Former Slipknot percussionist Chris Fehn was a guest on the Drum for the Song podcast, hosted by Dane Campbell, son of Motorhead guitarist Phil Campbell and drummer for Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons. During the conversation, he recollected his musical childhood as well as his time in Slipknot, stating that the fans were the “only great part for me” and that “the rest of it can fuck off,” referring to the other aspects that came with being in the band.
Fehn, who was a member of Slipknot from 1998 through 2019, spoke candidly throughout the whole interview and was pleasantly engaging with Campbell. At the end, he even fields some fan-submitted questions and reveals that he prefers playing bass rather than drums or percussion!
Chris Fehn on Playing Trumpet + Wooden Spoons Growing Up
When asked if he was a drummer in bands before Slipknot and how he wound up playing percussion in Slipknot, Fehn took it back to his childhood.
“I was an athlete my whole life growing up,” he begins (all transcriptions by Loudwire), “I remember my parents bought me a drum kit when I was a little kid and it was a Muppets [kit]. I remember being downstairs and I say behind the drum kit and I was like bang, bang, bang and my dad was like, ‘That’s over. Done.’ He took it. He’s like, ‘No fucking way am I going to have that sound in my basement.’ So that was my first introduction to drums.”
He then turned to his school’s music program for an attempt to play drums, but that didn’t go as planned either.
“I tried out for the drums in 5th or 6th grade and they said, ‘We have too many drummers,’ so they gave me a trumpet and I was like, ‘Oh god.’ But I learned the trumpet for a few years,” he recalls, “and then I was like, ‘Ah, this sucks dude. I’m out.'”
Undeterred, fixed on keeping the beat, he turned to one of the most readily available kitchen tools to start drumming in any capacity.
“I never really had access to the drums except my mom’s wooden spoons,” Fehn states, detailing how even just two spoons afforded him the opportunity to play on his terms.
“The cool thing is I was playing Twisted Sister, W.A.S.P., Motley Crue with those wooden spoons. I knew I loved it. I had that in me — not to a point of being a good drummer, but I knew beats and like to tag along and stuff like that,” he continues, acknowledging, “That’s why Slipknot became a thing for me.”
It certainly was a perfect fit as Fehn got the chance to get in the mix with one of metal’s most talented drummers ever, the late Joey Jordison.
Fehn adds, “I didn’t have to play a drum kit like Joey. I remember my first practice looking at Joey and being like, ‘Holy fuck. I’m way out of my league — I don’t even belong here! [laughs] What do you want me to do here?’ It was like winning the lottery to be able to play simple beats and play along to this amazing drummer.”
Chris Fehn’s Message to Slipknot Fans
In the spring of 2019, Chris Fehn attempted to file a lawsuit against Slipknot, which he later dropped in 2020. Fehn was said to have called for a forensic accounting of Slipknot’s companies and assets for money that was allegedly owed to him.
After news broke regarding the lawsuit, Slipknot issued a statement announcing they had parted ways with the longtime percussionist, noting that “Chris knows why he is no longer a part” of the band while also accusing Fehn of manufacturing claims rather than “doing what was necessary to continue to be part of Slipknot.”
What that all really says is that his exit was a bit sudden and that he did not have a chance to bid fans a proper farewell while still a member of Slipknot.
Campbell asks Fehn if he has a message for those fans, to which he replies, ”I pray for them and I love them and I’m sorry that it ended so soon. But that’s the way things go. The fans really were the only part that was great for me. That stage performance and seeing them and seeing their reaction was the best part. The rest of it can fuck off.”
He goes on to clarify, ”It’s kind of like any band, though. That’s the best part. The rest of it is touring, flights, personalities, this and that, this and that. I really do miss [the fans]. I miss playing live — I do. But it’s all good, man. It’s all good.”
Later in the interview, when discussing a sludgy rock project he’s just starting work on with other friends in the music industry, he stresses, ”I’m not interested in ever touring again.”
Watch the full interview further down the page.