With Slipknot remaining tight-lipped about the identity of their latest member ‘Tortilla Man’, theories continue to circulate online to unmask his true identity.
The masked metallers, who in 2019 scored their first Number One album in 18 years with the acclaimed comeback record ‘We Are Not Your Kind’, found a replacement percussionist this year following their far from amicable split with former member Chris Fehn. The new member, dubbed ‘Tortilla Man’ by fans owing to the style of his mask, hasn’t had their identity revealed yet, and fans are getting quite obsessed with trying to work out the identity of their latest recruit.
‘Knot fan and Reddit user Les Connelly previously shared his theory on the new guy’s identity – after guitarist Jim Root told The Art And Span Show that the mystery man as “a world-class pianist” and “a great percussionist” who is “schooled in music”.
After putting all of the pieces together, Connelly deduced that ‘Tortilla Man’ is Michael Pfaff, who has played with the band’s Shawn “Clown” Crahan in the band Dirty Little Rabbit, as well as Iowa’s own The Snacks – who have since replaced their own keyboardist in recent months since Slipknot’s new album campaign and touring began.
It was reported that Crahan met Pfaff after being introduced by Slipknot’s Sid Wilson. Fans have noted that not only is Pfaff the same size and build as ‘Tortilla Man’, but that his friends and family appear to be following #TortillaMan and other ‘Knot related trending hashtags on social media.
Now, Youtube fan site Slipknot news has shared video footage of the band arriving at the airport before their ill-fated scheduled appearance at Knotfest Mexico – and one member of their entourage seems to bare a strong resemblance to Pfaff.
The band are yet to respond to the fan theory, and it’s unlikely that they will. Earlier this summer in an interview with Kerrang, the band vowed to keep details of their newest member under wraps, shutting down questions about who it might be. Shawn Crahan aka Clown said: “The position you may or may not be talking about is nobody’s fucking business.”
He emphasised that the fans will be the judge of their newest member when touring live, saying: “The proof is in the pudding.”
Slipknot themselves have also been trolling fans, with the elusive musician even writing “Who the fuck is this guy” across his drum skins:
Fans on Reddit also spotted that his autograph is of the initials ‘N.G.’ Many are speculating as to to whether this is another joke for ‘New Guy’ or is a clue as to his real identity.
Mystery or not, Slipknot are extremely happy with their latest recruit. In an interview with Zane Lowe on Beats 1, frontman Corey Taylor said ‘Tortilla Man’ had won the respect of bands and fans. “He’s doing great and is a great dude. He’s killing it, man.”
Asked how anyone becomes an official member of Slipknot, Taylor said: “First of all, you’ve got to wear the tortilla on your face. And the audience has to figure out who you are. With ‘Tortilla Man’, it’s kinda cool. It’s brought this whole new energy to everybody as well, so it’s a lot of fun to watch him as well.”
Guitarist Jim Root agreed in a cover interview with NME that their mystery percussionist “absolutely is killing it because he hits those drums so hard”.
Root clarified, however, that his remarks should not be read into as disparaging of past members.
“It’s just, it’s weird. I’m not trying to take anything away from, you know, previous members, but you don’t know what you’re missing until you have this other thing happening and it’s like, Oh, that’s how that’s supposed to sound!”
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Root continued: [Tortilla Man] hits those drums so hard. In the new stage [set-up], he’s kind of above me to my right a little bit, and I can hear his drums without putting him in the monitors. His timing is impeccable, he locks in with the band really well and his backup vocals are great.”
Root did however say that he was dedicated to keeping the mystery of his origins intact.
“I’m actually surprised that nobody has sussed out who it is yet, but nobody has,” Root told Rock Sound. “And in this day and age of social media, with phones and cameras everywhere, that’s kinda interesting.”
He continued: “It’s weird because I’ve met this guy before, I know who he is, but he’s really kind of elusive, even around our camp. I’ve had some people tell me, ‘Don’t tell us who he is, we’re having fun trying to figure it out!’
“So I’m gonna keep my mouth shut about all of that and see what happens. Eventually someday someone’s going to figure it out…”
And why not? The band claim to have been having a lot fun by messing with fans.
“We didn’t want the emphasis to be on the new guy, we wanted the emphasis to be on the music,” Taylor told The Music in Australia. “That was what it was always about for us. We didn’t want the drama, we didn’t want the bullshit, we wanted the attention to be on the fact that we had new music coming out. And as we pushed it even further, it’s driven people so fucking crazy… Now, we’re, like, ‘We’re never gonna tell now.’ It’s really fun.”
Comedian Gilbert Gottfried has joked that he is the real ‘Tortilla Man’ in a new video. Check it out below.
In a clip provided to Loudwire, the 64-year-old comic, actor, and voice artist says to the camera: “I am ‘Tortilla Man’ from the band Slipknot.” Later, he labels himself as a “heavy metal lover” and calls on Corey Taylor to offer his thoughts on him being the face behind the now-iconic flatbread snack mask.
Check out the video below:
Meanwhile, Shawn “Clown” Crahan has revealed that the band are planning to release 11 unheard outtake songs from their album ‘All Hope Is Gone’ in the next couple of years.
As for the immediate future, 2020 will see Slipknot embark on some of the biggest headline shows of their career when they return to tour the UK – as well as embarking on the first ever Knotfest Cruise in Spain next summer.