Slipknot’s Sid Wilson Says ‘Iowa’ Literally Made Papa Roach Drummer’s Face Collapse
Slipknot’s seminal second LP, 2001’s Iowa, usually sparks a wide array of reactions from listeners. That said – and according to DJ/keyboardist Sid Wilson – former Papa Roach drummer Dave Buckner surely had one of the most extreme, as his face literally collapsed upon first hearing the record.
In a recent interview with Revolver, Wilson reflected on creating the landmark LP alongside producer Ross Robinson (Korn, Fear Factory, Limp Bizkit). While virtually everyone who hears it agrees that it’s extremely aggressive, Buckner was ostensibly so taken aback by it that he had a drastic physical response.
“Be careful with this,” Robinson warned Wilson as he handed him the final Iowa mixes. Nevertheless, Wilson played it for Buckner in their tour bus when both bands were on the road together.
Wilson added [via Revolver]:
We had the Iowa album when we were on tour with Papa Roach. And to Dave, the original drummer, we were like, 'Hey man, you want to listen to the new album?' I don't think it was out yet. And he was like, 'Yeah.' He comes up on the bus and I think we were into maybe the third track. And I just watched his face and he started getting uneasy, and he's looking around at the ground and stuff. And then he looks up and I'm looking at him, and his face collapses. One whole side of his face. And it drooped out like when you have a seizure.
His whole face collapsed and it just stayed down there. His eye, everything. The music collapsed his face. It destroyed his whole world right in front of me. I was like, 'Are you OK?' And he's like, 'I got to go.' And he stood up and [we were like], 'What the fuck?'
And I'm not lying. It wasn't just him making a face. This thing [pointing to his face] lost all will to live. One whole side of his face. He left, I looked at the guys, I'm like, 'Oh my God, did we just fuck him up? I hope he's OK.' I don't even really know what happened that day. He was still out there the rest of the tour and stuff ... I guess he saw a doctor or something. But that's how dangerous that shit was.
Apparently, Buckner later reached out to Revolver to offer a marginally different account of what happened. Per the magazine:
The real story is that me, Jacoby [Shaddix, Papa Roach singer], and Tobin [Esperance, bassist] went up to Houdini Mansion [Robinson's studio] with the Slipknot guys while they were there recording Iowa. They played us the album in the mixing room with the volume cranked to 11. I left the room with my ears ringing, and when I woke up the next day and the left side of my face was hanging off my skull, totally paralyzed!
I thought I had a stroke during the night! I immediately saw a doctor, and turns out I had Bells Palsey, which is triggered by trauma to the facial nerve that runs through the ear canal in the skull. Causes can include blunt force trauma, extremely loud noise, and, apparently, Slipknot! Slipknot music literally melts faces.
While the situation was undoubtedly terrifying, at least it prompted Buckner to seek medical help and get an official diagnosis. Likewise, this story is but the latest in a long line of reasons why Iowa is so fascinating.
As for Papa Roach – who replaced Buckner with Tony Palermo in 2007 – they’re currently on tour in support of 2022’s Ego Trip. They’re joined by Falling in Reverse, Hollywood Undead and Escape the Fate.
You can purchase tickets here.