it weren’t for this band, I don’t know exactly where I’d be at either. Slipknot has definitely been something that we’ve loved and hated, but it’s something we’ve always needed. It’s a really good time now.”
ArtistDIRECT: It’s the perfect time for this record to come out. The fans have been waiting, and this whole genre needs a good kick in the teeth.
Paul Gray: “It definitely needs a kick in the teeth. It went from rap-metal to, “Hey, I’m an emo kid with a lame haircut and skinny jeans” [Laughs]. These days, it seems like everybody listened to At The Drive-In and decided that they were going to be in a metal band at the same time. Every fucking band’s doing that. I love death metal, and I love black metal. I won’t say anything bad about that shit. As far as bands in our scene, I haven’t bought a new record in a long time. I listen to my old Slayer records or my old David Bowie records. Of the newer bands that are out, I can’t think of many that I’m into. I think Job for a Cowboy fucking rules. Those dudes are pretty awesome. I liked Behemoth’s last record. It’s weird because Slipknot‘s at the level now where it became cool not to like Slipknot. We got a little bit of backlash. Kids that are 16 or 17 will say we’re “Nu Metal.” These kids try to tell me what true metal is when I was at the fuckin’ Powerslave concert in 1984. They weren’t even born yet! [Laughs] I don’t care. Dude, I know metal. I’m 36-years-old, I’ve been in metal bands for 23 years. I was doing Metallica and Slayer covers when I was 13. I’ve paid my dues, and I’ve paid my respects to the metal gods for that shit. I’m not going to be told by some teenybopper motherfucker that we’re “Mall metal” when I know what the fuck we’re doing. People can say whatever they want, but when we play, we’re playing in front of 20,000 people every night. Slipknot‘s bigger than ever. I’m so fucking proud and happy to be in this band. I’m so thankful for the fans that have stuck by us through all these years. We have the most loyal fans in the world, and we’re gaining new ones every day. If any detractors can do it better, they should start a band and write a record, man. I’ll buy it from them [Laughs].”
ArtistDIRECT: Slipknot initially mixed a death metal technicality with a personal lyrical style that kids could identify with en masse. Typically, music this heavy doesn’t have lyrics like that. It’s one thing that’s always been so brilliant about the band.
Paul Gray: “We all come from thrash and death metal backgrounds. Everything Corey writes is from the heart; it’s his own catharsis. He’s letting everything out that he’s been through. He puts it down on paper, and a lot of kids can identify with what he writes. He wasn’t like, “Hey, kids could get into this.” He writes this way because he actually needs to let go of it. It’s stuff that he’s letting out so he can feel better. Kids do latch onto that, man. Life is the same for everybody. You’re born. You grow up. You go to school. You get a job. Then you meet whoever you’re going to meet and you start some kind of family life. Then you die. There’s a lot of horrible shit that happens in between all that. We just talk about it. All of the bullshit in between is what drags you down and holds you back. If you hold onto that bullshit, keep it inside and fucking let it take over, it’ll eat you up. We put that on record, and we get it out there. It helps us get through to the next day. If some kid hears it, can identify with it, and it helps him from hurting himself or someone else, then that’s it. Even if the music just stops that kid from crying or makes him stoked for the day, then we’ve won, and that’s all we’ve ever wanted to do.”
Here are some Paul Gray quotes on Slipknot and some of the band’s albums from the Revolver Magazine – Slipknot Special Issue (Novermber 2008)
In the Beginning. “Before Slipknot, I was in Body Pit with Andy Colsefni on vocals, and Mick [Thomson] and Donnie Steele on guitars. And I had played with [drummer] Joey Jordison in Anal Blast. But the basic idea of Slipknot started in ’92 with Shawn, and all we really knew from the start was that we wanted to do something with extra percussion.”
“We had a show booked and we didn’t have a name, but we had a song called “Slipknot,” and that rolled off the tongue pretty easy. Then one day we were rehearsing and Shawn put on this clown mask and would not take it off. At first, it pissed us off, but then we went, “Man, that’s kind of creepy.” So, we decided to all wear masks so no one would know who we were. After our shows, we’d leave with our masks on, go home and change, and then come back dressed normal to find out if people liked us or hated us.”
Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat. “We decided to get a CD out right away even though we had only done a couple shows. It cost $200 an hour, it took forever, and we were working our asses off to pay for it. The producer, Sean McMahon, was Christian, and he was in turmoil because he thought we were all satanic. We’d constantly be watching videos of real people dying, and he would walk in, stand there for a couple minutes, and then have a mental breakdown and lock himself in the bathroom for a few hours.”
“We got a wake-up call when we were in a battle of the bands with [Corey Taylor's original, and current other, band] Stone Sour. Show-wise, we blew them away, but Corey’s fuckin’ voice was killer. We read back what the judges wrote and the only negative things they said were about our vocalist. He could do death metal, but he would try to sing, too, and it just sounded horrible.”
Slipknot “Sophia John was managing us and one day she said, “If you could have anybody listen to your album, who would it be?” And we said, “Ross Robinson.” Then one day she was on the phone talking to [Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival co-founder] John Reese, and she asked him if he knew how to contact Ross. Well, it turned out he managed Ross.”
“He said he would produce the album without us having a record deal. Then we got an offer on the table from Sony. They had a guy named Vince Bannon, [the VP of Artist Development] who came to Vegas to see us at the Edam Festival. But when we got home, the fucking deal was null and void because Bannon said, “If this is the future of music, I don’t want no part of it.” So Ross signed a deal with Roadrunner.”
