More details about drummer Eloy Casagrande‘s audition and eventual decision to join Slipknot have come to light in a new interview with Brazil’s Veja Sao Paulo. Within the chat, the former Sepultura drummer documents the timeline of how he came to be part of the band and when he informed his now former bandmates.

Though the interview was conducted in his native Portuguese, his comments were translated to English by fans on Reddit. In the chat, he reveals that he did ask about having the opportunity to balance both bands, but was told that he needed to be exclusive to Slipknot, leading to his decision to move on from Sepultura rather abruptly.

About Eloy’s Audition for Slipknot

After the band split with Jay Weinberg last fall, they were in need of a new drummer as their 25th anniversary year for their self-titled debut was just on the horizon. Casagrande recalls, “They asked me to record and send them some videos from right here in Brazil.”

“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,” says the drummer.

He adds, “Then they asked me to extend my stay by another five days, so we could record some things. 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.”

But after the tests, there was some waiting time while the band convened on their decision. “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. I think it was on February 5th [or February] 6th that I received confirmation that I had passed the test.”

A Sepultura Conflict

Casagrande has held the drumming position for Sepultura since 2011, and he says that the invite to audition for Slipknot came after the band had already announced their farewell tour plans.

“The big thing, the reason I agreed to audition, was the end of Sepultura. The band was going to break up, and I didn’t want to stop playing drums at the age of 33,” says the drummer. He reveals that he initially asked if he could juggle the time between the two bands, but was told he couldn’t.

“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 5th or 6th. That very day I called a meeting and explained the situation. That was it, an individual decision,” he concludes.

About Eloy’s First Slipknot Rehearsal

While things initially started from afar, Casagrande still had to face his first time playing with the full band during rehearsals. “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 continues, “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.”

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The drummer says that everything didn’t just immediately fall into place. “On the first day I was terrible, I didn’t like my performance, but 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,” he concluded.

Slipknot in 2024

Eloy Casagrande played his first show with Slipknot late last month, followed by an appearance with the group at the Sick New World Festival. Multiple North American tour legs, Knotfest Iowa and some European shows are on the books for later this year. Ticketing for all Slipknot shows can be found through their website.

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Gallery Credit: Lauryn Schaffner