Brenna Gray, the widow of Slipknot bassist Paul Gray, was interviewed for the January/February 2011 issue of Revolver magazine, which remembers many of hard rock and metal’s most dearly departed. Previously unpublished parts of the chat have now been posted at RevolverMag.com. A couple of excerpts follow below.
Revolver: When did [Paul Gray] start slipping [into drug addiction] again?
Brenna: You know, I couldn’t tell you. He was great. It was kind of like the old saying, “Idle hands do the devil’s work.” And I think I kind of started noticing after the [Slipknot touring] cycle [in support of the “All Hope Is Gone” album], after the tour was over, which was Halloween [of 2009], their last show in Vegas. He was fine, and I got pregnant right before Christmas, and he was just so happy. I mean, I’d never seen him more happy, honestly. But I wouldn’t say I really noticed anything until six weeks prior to his death. And I knew something was going on, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. Because he would be fine one day, and the next he wouldn’t. So I was kind of unsure, like, Hmm, something’s not adding up here. And it wasn’t ’til that Saturday that I realized what was going on when I found things in my home. Then he passed away that Sunday. So I really had no time to really make a move. That Saturday I said, “Hey, we need to do something. We need to fix this.” And he agreed, and he was getting ready to go out on tour with [metal cover-band supergroup] Hail. And he said, “I’ll go get help after I come back from this tour.” And I just said, “You’re not going.” And I called his manager, and I said, “You need to cancel this tour. He’s not going.” And I just think it was a little too late. I think there’s nothing anyone could have done. And it’s just a big shock because I don’t think any of us really knew this time. I mean, he played a good game. And it just happened so quickly that it was literally a blink of the eye. I had no idea. No idea. And once we found out he had a really bad heart disease, I mean…he was sick and none of us knew about it. None of us knew about it. And I think that was the most upsetting thing to me was that I didn’t knew. ‘Cause I always knew, and I always brought him back when things were starting to take a turn. But this time I just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t tell you what led him to do it. What was going on in his life? I have no idea, no clue.
Revolver: Just the demon of addiction.
Brenna: It is, and a lot of people don’t understand it. People are so cruel. I try not to feed into it, but I read so many awful things on the Internet. And it’s just like people don’t understand it. And if they can learn anything from this, it’s that it is a sickness. And he didn’t do this on purpose. And he would have never ever put himself in this situation if he knew this was going to happen. I mean, you and I can say, “Of course something like this can happen.” But we’re not addicts. If I can let anybody know and learn from this, that’s what I want to do. ‘Cause people don’t get it, and it’s sad ’cause so many people are having their lives taken by it.
Revolver: There should be a lot more compassion.
Brenna: Right. I guess I can kind of understand, but they’re just so close-minded. They’re like, “Oh, typical rock star who has money and fame and a wife and a child on the way. Why would you do something like this?” If he could control it, he would. I’ve had talks with him over the years, and he just wanted to be done with it. But it’s a life-long disease, that even if he stays clean for the rest of his life, he’d still have the disease. I mean, it was a full-time job for him. He had to completely rearrange his life and it’s hard. It’s really hard. And people just don’t want to get it. They’re close-minded, and they can just fuck off in my book.
Read more at RevolverMag.com.