Mike Portnoy Believes His Son Would Be A Better Fit For Slipknot Than Eloy Casagrande

In a recent interview with Brazil’s Marcelo Vieira and Mateus Ribeiro, Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy was asked if he thinks Eloy Casagrande is “the perfect drummer for Slipknot.”

“I do. Eloy really… Well, actually, no. The perfect drummer for Slipknot would have been [my son] Max Portnoy,” he responded. “But the second-best drummer for Slipknot, behind Max, is definitely Eloy. I mean, he’s a perfect fit, a perfect pick. He has so much incredible technique, but beyond technique, he plays with a lot of spirit and balls and personality. And sometimes, for me, that’s way more important than technique. But in his case, he has both. He has it all. And I couldn’t be happier for him. And I’m also happy for Greyson [Nekrutman] who took his place in Sepultura, ’cause he’s another favorite modern drummer of mine.

“So, the kind of triangle between SepulturaSlipknot and Suicidal Tendencies, with [ex-Slipknot drummer] Jay Weinberg going to Suicidal, it’s the perfect metal triangle. I think all three of those drummers are tremendous, and they’ve all Gotten great gigs.”

Max Portnoy, 25, has played drums for bands such as Tallah and Code Orange.

Casagrande joined Slipknot in February, taking over the position previously held by Jay Weinberg, who was unexpectedly dismissed in November 2023. His sudden departure from Sepultura in February, right before the band’s 40th anniversary farewell tour rehearsals, suggested his move to Slipknot.

In a recent interview with Brazil’s Veja São Paulo, Casagrande revealed that the opportunity to audition for Slipknot arose last December through the band’s manager, shortly after Sepultura had announced their 40th-anniversary farewell tour.

“They asked me to record and send them some videos from right here in Brazil,” he said. “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. 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.”

When asked about the moment he received official confirmation as the new drummer for SlipknotEloy said: “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.”

Concerning the audition process itself, Eloy commented: “At first, they didn’t explain what we were going to do. It was all kind of in the dark. The first thing they sent was a NDA [non-disclosure agreement] document, so I couldn’t discuss it with anyone. 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. Many of the songs I was learning weren’t on that list, so I started looking for sheet music. 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. 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.”

When discussing his choice to depart from SepulturaEloy remarked: “I received the invitation to audition [for Slipknot] after the [Sepultura farewell] tour was announced. 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. I had a chat with Slipknot, asked about their schedule and if it would be possible to juggle the two bands, but they said no, it wouldn’t be possible, I’d be exclusive. So 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.”