Full Name: Greg Welts
Years Active: 1997–1998
Greg "Cuddles" Welts is the original custom percussionist along with Shawn Crahan. He didn't stay that long and left to work on his tattoo parlor at South Dakota called "The Ultimate Prick".
During shows Cuddles smashed up sets and even threw his drum kit into the crowd. Cuddles became part of the band following the departure of Anders Colsefni and much against the advice of family and friends. Before joining the band Cuddles was the groups tattooist and is responsible for the tribal S tattoo on Anders' leg and several other tattoos. Cuddles also drummed for another band, The Havenots which also included Joey and Paul. Despite not being within the group during the time MFKR (Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat) was recorded, Cuddles appears on the inside tray. He was the naked guy, and was thanked at the back of the album.
Cuddles has been the only guy to ever be sacked from the band, this was due to his lack of dedication to the position he took on and the lack of contribution besides the parts Anders previously delt with, he played his last show during the summer of '98 shortly before the signing to Roadrunner Records. Following his movement away from the band and the firing from Axiom piercing studio, Greg left Des Moines. He currently owns a tattoo shop in South Dakota named "The Ultimate Prick" - there are rumours that this has been shut down now.
Dav-O on Cuddles a.k.a Greg: "I met Greg one week night at 2nd Ave Foundry in the Summer of 95. One of the Owners, Eddy introduced us. We spent the night talking about the OC scene. Greg had been part of the OC scene for a number of years in the early 80s and had played with Mad Parade, Organised Crime, claimed to have played a few gigs with CH3 and had made the finial cut trying out for Agent Orange. He moved out here with his pregnant girlfriend and got caught cheating shortly after she gave birth. She throw him out and he went back to Steamboat, CO. When I was in need of a tattooist, Greg moved back out here and started drumming for us."
Full Name: Brandon Darner
Years Active: 1998
Brandon Darner was a temporary percussionist in Slipknot between July and August of 1998. The band had fired Greg 'Cuddles' Welts a few days prior to the Roadrunner Records signing which took place on July 8th of 1998 and while they were looking for a full replacement Brandon stepped in temporarily.
He never intented to stay long and according to ex guitar player Josh Brainard, Brandon only did one live gig with the band which was the Ranchbowl show in Omaha Nebraska on August 15th 1998 (also Josh's last live show with tbe band). Brandon did not wear the 'Old Hobo' mask like many people thought. The fact has been misunderstood for many years and Slipknot fansites have stated that Brandon is the man behind the old man mask when actually it's Sid Wilson with another mask on. The band were known to change masks during sets from way back in the early Safari Club days where Shawn, Craig and Paul all were known to swap to different masks during specific songs in the set list and then swap back to the original masks. Like mentioned above Brandon Darner only played one show with Slipknot in which he wore the white Liar mask which was later adopted by Chris Fehn who has stated in interviews that the mask was 'Already made for him when he joined', so the mask was originally created for Brandon and not Chris.
Brandon and Shawn Crahan come together in 2004 to release an album under the band "To My Surprise".
Full Name: John 'Gnar' Brainard
Years Active: 1995-1999
Josh Brainard commonly known as Gnar to his band mates, was one of the original Slipknot guitarists, alongside Donnie Steele. Josh was asked to join the band after playing with Anders, Joey and Paul for several years. Originally Josh was the topping to the music produced, adding back up vocals, a touch of melody and his work on the guitar was placed over what was already there, being mainly noise and wah pedal stuff.
Later on, however, Mick Thomson took on the 'noise' role and this caused Josh to take on a more rhythmic guitar role. Josh was present for both MFKR and the self titled album, being in both the recordings. Most people are unaware that Josh recorded all but one of the songs on the self titled album, the song he does not appear on being Purity which contained his replacement Jim Root. The reason Josh left the band is between him and Slipknot, they are still good friends and he didn't leave because of touring and being away from his family, this is simply a rumour.
Full Name: Andy Rouw
Nickname: Anders Colsefini
Years Active: 1995–1997
Anders Colsefini (real name Andy Rouw) was the original lead vocalist of the hard rock group Slipknot. He was replaced by Corey Taylor after their self-released debut Mate.Feed.Kill.Repeat. Anders formed Painface and was in the band during On A Pale Horse. Despite leaving Slipknot, he has a very close friendship with DJ Sid Wilson.
After MFKR, Slipknot believed that, in order to find a major label, they needed a more radio friendly voice (they said Anders's grunts were like Max Cavalera's), so they found Corey Taylor. The band still wanted Anders to perform backing vocals and percussion, but got tired of the idea and he quit publicly before Slipknot was signed to Roadrunner Records. Anders however wanted to put his heavy metal voice to a good cause and as a result left Slipknot to create his own breed of heavy metal band, Painface and essentially take-over where Slipknot's MFKR left off.
Anders's lyrics "Only one of us walks away" were used in "Only One," track 13 of Slipknot.
Full Name: Donnie Steele
Years Active: 1995-1996
Donnie Steele was the original guitarist for Slipknot recruited even before Josh Brainard. He played guitar on their independent demo Mate.Feed.Kill.Repeat. Before Slipknot, Steele was also in a band with current Slipknot members Mick Thompson, Paul Gray and original Slipknot vocalist Anders Colsefini called Body Pit.
Donnie Steele left the band supposedly because he "found God", but this is unsubstantiated and is left to individual speculation. He did not wear a mask during his time with Slipknot.
Donnie Steele is currently living in Des Moines, Iowa with his girlfriend and 3 children. His musical endeavors include the death metal band Killpact and teaching guitar at his and his business partner's lesson studio called Central Iowa Music Instruction located down stairs from Dirk's guitars/Tragically Hip Vintage in Des Moines' East Village.
Donnie Steele has been a guitarist for 21 years, studying classical guitar for 20 years, and a guitar instructor for 18 years.
After the late passing of Slipknot bassist, Paul Gray, Donnie Steele toured with Slipknot and filled in for Paul Gray. He joined withSlipknot on the Mayhem shows, and played the shows from backstage, out of the view of the crowd - a move that has surprised some fans.
"Donnie was in the band at the very beginning, and rather than get an outsider, we thought it would be a fitting tribute to Paul to play with someone from within the family," the band wrote. "Donnie was great friends with Paul and we can't think of a better way to celebrate his memory than with someone who was there with us at the very beginning. The eight of us are looking forward to being onstage again and honoring Paul's legacy with our families in Europe and Brazil this summer."
Quan "Meld" Nong was the first singer, but only sang for the first year (1995). he is more widely known as the former guitarist for Slipknot in 1994 when the project first began under the nickname "Meld". However, sometime during the sixth practice of the band, Quan Nong left due to his following of a more alternative/punk style of music. He did not wear a mask. Though it seems otherwise, his name is actually spelled "Kun".
Patrick M. Neuwirth was the original guitarist from 1989 to 1993. Pat used to help Shawn Crahan's first band, Heads on the Wall, along with ex-guitarist Quan "Meld" Nong . He left the band a few months into spring of '92. Patrick did not wear a mask. Patrick currently makes a living as a metal sculptor and a furniture designer.