On Wednesday, Shawn "Clown" Crahan also announced he wouldn't join the band on tour this summer due to his wife's health issues
Heavy metal band Slipknot has announced the departure of keyboardist Craig Jones after 27 years of rocking together.
"To our fans, Slipknot is announcing that we have parted ways with Craig Jones," the band wrote in a since-deleted social media post, per The Daily Mail. "We wish Jones all the best for the future."
Jones joined the group in 1996 and recorded seven studio albums with the band. He was also known for the spiky face mask he wore during live performances.
While Jones is yet to comment on the news, fans on social media have expressed their disappointment with the decision.
"AFTER 27 YEARS SLIPKNOT FIRES CRAIG?! WTH," wrote one fan on Twitter. "so unfortunate on many levels. one that comes to mind besides his talent is his mask."
Another fan wrote: "craig isn’t in slipknot no more….. HATE IT HERE"
After the band announced his departure, they shared a new mask on the band's Instagram account — which fans believe could be Jones' replacement.
"This is kinda f—ed up...announce our of nowhere and with no explanation the departure of an OG member of the band, delete the post an hour later then a couple hours after that post his replacement...straight disrespectful," wrote one fans in the comments section.
Meanwhile, other fans believe there is no bad blood involved with his departure: "Why is everyone assuming Craig leaving was a negative thing? Maybe he wanted to retire. Spend more time with family or health reasons or maybe he just wanted to do something else with his life. Just because something changes doesn’t always mean it was for negative reasons."
The news of his departure comes after percussionist Shawn "Clown" Crahan announced he wasn't joining the band in their European tour — which kicked off Wednesday — to take care of his wife.
“I would like to take a moment to tell everyone that I’m back home supporting my wife through some health issues, and I’ll be back on the road as soon as I can,” he wrote in an Instagram post Wednesday. “We’ve been through this before, and as always, we appreciate the love and support. See all of you very soon.”
Although her health issues remain unclear, he has previously opened up about her journey with Crohn's disease: “Health is the most important thing you have on this planet if you’re gonna have a successful life,” he said in a 2005 Des Moines Register interview (via Blabbermouth). At the time, he said, “Right now has definitely been the hardest time in my life.”
The band is touring in support of their 2022 album The End, So Far.
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