Paul's widow Brenna Gray testified in the involuntary manslaughter trial of the doctor who treated Paul in the days before his 2010 death that she tried reaching out to some of Paul's bandmates in SLIPKNOT just days prior to the bassist's death but that none of them wanted to get involved. She revealed, "One was playing golf two minutes away from our house but couldn't come. Nobody else cared, nobody was involved. They told me it was my problem."
Asked if Brenna was wrong in making those comments during the trial, Root told Sweden Rock Magazine (original English-language quote provided exclusively to BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I think she's probably gonna say whatever it is she thinks she needs to say for the lawyers to hear. You know, I mean, Paul was our brother; Paul was very close to us. We tried putting Paul into treatment numerous times, we took him off of tours and we had interventions with him. I would stop by at Paul's house with my ex-girlfriend and he'd still be in bed.
"There are a lot of circumstances and dynamics there and I'm sure that she is hurting very deeply and trying to find some way to maybe put the blame somewhere.
"At the end of the day, Paul was sick and Paul had a problem and we were there for Paul. "Paul wasn't always available. "I feel bad. I feel bad for the whole situation. "Brenna's always got brothers that she can count on, and October will always have eight uncles that give a shit."
Pressed on whether he was saying the other members of SLIPKNOT did in fact care enough about Paul's well being, Root replied: "Absolutely. He's our friend, he's our brother, he's our compatriot. He's always gonna be a part of our lives no matter what.
"What can you do? If you have a sickness, you gotta fix that sickness, but you can't keep putting somebody into treatment over and over and over again. What are you supposed to do? Babysit someone and live with them? What can you do?"
Brenna revealed in a 2011 interview with Revolver that her husband had agreed to get help for his drug problem just one day before he died on May 24, 2010.
Paul was found dead in a hotel room in a suburb of Des Moines, Iowa, where he and SLIPKNOT were based. He was 38 years old. He left behind his widow and a daughter, October, who was born three months after his death.
Brenna said on the witness stand at the Polk Country District Court in Iowa in April 2014 that Paul's final weeks were a "blur of extreme drug abuse," which neither his doctor nor his bandmates would help his wife confront.
Daniel Baldi was facing involuntary manslaughter charges in the deaths of Gray and eight others. Baldi was accused of causing the deaths with his careless prescription habits. Baldi denied the claim, with his lawyer saying that Baldi didn't prescribe the drugs that resulted in the deaths.
Brenna testified on the stand that Baldi continued to prescribe Xanax for Paul despite knowing that the musician was a drug addict, saying, "I just wasn't really sure why he was on it, why he needed it along with the medication he was taking for addiction."
Baldi's lawyer cross-examined Brenna, asking her if she was aware that her husband overdosed on the painkillers fentanyl and morphine, neither of which Baldi ever prescribed to him.
SLIPKNOT singer Corey Taylor told The Pulse Of Radio back at the one-year anniversary of Gray's death how he felt about the loss of his friend and bandmate. "I just miss him, you know," he said. "I miss him so much sometimes that it doesn't feel like he's gone, and there are times when I'm thinking and he's in my train of thought and I have to stop myself and go, 'Oh, God, he's not here.' But you know, I mean, there's not a day that goes by that I don't miss him. I mean, not even as far as the band goes — I wish that he was there to watch his daughter grow."
Posted on: 25 Oct 2014
Slipknot vocalist Corey Taylor and percussionist M. Shawn “Clown” Crahan gave a revealing interview to Rollingstone.com about the difficult road to their soon-to-be-released new album, “.5: The Gray Chapter“. Crahan revealed that the album’s opening cut “XIX” drove him to tears:
“I don’t usually let people see me cry. It’s too hard. But when I heard what Corey Taylor sang on the song ‘XIX,’ I cried and cried and cried. It hurt so bad.”
Crahan also revealed that the bands new drummer—reportedly Jay Weinberg—went through an initiation of sorts at the hands of the band. Crahan flew him to Des Moines, IA to the grave of the bands late bassist Paul Gray, stating:
“I made him pay his respects and say hello. I told him what we’re gonna do, and we got on a fucking plane and flew to fucking L.A.”
Both Crahan and fellow percussionist Chris Fehn also spent a good time standing in front of the drummer, yelling and flipping him off as he played to initiate him into the outfit. Taylor in particular stated that the process of making the album and the adversity they faced making it has made them more appreciate of each other:
“When we were younger, we took each other for granted. We didn’t allow ourselves to – for want of a better word – love each other. We loved what we did together, but we didn’t allow ourselves to appreciate each other for who we are individually. We learned the hard way that you can paint yourself right out of a picture, if you’re not family. I think that’s the biggest way that we’ve changed. We’ve started listening instead of screaming. We’ve started reaching out and showing appreciation for each other, whereas before we might have been a little too proud, a little too stubborn. Losing Paul shook us to or foundations, but luckily that foundation held. We didn’t realize we were taking our time with Paul for granted. I’ll be damned if I do it with these guys.”
Posted on: 18 Oct 2014
While the identities of Slipknot‘s new drummer and bassist are widely believed to be Jay Weinberg & Alessandro ‘Vman’ Venturella respectively - the band themselves may never fully confirm it. Guitarist Jim Root told Guitar World:
“We’re not saying who the new drummer is. Even if people find out beyond a shadow of a doubt who the new drummer is, I think we’re always going to deny who it is. He might not last. He might tour with us a year and figure out we’re all insane and he can’t handle being around us. Or we might shut him out. Who knows? For Slipknot, I’d say drumming is only 50 or 60 percent of the job. The rest of it is who you are and what your personality is. Will you clash with guys like me, Mick, Clown, Corey, Craig and Chris? We all have these strong alpha-male personalities.”
