Ex-Papa Roach Drummer Dave Buckner Confirms He Suffered Facial Paralysis From An Early Listen Of Slipknot’s “Iowa”


Much to the chagrin of some fans, masked Iowan metal outfit Slipknot have often cited their 2001 sophomore album “Iowa” as their internal benchmark for heaviness in their music. While they’ve yet to consistently exceed the ferocity found on that record, it would seem that there’s a reason that they hold that platinum-certified effort in such high regard.

In a recent interview with Revolver, Slipknot‘s resident DJ/daredevil Sid Wilson claimed that former Papa Roach drummer Dave Buckner suffered facial paralysis upon being given an advance listen to that opus back in the day.

Wilson recounted the following of that incident:

“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.”

Buckner himself reached out to Revolver to explain his side of what happened on that fateful listen:

“The real story is that me, Jacoby [Shaddix, Papa Roach singer], and Tobin [Esperance, bassist] went up to Houdini Mansion [producer Ross 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.”

A landmark album in Slipknot‘s catalog, “Iowa” would debut at #1 atop the Billboard charts on its week of release. That distinction has put it in contention with being the heaviest album to ever top that chart, though some may argue in favor of Pantera‘s beloved seventh studio album “Far Beyond Driven” holding that title.

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