“One night I met the craziest groupie ever. We were in the back lounge messing around and everybody else were in their bunks sleeping. All of a sudden, this girl tells me to hit her and I said, “What?” So she fuckin’ punches me in the face. Then she says it again, “Hit me.” And I’m like, “No,” and she kept fucking punching me. Finally, after getting hit in the fucking face 10 times, I said, “Seriously, I will fucking hit you if you do it again.” So she hit me again and I fucking slapped her. And that’s what she totally wanted. It turned into this full-on Wrestlemania with us fighting and getting it on. It was the weirdest thing. And when it was all done it was, like, four in the morning, and I’m trying to get her off the bus. I’m thinking everyone’s still asleep, and when we step out of the back, everyone’s sitting there in the front lounge.”
“There was this Cleveland band Mushroomhead that had masks, too. So when we went to Cleveland we were ready for some shit. There were about 20 Mushroomhead fans that were whipping batteries at us. At one point, me and Jim jumped offstage, took our masks off, and started swinging at people.”
“One night we were in Cincinnati and Chris, who’s not a big drinker, had been drinking with [Deftones bassist] Chi [Cheng] all night and he’s wasted. So, in the middle of the night he gets out of his bunk to take a piss and he thinks his bunk is the bathroom. He sticks his dick in between the railing of the bunk, lifts the mattress like it was the toilet seat, and just starts pissing, and it all starts dripping down on Sid, who’s below him. So Sid starts screaming. He smelled it and tasted it, and he’s like, ‘It’s fuckin’ PISS!!!’ “
9.0: Live “The live album was awesome. I think we put out one of the best live albums of all time. Live After Death [by Iron Maiden] is great. But I would say Live After Death and then fuckin’ 9.0. While we were recording, we had a DAT machine. We were gonna do one show, but we thought people from Detroit would be stoked if they had a song on the album and people from L.A. would be happy ’cause there was a song from there. It was a pain in the ass to put together, though, because you had to listen to all the same songs from 50 fucking cities. You’d say, “I really like the way fuckin’ Detroit, Chicago, and Houston sounded.” And someone else would go, “Fuck you, that was the worst show!” So there was definitely a lot of figuring shit out. And that thing sold a lot of records for a live fucking album and there’s no overdubs. That’s the thing, too. All these bands do a “live” album and it’s a live recording with extra guitars and backup vocals. But when you get our live album, it really is us live.”
Here’s some excerpts from Playmusic Pickup Magazine’s interview with #2 of Slipknot
“It’s a really cool thing because the fans that have been with us since the beginning, and are still here, well that’s dedication. I can say I did the same thing: I grew up with Metallica,” explains Paul before adding: “I lost them for a couple of albums there, though!”
“If our music inspires people to get up everyday and go do that job then that’s really cool. Influence is a different thing,” he measures. “There’ve been bad things that have happened because of the band too. I hope we inspire people, I don’t wanna infl uence anybody. Infl uence is like a cult or something. We’ve had a few really horrible things happen, supposedly in the name of the band, infl uenced by lyrics or something like that and I wish they would have never happened. Hopefully if we do infl uence, it’s in a positive way.” When PMPU points out that it’s something you have no control over, Paul still protests, “It does affect you still.”
“I’m so proud of where we’re at and it comes down to a lot of hard work and a lot of sacrifi ce too,” Paul admits. “I’ve missed a lot of different things that happened with my family and friends that I KNOW they’re upset about. I can’t come home for a funeral when I’m in Portugal for one day, I’m sorry I can’t. I want to,” he adds, again “The other thing too is, as a band, we’ve been really good to each other and if someone needs to do something like that, we’ll just cut it off and let them go do their thing. I think that’s what’s kept this band going so long, the longevity is about understanding. Nine different guys; it’s a pretty complex relationship, so you really do have to know your boundaries and have respect for each other and know when people need their space or their time. We’re still going so I guess we fi gured it out pretty good.”
“Compromised at any point? No, we’ve never compromised. People will sometimes go ‘that’s selling out’ or whatever but I didn’t write music for other people to judge. We write it for us and hopefully fans will like it. If they don’t like it, tough! We don’t settle for anything. We do it ’til its right for us.”
Paul Gray Ibanez Interview: What is the song you’re most proud of on “All Hope Is Gone”?
Paul Gray: I really do like them all. I actually listened to the CD yesterday, and I’m very proud of it. It’s our heaviest album, and yet it’s our most experimental album. We’ve never done a song like “Snuff” before. If you listen to it, it’s still a Slipknot song all the way. It’s got that Slipknot feeling to it. I can’t think of any songs on the new record that I don’t like.”
First band – 1989- 1991: VeXX
Josh from Slipknot was guitarist/singer
Paul from Slipknot was bassist
Anders was drummer
Second band – 1991- 1993: Inveigh Catharsis Same line-up as above
However with a new wave of popularity in death metal, Paul formed a new band, named, Body Pit. In it came and began to take over, pushing bands such as Joey’s, Modifidious, out of the picture. (See Joey’s profile for M info). This band also employed the services of Mick Thomson. However despite this addition to the band, it soon broke up.
Third band – 1993- 1995: Body Pit
Mick: Guitar (Slipknot)
Donnie Steele (original Slipknot guitarist)
Danny Spain- drums (Deadfront)
Paul: Bass (Slipknot)
Fourth band – 1994: Anal Blast