Joey was born on the 26th of April. His full name is Nathan Jonas Jordison. He's a short fellow - about five foot three, or 161 centimeters for us Europeans*. He was born and raised in Des Moines, Iowa, earning him his 100% Slipknot homeslice street cred.
He has two sisters and a mom, all very supportive of his career. His mother is a huge Slipknot / Murderdolls fan. Joey loves talking about his cool mom in interviews, including the Christmas 2002 issue of Kerrang UK, where he said that, "(my mom) practically lives in her Slipknot gear!"
The man is absolutely obsessed with music. Apart from playing video games and having sex with his girlfriend, it seems to be all he does.
He is the self-professed spokesperson for Slipknot, along with percussionist Shawn Crahan. Apparently, he's also a hyperactive little bugger, having earned the nickname "Superball" from when Slipknot played a bad show and he angrily bounced around their dressing room, breaking everything in his path.
He's currently dating someone. Sorry, ladies. You're probably too tall, anyway.
The early days
You may best know Joey from his breakneck speed drumming in Slipknot. Fact is, Joey actually started playing guitar in several school bands before discovering the drums. His parents gave him his first drumkit in the fifth grade.
He started playing jazz drums and actually became quite the respected jazz drummer in Des Moines, even though he was often criticized for playing "too hard and out of context of the song".
His early influences were, apart from jazz bands, heavy metal bands such as Kiss, Slayer, Merciful Fate and the like. Also, he has a somewhat disturbing fetish for Fiona Apple (he has said he'd like to die either banging the drums or banging Fiona).
He met Shawn Crahan - the clown of Slipknot - when the two of them were working the night shift at a Des Moines gas station. The two were eventually fired for playing loud music and scaring the customers away. Having played in local death metal outfits such as Anal Blast and Modifidios, Joey formed Slipknot with Shawn.
Within the confines of Slipknot, Joey is officially the main drummer, with Shawn Crahan and Chris Fehn heading up the percussion section. Joey maintains incredible control over his stickwork and is capable of playing seemingly impossible speeds while keeping a steady tempo. His trademark moves are lightning fast 16th note snare- and tom rolls and equally fast double bass rhythms.
Unbeknownst to many casual fans is that Joey writes most of the guitar riffs and lyrics, as well. Most songs start out with Joey laying down the drum and guitar tracks and the band works from there. Some songs, like "Scissors" (off their eponymous debut album) and "Iowa" (the concluding track from the second album) were written entirely by Joey.
When appearing in his Slipknot persona, he wears a blank Japanese Kabuki-mask, which he often paints in either red (bloodstreaked) or black (goth-style). He tears the arms and legs off his Slipknot boiler suit to allow him more freedom for drumming.
On their Iowa tour, he sat strapped into a converted pilots chair on a circular drum riser. During a mid-concert drum solo, the riser would slowly ascend on hydraulics, and then tilt forward so audiences were eventually given a top-down view of Joey playing. The riser would then light up in a huge red pentagram. According to Joey, this is the most physically arduous thing he has ever done - it literally takes every strength in his body to resist slumping forward and to keep playing. (The hydraulic riser, incidentally, is courtesy of his friend, Shawn, who builds most of Slipknot's stage gear, owing to his many years as a professional welder.)
After completing the album Iowa and the support tour, Joey set out to do a side project he'd wanted to do for a long time. The style was more punk-oriented, with its roots firmly grounded in the 80's leather-and-black-eyeliner glam style.
On their debut release, Beyond the Valley of the Murderdolls, Joey did all the drum, guitar and bass tracks. In fact, he hadn't even met lead singer, Wednesday 13, before he came in to do the vocals for the record. (Wednesday was previously in a band called Frankenstein Drag Queens From Planet 13, but that band was disbanded to let Wednesday concentrate on Murderdolls.) The two collaborated on the lyrics. Joey also produced the album on his own in a studio in Des Moines.
When playing Murderdolls live, Joey handles half of the guitar duties; the other currently tended to by Acey Slade.
Joey has a semi-well publicized friendship with Marilyn Manson. The two often hang out and get blitzed when in town. The "Slipknot remix" of Manson's "The Fight Song" (from his Holy Wood album) was done entirely by Joey.
Joey also appeared in Manson's video clip for "Tainted Love" (from the Not Another Teen Movie soundtrack). In turn, Manson appeared in the Murderdolls' video clip for "Dead In Hollywood".
The future for Joey?
Joey has made repeated claims in interviews that he wants to do some completely insane black metal for his next project, to see how far he can take his drumming. With his usual penchant for blowing things into insane proportions, Joey claims that the drumming and guitar work would be "twice as fast and brutal as Slipknot".
Only time (and permanent injury) will tell.
* I met him after a show where Murderdolls opened for Papa Roach in Copenhagen (don't ask). I'm 206 centimeters, or six foot seven. He seemed uncharacteristically intimidated.