On the bassist front, Jim Root stated that both he and fellow guitarist Mick Thomson handled the bulk of the playing in the studio. At one point touring bassist (and former guitarist) Donnie Steele was involved with the studio sessions for the bands new album “.5: The Gray Chapter“. However, things didn’t pan out, as Root explains:
“Donnie’s a great guy. We brought him in to help us out in the studio for a while. But it wasn’t really jivin’. He wanted to go home and get married and do all that stuff. It’s just better off for us to kinda move on from Donnie.”
Posted on: 09 Oct 2014
Late Slipknot bassist Paul Gray plays a large role on the groups forthcoming new album “.5: The Gray Chapter“. Band guitarist Jim Root relayed one possibly otherworldly experience in the studio to Revolver as part of an upcoming cover story:
“It’s weird, man. I’m not a very spiritual person, and the whole religion thing, I’m kind of on the fence about a lot of that stuff. So when somebody loses someone who’s close to them and says that they’re still with them, I’ve always thought that was bullshit or whatever.
But I was out in the garage and working on an arrangement for a song that turned into either ‘The Devil In I’ or ‘Sarcastrophe.’ Normally when I write, I throw down the first thing I come up with, then I double it, then I throw a bass on it, and then I put the drums around it. But on this arrangement, I noticed that I wasn’t just throwing the riff down—I was trying different variations on it, trying different positions on the neck, and thinking about melodies while coming up with what the chord progression was going to be…
I suddenly realized, Fuck, man! That’s what Paul used to do! Paul was so meticulous. He would overthink everything, even if it was just how to get from one chord to the next chord. He would explore every possibility on the fretboard, especially if he was writing it on the guitar. And it made me go, He’s here, man—he’s helping me write this shit! And it blew my fucking mind. I had to put my guitar down, and I put my head in my hands. I was like, You fucker!”
Band frontman Corey Taylor also added of the effort:
“There’s a lot of pain on here, there’s a lot of honesty, there’s a lot of insight as far as what we’ve been through. There’s some anger, too. I mean, when you lose someone, there’s naturally part of you that gets really angry that you lost them. At the same time, you kind of have to concede that you have to be happy for the time you got with that person. A lot of stuff is pointed inwardly, as well, because naturally there’s a lot of survivor’s guilt going on, like, ‘What could I have done?’ That’s the burden of people left behind. You never get a good answer. All you can kind of do is make peace with it. And that’s what a lot of this album is about—making peace with the loss that we’ve suffered.”
Posted on: 16 Sep 2014
The involuntary manslaughter trial of deceased Slipknot bassist Paul Gray’s doctor, Daniel Baldi, has commenced, and Gray’s widow, Brenna has now testified.
According to the Des Moines Register, Brenna Gray took the stand to assert that Baldi continued to prescribe Xanax - an anti-anxiety medication - to Paul, despite the fact that “it was his drug of choice, that he’d struggled with it.” She also testified that she told Baldi she’d found hypodermic needles in their home, and that she took photos of Paul passed out and showed them to Baldi in an effort to convince him of the seriousness of Gray’s addiction. During cross-examination, Baldi’s defense attorney, Guy Cook, asserted “that medical records included no reference to her sharing pictures of her passed-out husband with Baldi or of her telling the doctor about finding needles,” and “that among the numerous pill bottles police found in the hotel room, only one had contained drugs prescribed by Baldi… those pills were Suboxone, a medication for people trying to break drug addiction.”
That Brenna Gray doesn’t have any kind words for Dr. Baldi isn’t surprising… but that she also holds the other members of Slipknot accountable for Paul’s death is. From the Register:
“She said she called her husband’s bandmates, but none offered to help. Slipknot bandmates Corey Taylor and Shawn Crahan are listed as potential witnesses in the trial. ‘One was playing golf two minutes away from our house but couldn’t come,’ she testified. ‘Nobody else cared, nobody was involved. They told me it was my problem.’ Two days later, he was found dead in his hotel room.”
Is it possible that Paul Gray’s bandmates were really so callous? It does seem odd to me that Brenna would appear with the band at a press conference just days after Paul’s death if she really thought they hadn’t done everything they could to help… but I know people’s heads aren’t always on straight during the grieving process, too. Ultimately, the only people who may ever know the truth are Brenna and the eight surviving members of Slipknot.
You can watch video footage of Brenna Gray’s testimony below, and read the Des Moisnes Register’s full report here.
Posted on: 17 Jul 2014
Slipknot percussionist Shawn M. Crahan (a.k.a. Clown) revealed that the band’s next album will contain songwriting contributions by the band’s deceased bassist Paul Gray. He explains:
“There are songs that he’s written that will be a part of the next record. We’re all going to have to think like him, and he’ll be there. He’ll be there; there’s no way that Paul Gray will not be a part of anything that we do for the rest of our career.”
Slipknot’s last studio album All Hope Is Gone was released back in August 2008, nearly two years before Paul Gray died. Although the band has not yet announced an official replacement for Paul, Donnie Steele, who was the guitarist for Slipknot from 1995-1996, had been filling in for him on their last tour.
Posted on: 07 Mar 2014