Slipknot’s V-Man: “At first the mask was a bit weird, but the LEDs make the sides of the bass neck easier to see!"

Slipknot performing live in Padova at the Gran Teatro Geox Arena.
(Image credit: Photo by Alessandro Bosio/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Alex Venturella – alongside drummer Jay Weinberg, son of Bruce Springsteen drummer Max Weinberg – was recruited into Slipknot in 2014. At first his identity was concealed behind the mask that he wears, like his bandmates: but that didn’t last long: a bunch of distinctive tattoos on his hands gave the game away.

As Alex revealed to us, he’d been working in the music industry for years – and although that meant that his identity couldn’t be hidden for long, it also meant that he was equipped to handle one of the toughest gigs in metal. “All I was ever focused on was making sure that my bass sounded good. I never thought about stage nerves, or anything like that. It wasn’t until the curtain came up at the first Knotfest that I had a moment when I realised ‘Whoa! I’ve got a mask on!’”   

If you thought playing fiendishly twisty pick lines in front of stadiums packed with shrieking crowds was tough, try doing it in a boiler suit wearing a mask that barely reveals your eyes. Somehow, Alex manages to deliver the goods on his Status Graphite bass guitar, night after night: read and learn. 

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Joel McIver

Joel McIver was the Editor of Bass Player magazine from 2018 to 2022, having spent six years before that editing Bass Guitar magazine. A journalist with 25 years' experience in the music field, he's also the author of 35 books, a couple of bestsellers among them. He regularly appears on podcasts, radio and TV.