Drummer Joey Jordison to debut new band in Des Moines
Heading into 2017, Joey Jordison appears full of energy. He uses words like “excited” and “happy” when describing his new band VIMIC and the future prospects of touring. His energy and enthusiasm bleeds through as he answers questions about his new band, recovering from a neurological illness and plans for the next year.
It wasn’t long ago, December 2013, that the acclaimed Iowa native and Slipknot, the award-winning Des Moines metal band he co-founded, parted ways. Resurfacing in 2016 with the debut of his new band, VIMIC, Jordison revealed that his absence from music was due in part to acute transverse myelitis, a spinal cord inflammation that he began treatment for in 2012.
Leaving the illness in the rearview mirror, Jordison and VIMIC joined forces with producer Kato Khandwala (My Chemical Romance, The Pretty Reckless) and tracked new music at Sound Farm Studios in Jamaica, Ia. A handful of singles from the new hard-rock project have been released and the band’s debut album, “Open Your Omen,” is due out in 2017.
The Des Moines-based drummer is set to debut his new band’s live show at Wooly’s in Des Moines’ East Village on Dec. 26. After that, the group has some end-of-the-year shows with rock staple Hellyeah, then is heading overseas this spring for a European tour. The Register discussed Jordison’s new act and upcoming show in the interview below.
How are you feeling about the new band and the upcoming debut?
You know what, man? I’ll be completely honest. It’s really … it’s an odd feeling but out of all the shows I’ve ever played in my life, (it’s) probably one of the most exciting feelings I’ve ever had. I’ve been away for a while and I’m in my hometown … so I think, regardless of how it’s going to go, this might be the most important show of my whole life. That’s what’s special about doing this show, it’s the debut for VIMIC for the rest of the world and everything we’re going to do.
What’s it like to get back behind the kit after what you went through with your health?
You know, I don’t think about the health too much anymore because I beat it all. I’m healthier than I’ve been. I know a lot of people try to portray (this) like, “Oh, I’ve got to sell myself to promote the show” or something like that, but (that’s) absolutely the truth. It took me a long time to recover from what I had to go through, so to actually launch the VIMIC campaign here in my hometown … there could not be a better place to do it. If I did it somewhere else, it wouldn’t feel as right.
What drives you to keep doing music? It can be tough to start over.
It’s a tough thing. Here’s how I can explain it to you: It never leaves. It’s a fire. No matter how much water on it or how much I try and rest, it will not burn out. It’s constant. The more that I write, the more people I write with or people I exchange music with, it keeps burning brighter. It’s a flame that is constant and it’s going to go for a while. It will not burn out. My love for music and life in general and creating new things and going into different areas … always trying to do something different in terms of my artistic ability … that’s what my passion of music is about. I’m always trying to go to a new zone.
With everything you just said, was there ever a time after the illness or Slipknot that you thought you were never going to play again?
Nah. That never ever crossed my mind. There’s one thing I want people to understand about the illness … it’s kind-of like answering a dead horse all the time. People, I guess, need to know, especially this being a hometown: I wouldn’t wish this on anyone. The fact that I was ever able to come out of it … I came back stronger than I ever had through determination and through the right people. Hitting the gym, constantly. I had the determination to beat it. It’s almost the same determination that made me want to play music in the first place. Like “I’m going to do this. It’s gonna happen.” And right now, everything’s good.
What’s it mean for you to come back and open this band in Des Moines?
One thing I say about Des Moines is, “You can leave Des Moines, but Des Moines will never leave you.” It’s a special place. I’ve been around the world, man. I’ve been damn near everywhere you can possibly be, except for a couple places. But I still live here. I will not move. This is where my heart’s at. I couldn’t be more proud to be from a city that’s given me so much.