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Slipknot New Drummer: Eloy Casagrande’s Transition from Sepultura

  • Grace Angelique
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  • May 20, 2024
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  • 5 minute read
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Slipknot New Drummer: Eloy Casagrande’s Transition from Sepultura

Former Sepultura drummer Eloy Casagrande shares his reasons for leaving the band after 12 years to join Slipknot.

Speaking to Brazil’s Veja São Paulo, he went into more detail about the audition process, the emotional complexity of his decision, and the excitement of starting a new chapter in his musical career.

Key Takeaways
  • Eloy Casagrande left Sepultura to join Slipknot after the band announced their 40th-anniversary farewell tour.
  • The audition process for Slipknot was intense, involving rehearsals and songwriting tests in Palm Springs.
  • Casagrande made his debut with Slipknot during their 2024 festival appearance at Sick New World in Las Vegas.

Casagrande’s Audition for Slipknot: An Intense and Secretive Process

Former Sepultura drummer Eloy Casagrande recently shared the details of his decision to leave the band and join Slipknot.

At 33 years old, Casagrande had been with Sepultura for 12 years before making this significant change.

In a recent interview with Brazil’s Veja São Paulo, Casagrande shared that the opportunity to audition for Slipknot came in December, shortly after Sepultura announced their 40th-anniversary farewell tour.

They asked me to record and send them some videos from right here in Brazil,” Casagrande explained.

Initially there were three songs, then they asked me for three more, and asked if I had any plans to go to the United States. I was scheduled to perform there in January with my instrumental music project, Casagrande & Hanysz. So they moved my flight up a bit, and I spent five days in Palm Springs, rehearsing with the full band.

The audition process was intense and demanding. Casagrande described being kept in the dark initially, signing a non-disclosure agreement, and receiving a list of 32 songs to learn just four days before his trip to the United States.

When I got there, they gave me a setlist on the first day, which had some songs I didn’t know either, but we went out playing. On the first day, I was very nervous because the band was complete, and it’s quite an impact to see the guys there in front of you. It’s a band I’ve been listening to since I was a teenager.

Transition From Sepultura to Slipknot

Casagrande’s confirmation as Slipknot’s new drummer came after an extensive approval process involving all nine band members.

Slipknot is made up of nine musicians, so there are many spheres and layers, and they needed everyone’s approval before they gave me the okay. I think it was on February 5th or 6th that I received confirmation that I had passed the test.

As expected, Casagrande’s decision to leave Sepultura was not easy. “The big thing, the reason I agreed to audition, was the end of Sepultura. The band was going to break up, and I didn’t want to stop playing drums at the age of 33,” he said.

I told Sepultura my decision when I had closed the deal with Slipknot on February 5th or 6th. That very day I called a meeting and explained the situation. That was it, an individual decision.

Adjusting to Slipknot’s Unique Style and Performing with a Mask

Playing with Slipknot presented new challenges for Casagrande, including performing with a mask and make-up.

The first big change when wearing a mask is mental. It’s another persona in there. The mask has life. If someone else puts it on, it won’t be the same. I created it together with Shawn [Crahan, Slipknot percussionist and co-founder] — we worked out the design together — so it’s a combination of Slipknot and my personality.

Physically, playing with a mask was less challenging than Casagrande expected.

It gets hot because it’s full of foam, so I get very sweaty. But there’s a good space to breathe. Before the first performance, I was rehearsing with a mask made for athletes, which simulates altitude. It has several valves and covers the nose and mouth, restricting breathing. This helped me play more calmly.

Casagrande’s First Performances with Slipknot

Casagrande made his debut with Slipknot on April 25 at an intimate show at Pappy + Harriet’s in Pioneertown, California.

The surprise gig was announced just a day before the show date. Later that week, Slipknot headlined the Sick New World festival in Las Vegas.

For these performances, Slipknot adopted a classic look, bringing back their 1999 red jumpsuits and elements of their early masks, celebrating the band’s 25th anniversary.

After parting ways with their previous drummer, Jay Weinberg, last November, Slipknot teased fans with a hint about a new drummer by posting a photo of a single broken drumstick online with the caption “Rehearsal.”

The band explained that the split with Weinberg was a creative decision, and Weinberg has since joined Suicidal Tendencies and Infectious Grooves.

Casagrande’s departure from Sepultura was announced in February, just before he was supposed to start rehearsals for the band’s farewell tour.

Sepultura acknowledged his departure in a statement. In a previous interview, Sepultura singer Derrick Green praised Casagrande’s impact on the band, calling him a “tremendous force” and a “perfect match” for Sepultura.

Slipknot’s Future: Plans for 2024 and Beyond

Slipknot’s latest album, The End, So Far, was released in August 2022. This album marked the band’s last full-length release before the departure of keyboardist Craig Jones and drummer Jay Weinberg.

As Slipknot celebrates its 25th anniversary, they are returning to their roots with intimate performances and a focus on the essentials of their music.

Percussionist and founding member Shawn ‘Clown’ Crahan expressed excitement for the band’s future, stating, “We’re going back to basics. I’m ready to kick everybody in the face again! I’m ready to do a 100-person venue again! I’m ready to do a 500-person venue.

He also highlighted the band’s dedication to changing and adjusting their plans to tackle new challenges and opportunities in the years ahead.

Grace Angelique

Grace Angelique

An accomplished Art News Journalist with a decade of experience, Grace has passionately covered global art events, exhibitions, and emerging trends. With a keen eye for aesthetics and a pulse on the art world's undercurrents, Grace has crafted compelling narratives that bridge art and its societal impacts. Her work has graced major publications, offering readers a fresh perspective on contemporary art and its evolving landscape.

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