Slipknot have finally confirmed the identity of their newest member, known as Tortilla Man, who has been with the band since 2019.
The band confirmed Tortilla Man’s identity through an photo that shows the percussionist holding up a note reading “I AM MICHAEL PFAFF”. The Instagram post was captioned “You’ve been warned” and announced an Ask Me Anything (AMA) session on Reddit leading up to the band’s Knotfest Roadshow tour.
Pfaff’s reveal comes three years after he first joined the band in 2019, replacing longtime backing vocalist and percussionist Chris Fehn. Fehn, who had been with the band since 1998, left the nine-piece in April 2019 after he filed a lawsuit against the band, claiming that he had not been paid fairly over the course of his stint with Slipknot. In November 2020, it was reported that the lawsuit had been voluntarily discontinued.
Slipknot fans were quick to speculate about Tortilla Man’s identity, gleaning clues from photos snapped of the band at airports, autographs from meet and greet sessions and more. In August 2019, American actor and comedian Gilbert Gotfried jokingly shared a video claiming he was the masked percussionist.
On Reddit, Pfaff touched briefly on how he joined the band, saying: “The short answer is I got a phone call while I was working my day job. The story is pretty epic and I hope to share it soon”.
Prior to joining Slipknot, Pfaff had connections with DJ Sid Wilson and percussionist/founder Shawn ‘Clown’ Crahan. In the late 2000s, Crahan and Pfaff formed the band Dirty Little Rabbits after Wilson introduced the two.
When asked on Reddit about the inspiration behind his mask, Pfaff revealed that the full story “will come out as well”, but, in short, “it was a mold of my face flipped inside out”.
Pfaff also shared that he was approached by the band shortly before the music video for ‘Unsainted’ – the lead single off 2019 album ‘We Are Not Your Kind’ – was filmed, confirming that he had not recorded parts for the album. However, he said he will feature on the band’s next full-length, writing: “I was able to be a part of this new record”.
When NME interviewed both Clown and Tortilla Man back in 2020, the latter remained silent while the former told us: “You’re not going to get him to talk. Slipknot is an ongoing mechanism that doesn’t even know itself. That’s what’s so interesting about it. It blooms differently every year. None of us know what’s going to happen, I don’t really care. I just wake up and live the day so we’re having a lot of fun. I don’t like the blood much any more. There really was a lot and it kind of made me sick. It has different effects on me these days.”
Slipknot kicked off their North American Knotfest Roadshow tour following Pfaff’s AMA session. The first leg of the tour will run until April 17, before picking up again for its second stretch from May 18 til June 18.
Last week, Slipknot frontman Corey Taylor shared an update on the band’s upcoming album, saying it has been “completely recorded and we’re about halfway through mixing it”. A date for the record has yet to be confirmed, although Taylor said they are eyeing a summer release.