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Former Member Donnie Steele To Take Paul Gray’s Spot In Slipknot

Photo: Jo Hale, Getty Images

It’s been almost a year since the Des Moines, Iowa-based octet Slipknot lost their guitarist Paul Gray (at the age of 38) to an accidental morphine overdose. Not that he could ever be replaced, but as the band prepares for their summer abroad tour, they’ve found the perfect person to fill-in: former Slipknot member and guitarist Donnie Steele.

Slipknot will be touring in Europe and Brazil this summer, with Steele as their bassist in tow. It kicks off in Greece on June 17, and ends at the Sonisphere Festival in July.

The band was formed in 1995, and Steele was an original member, when they were first known as The Pale Ones. He played guitar for their first self-released album Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat. He left the band a year later due to religious beliefs. He was the obvious choice for the band, as he has a history with them as well with Gray; they were good friends. Slipknot frontman Corey Taylor said the following:

Donnie was in the band at the very beginning, and rather than get an outsider, we thought it would be a fitting tribute to Paul to play with someone from within the family. Donnie was great friends with Paul, and we can’t think of a better way to celebrate his memory than with someone who was there with us at the very beginning.-

The summer tour will be sort of experimental for the band, as this is the first time they will be touring since Gray’s death. They are testing the waters and seeing how the shows go and also how the fans react. There is no doubt in my mind that the fans will have just as much love and respect, if not more, for the band. I know I do.

To me, it’s baby steps. I think everybody’s racing ahead without realizing that we kind of have to pick ourselves up first. Everyone needs to be realistic about it, and it seems like I’m the only one who’s being realistic. And it’s a heavy responsibility to be the guy who is kind of coming off as the doomsayer. But at the end of the day, that’s respect.- Corey Taylor,

Photo: Lisa Maree Williams

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