Slipknot announced have parted ways with keyboardist Craig Jones, who had been a member of the band since 1996. The masked metal outfit gave no reason for the split in a social media post that was almost immediately taken down, but quickly debuted a new member at their European tour kickoff on Wednesday night (June 7th) at the Nova Rock festival in Austria.
The note posted on Slipknot’s social media pages on Wednesday, June 7th (before it was deleted) stated, “To our fans, Slipknot is announcing that we have parted ways with Craig Jones. We wish Jones all the best for the future.”
Shortly after sharing the news of Jones’ exit, the band took the stage in Austria with a new mystery member, whose masked image they shared on their social pages. On Thursday morning (June 8th), the band also shared a eerie video with a “Slipknot” backdrop in the background.
Jones (also known as #5 and recognizable for his Hellraiser-like spiked mask) was initially brought in as a guitarist to replace original member Donnie Steele, but quickly moved over to keyboards and sampling. While Jones was not technically a founding member of the band, he came in a year into Slipknot’s existence, appearing on all of their studio albums, except for the early demo full-length Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat.
The past decade-plus has seen a number of lineup changes for the Iowa band. Paul Gray died in 2010, with Alessandro Venturella eventually stepping in to handle bass duties. Drummer Joey Jordison (who passed away in 2021) was ousted from the band in 2013 and replaced by Jay Weinberg. And percussionist Chris Fehn was let go in 2019, and replaced by Michael Pfaff.
The news of Jones’ apparent departure came shortly after percussionist Shawn “Clown” Crahan announced he would miss Slipknot’s upcoming shows in order to stay home and take care of his ailing wife.
Slipknot will return to the States for festival dates in July (Rock Fest and Inkcarceration) and September (Blue Ridge Rock Festival). Tickets to Slipknot’s shows are available here for US gigs and here for international dates.
A screenshot of Slipknot’s Tweet announcing Jones’ departure, as well as the image of the new member can be seen below, along with footage from Wednesday’s night’s show in Austria.
Editor’s Note: This story was updated with the news that Slipknot debuted a mysterious new band member at their tour kickoff on Wednesday night.