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Eloy Casagrande explains “complicated” decision to leave Sepultura for Slipknot

Eloy Casagrande has opened up about his reasons for leaving Sepultura to fill the vacant drummer position in Slipknot.

In February Casagrande left the Brazilian metal band, who will be splitting up after a farewell tour starting this year. This led to heavy speculation that he would be joining Slipknot following the firing of Jay Weinberg late last year.

Casagrande recently gave an interview to Brazil’s Veja Sao Paulo which was translated from his native Portuguese by fans on Reddit.

He revealed that he asked about playing in both bands but had to leave Sepultura after being told he would have to be exclusive to Slipknot.

“They asked me to record and send them some videos from right here in Brazil,” he said.  “Initially there were three songs, then they asked me for three more, and asked if I had any plans to go to the United States, and I was scheduled to perform there in January with my instrumental music project, Casagrande & Hanysz. So they moved my flight up a bit, and I spent five days in Palm Springs, rehearsing with the full band.

“Then they asked me to extend my stay by another five days, so we could record some things,” he continued. “I think that was also part of the audition. They threw new ideas at me to see what my songwriting was like. They wanted to test me in every way.”

It took Slipknot till early February to decide whether Casagrande had made the cut or not.

“Slipknot is made up of nine musicians, so there are many spheres and layers, and they needed everyone’s approval before they gave me the okay,” he said.

The formal invitation came after Sepultura had already announced they would be splitting up and Casagrande explained this was a big draw for him auditioning for Slipknot.

“The band was going to break up, and I didn’t want to stop playing drums at the age of 33,” he said. “It was my decision to leave Sepultura. It was complicated. I told [Sepultura my decision] when I had closed the deal [with Slipknot] on February 5 or 6. That very day I called a meeting and explained the situation. That was it, an individual decision,” he concluded.

He then went to discuss his first rehearsals as an official member of Slipknot.

“I learned the setlist, prepared myself and, four days before the trip, they sent me a list of 32 songs that it would be important for me to know,” he explained. “Many of the songs I was learning weren’t on that list, so I started looking for sheet music.”

He continued: “When I got there (in the United States), they gave me a setlist on the first day, which had some songs I didn’t know either, but we went out playing. On the first day, I was very nervous, because the band was complete, and it’s quite an impact to see the guys there in front of you. It’s a band I’ve been listening to since I was a teenager and followed on TV.”

Casagrande also admitted he thought he was “terrible” at first. “From the second day on I improved. Each day they played a different setlist in the morning, so I had a few hours to learn a song or two that was missing. Overall, it was very smooth. I had everyone’s support.”

Casagrande made his debut with the band during a last-minute intimate club show at the Pappy + Harriet’s barbecue bar in California on April 25. The surprise gig had been announced one day prior to the show date on April 24. Later that week, they headlined the Sick New World festival in Las Vegas.

The intimate gig came after percussionist and founding member Shawn ‘Clown’ Crahan told NME that the band are “going back to basics” this year to celebrate their 25th anniversary. “We’re going back to basics. I’m ready to kick everybody in the face again! I’m ready to do a 100-person venue again! I’m ready to do a 500-person venue…”

Speaking to NME about what Slipknot have planned for 2024, Crahan said: “I’m ready to move on from what has been, and move onto a world that I know needs to be. For instance, normally we’d have about two years on and one-and-a-half years off — we’re not doing that anymore.”

In other news, the band have recently announced their ‘Here Comes The Pain’ 25th anniversary US tour with Knocked Loose and more.

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