Joey Jordison: Download shows are 'some of Slipknot's best'

Expect a set full of fan faves, the drummer tells Rhythm
Expect a set full of fan faves, the drummer tells Rhythm (Image credit: Tim Mosenfelder/Corbis)

We're looking forward to Download, you're all looking forward to Download, and guess what: Joey Jordison can't wait to slay Donington on Friday night!

Ahead of Slipknot's bill topping performance we sat down with Joey and asked him about playing the home of metal. We'll be there for the duration, so look out for Tweets, Facebook posts and blogs over the weekend.

Are you looking forward to Download?

"Yes, we've been looking forward to it for a while. I don't know what number this is that we've done, but I know that every time we play there, they are some of the best shows in Slipknot's history. We're really looking forward to it. When I found out we were doing it this year it was like, yes, that rules. Just feeling it in rehearsal right now, just feeling the vibe of us playing it's going to be an amazing show. We brought everything with us as far as visuals so it's going to be a good one."

Were you guys on tour prior to this?

"No, we came together just for this and some other festivals in Europe too."

What's it like playing together again? Is it a good vibe?

"It always is, it's like home. It's kind of cool, even though we need to rehearse once we start it's almost like, no, we don't need to rehearse. It's just second nature and the reason it always turns out so well is we all miss each other so much. We miss the music and playing together and it gels instantly. I can only speak for myself but I am so looking forward to these shows."

How do you thrash out a set list?

"Basically since we don't have a new record out right now, we go with what we know are the fan favourites from touring. We play what the fans want to hear and what works best in a festival situation, what songs move the crowd the most. With that big a crowd some of our earlier, slower songs don't translate so we play everything really up tempo and in your face. There is no letting down, it's constant punishment throughout the set. It's full force."

Is it tough for you to pace yourself?

"There is no such thing as an easy Slipknot show, it doesn't exist. It's tough but we wouldn't like it if it was easy. Slipknot's music is very technical and intense and it's not easy to play but that's what makes it special. What's so gratifying about playing a show that is that intense is when you get off the stage and you know you really delivered at the top of your ability and performance, that is what makes it all worthwhile."

Are you playing at your limits?

"Once we lock in from the very first eight count, it's like I blackout and I don't notice any of the pain I might be experiencing because me being the drummer of the band, the timekeeper and keeping everyone locked in, I've got eight other guys to guide with the tempo of the songs, I don't have time to feel any sort of pain or hurt. I've got to be on-point. Halfway through the song I have to know exactly what the next song is going to be so I already train myself to get into the mindset of the next song. Towards the last chorus out, I'm already prepping myself for the next song coming."

Do you use a click to count off live?

"It's all internal. I don't use a Beatmap, I don't use any click track. Any time I count off it's just in my heart. Sometimes I'll go off the feel of a crowd, like if they way they're bouncing is a little quicker than the song, I might kick up the tempo a little bit. I see where the crowd is at. It's nothing drastic but all the tempos are from my internal clock."