Yikes: Papa Roach Drummer’s Face ‘Collapsed,’ Was Paralyzed After Blasting Slipknot’s ‘Iowa’ Too Loud

Andreas Lawen, Fotandi, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
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Remember when you’re annoying ass parents tried to make you wear earplugs to all those loud metal gigs in your youth? Yeah, turns out they were maybe right.

In a recent conversation with Revolver, Slipknot’s Sid Wilson recounts a truly insane story about how ex-Papa Roach drummer Dave Buckner suffered a face condition from ‘Iowa.’ Per Sid:

“He [Dave] 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,” Wilson describes while demonstrating the facial disfigurement by pulling down his cheeks. “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.”

Dave Buckner went on to corroborate the story [mostly], but with some extra medical context:

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

Yikes. Wear your hearing protection, kiddos!