I first met Joey Jordison during Mastodon's first big arena tour, which was in Europe with Slayer and Slipknot. We got there for a production day, set up the soundcheck and went through a couple songs. I saw who I thought was probably Joey, because I didn't really know what he looked like because of the mask. I saw a dude watching me play and he was definitely locked in on me. I was excited to meet him.
Once I went and talked to him, I realized he was very knowledgeable about Mastodon. We had just put out Leviathan, and he liked our first album, Remission, and was talking about songs on that. "Are you playing this song? Are you playing that song?" He was very complimentary and very cool right off the bat.
Joey and I were the same age, and we were both brought up with parents who were really into music and partying back in the day. We came up at the same time and had the same trajectory, both musically and as people, and we hit it off really fast and started hanging after every show.
Early on, we realized that we both had a very deep knowledge of River's Edge, which is an Eighties movie that has Slayer in the soundtrack and stars Crispin Glover and Keanu Reeves. We both watched it all the time as kids and knew all the lines and subtle nuances of those particular lines, and we would always try to outdo each other while quoting it constantly. Quoting that movie became a huge part of our relationship.
Throughout our many years of friendship, he was such a big cheerleader. After the show he'd be like, "Oh man, that roll you did." There was no competition — he was excited about us playing and getting to watch me. And he was very funny. A lot of people maybe don't know that about him, because he was presented as this very serious heavy-metal drummer, but he was a goofball — and very smart and quick-witted. He went above and beyond to make people laugh.
As a drummer, the guy was a beast. He was this little guy, but his double bass was just insane, and he was just a ball of energy both onstage and offstage. He had so many ideas, and his brain was always going nonstop. He was just happy to be alive. He was a fun person to be around.
I really loved that guy and I'm gonna miss him so much. But he gave the world so much in such a short period of time. I think his drumming presence and his work with Slipknot are going to echo through heavy-metal history forever.