Slipknot’s Jay Weinberg Reveals Who Made Him Want to Play Drums
Slipknot's Jay Weinberg grew up the son of one of the world's most famous drummers, but it wasn't his dad that initially led the drummer to pick up his chosen instrument, though Max Weinberg indirectly led his son to that choice. In a chat with The Bronx's Matt Caughthran on the Sailor Jerry Podcast (as seen below), Weinberg reveals that current Rancid and former The Used drummer Branden Steineckert was the musician that initially influenced his choice.
As Weinberg revealed, in his formative years he used to come visit his father in New York who was serving as Conan O'Brien's late night show band leader. "I grew up maybe 30 minutes away from Asbury Park. I'd take the train up to the city and I'd hang out. I'd go to St. Mark's place where I found a lot of punk rock kind of shops and whatnot. And then I bounced up to the studio where they would do the Conan show and I go see a band that I was a fan of. They'd be playing on the show and then they play at CBGBs or Irving Plaza or Roseland Ballroom or Webster Hall that night," he recalls.
"I would do that once a week or a couple times a week or whatever. I just do my homework on the train, and meet my dad at work and we'd go to these shows. And funny enough, I mean, that's how I made some really long lasting friendships. When I went to go see The Used back in 2001 or '02, [I met] Branden Steineckert, one of the founding members and drummer, he now plays in Rancid. And we've been really, really great friends for well over half my life, since I was 12 years old or so," says Weinberg. "So, moments like that were really formative for my development, in not only just having a respect for how that intersected."
He went on to sing Steineckert's praises in his own musical development, stating, "He's the drummer that made me want to start playing drums. That's where the light switch in my head went off. Because music wasn't really something that I was drawn to play. I was very into it, but it wasn't something that spoke to me to pick up an instrument necessarily. I did a little bit. I played guitar when I was nine and then, we'd go take lessons. But lessons were school, and I didn't want to go to school, after school."
Weinberg added, "And so I came to it kind of late, but it was watching Branden at Irving Plaza when I was 12 years old, made a huge impact on me. And that's what made me want to be like, 'I want to do that. Whatever that is, I want to do that.' And oh, yeah, we're best friends to this day."
Within the chat, Weinberg reveals that it was initially a battle of interests as he was really into hockey as a kid. "I was a goalie, and that was my passion, that was my everything. And I didn't really make time in my life for anything else. It was everything hockey all the time. And when I was in my sophomore year, in high school, I'd started a band. I picked up the sticks, because I realized we had a drum set at home. And so, I was like, 'I'm going to just kind of mess around on this.' And I would kind of monkey see, monkey do what I would watch drummers like Branden or my dad. And with guys that I had watched and been like, 'I want to try that. that was fun.'"
While Weinberg says he was late to the instrument, he quickly became interested in picking up all he could. "I kind of put myself on this vertical learning curve. Trying to play along and do my best playing along to Slayer records and Metallica records and whatnot."
Weinberg would eventually fill in for his father within Bruce Springsteen's band, then played with Madball, Against Me! and Kvelertak before eventually landing the Slipknot gig.
Check out more of Weinberg's stories about his time being asked to play with Springsteen at a young age, auditioning for Slipknot and more within the Sailor Jerry podcast below and find additional episodes here.