Slipknot's Former Guitarist to Replace Paul Gray
Jay West, WireImage
Steele first joined Slipknot during their early days in Des Moines, Iowa when the band called themselves The Pale Ones and played guitar on Slipknots' self-released album 'Mate.Feed.Kill.Repeat' before leaving the band in 1996 because of religious beliefs. Singer Corey Taylor recently said that they could never replace Gray, but Steele was their obvious choice to fill Gray's shoes since he's been with the band since its inception.
In a statement on Slipknot's Web site, the band said: "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 eight of us are looking forward to being onstage again and honoring Paul's legacy with our families in Europe and Brazil this summer."
This summer, Slipknot are playing a number of shows in Europe, kicking off in Greece on June 17 and ending at the Sonisphere festival in July. Taylor, who is rumored to replace Scott Weiland in Velvet Revolver, recently said that Gray would want the band to continue on. However, Taylor told NME that he doesn't expect a new Slipknot album for a very long time. "I don't see it happening," he said. "And if it does, it'll be way way down the line."
Nearly one year later, Gray's death is still difficult on band, leaving the future of Slipknot uncertain. "Obviously, we're doing these shows in the summer at Sonisphere and that's pretty much gonna be us dipping a toe in the water to see what happens," said Taylor in a recent Undercover interview. "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."