Back in 2010, the world of music was undoubtedly shocked to learn of the passing of Slipknot bassist Paul Gray.
Helping to found the iconic group back in 1995, Gray served as the band’s bassist and backing vocalist, appearing on their first four studio albums. Known to many as #2 or ‘The Pig’, due to his famous mask, he was an instantly recognisable member of the influential group.
Tragically, the rocker would pass away in 2010 at the age of 38, leaving behind a musical legacy that others could only dream of.
We’ve taken a look back at some of the finest moments from Paul Gray’s storied career, reminiscing on some onstage highlights, interviews, and tributes to his everlasting legacy.
Paul Gray plays ‘Blind’ on stage with Korn:
Back in 2006, Korn were one out playing on the Family Values tour, gaining widespread acclaim at every performance.
However, to help close out their show in San Bernardino, California, Slipknot’s Paul Gray decided to make a guest appearance onstage, turning up to help the group perform their iconic tune ‘Blind’ in an absolutely spectacular fashion.
The evolution of Paul Gray’s mask:
Nicknamed ‘Pig’ for his iconic mask, Paul Gray went through a number of different looks during his time in Slipknot.
This career-spanning video takes a look back at how his mask changed throughout his career as the group’s bassist, showing how even though the mask may change, his legendary talent still remained.
Slipknot perform at the TMF Awards:
Despite what this video’s title may tell you, Slipknot weren’t performing ‘Duality’ at the Grammys back in 2004, rather, they performed this classic track at the TMF Awards in Antwerp, Belgium.
Appearing between a number of pop artists, few could have expected producers to break up the sound of the day with such a mesmerising and powerful performance. However, to the surprise of everyone, Slipknot stormed the stage, performed a rousing rendition of ‘Duality’, and undoubtedly stole the show.
Paul Gray talks about his musical history:
Ask any aspiring musician, and they’ll tell you how hard it is to learn to play like their icons. Ever the charming and down-to-Earth muso, Paul Gray took the time to talk about his gear, musical background, and to impart some wisdom to his followers in this video.
Released back in 2008, this video is an insightful look into the technique and talent of this immensely skilful musician. While it’s incredibly informative, we can’t help but think about how much more he had to give when we watch this.
Slipknot takes two minutes of silence for Paul Gray:
Following Paul Gray’s passing in 2010, some fans wondered whether Slipknot would ever play again. Knowing that it’s what Paul would have wanted, they hit the road again in 2011, performing a number of shows in Europe.
Headlining England’s Sonisphere Festival in July, the group honoured their late bandmate with two minutes of silence. As Gray’s jumpsuit and mask took centre stage, fans paid tribute to their idol with a respectful few moments of silence.
Eerie, moving, and undoubtedly iconic, this is one of the most powerful moments in Slipknot history.
Slipknot’s memorial to Paul Gray:
Following Paul Gray’s passing, Slipknot decided to pay tribute to their friend in the best way possible. Uploaded just a few days after his untimely death, this video shows footage of Gray discussing the band and his bandmates in a rather immersive interview.
Hearing the bassist speak in such loving tones about his fellow musicians, it shows just how much of a big heart he had, and goes to show how and why he is missed so much by so many.