Paul Gray performing in Slipknot at 2008's Mayhem Festival.
|Birth name||Paul Dedrick Gray|
|Also known as||#2, The Pig|
|Born||April 8, 1972
Los Angeles, California
|Origin||Des Moines, Iowa|
|Genres||Heavy metal, nu metal, alternative metal|
|Instruments||Bass guitar, guitar, backing vocals, vocals|
|Labels||Roadrunner, Nuclear Blast, Pale One, -ismist|
|Associated acts||Slipknot, Anal Blast, Vexx, Body Pit, Inveigh Catharsi, Unida, Reggie and the Full Effect, Painface|
|Ibanez PGB1L Signature Model|
Gray was born in Los Angeles, California. Later his family relocated to Des Moines, Iowa. In his youth, Gray performed in bands such as Anal Blast, Vexx, Body Pit and Inveigh Catharsi.
Outside Slipknot, Gray has filled in as bassist for Unida during their 2003 tour, appeared on Drop Dead, Gorgeous' Worse Than a Fairy Tale, done a brief tour with Reggie and the Full Effect and appeared on the Roadrunner United project, performing bass on "The Enemy" and "Baptized in the Redemption" from the project's album The All-Star Sessions.
In June 2003 Gray crashed his car into another vehicle. After police were called to the scene and searched his car, Gray was arrested for possession of cocaine, marijuana, drug paraphernalia, and failure to obey a traffic signal. Turmoil was caused within Slipknot's fanbase when Gray's mugshot from the incident surfaced, as at this time, with the exception of Corey Taylor and guitarist James Root, unobstructed photographs of most members of the band's faces were exceptionally rare.
He is one of the 3 of Slipknot's founding line-up remaining in the band, and the only one who has maintained his original role in the band due to Clown's switch from main drums to custom percussion during the early days. He is one of the two members not born in Iowa (the other is Jim Root, who was born in Las Vegas).
Paul has been married for two years to GodsGirls, Brenna, Paul has a tattoo of her name on his knuckles. Paul and Brenna are expecting their first child in 2010. Paul made the announcement on his Myspace account.
Gray used to wear tape around his head for his mask. Later, he switched to a Halloween styled Pig mask which he used for the self-titled era, and it represented his indulgent personality. He was then criticized by members of Mushroomhead, another band who use masks, costumes and pseudonyms to differentiate themselves from other bands, who said Paul stole the idea from their bassist who also wears a pig mask. During the touring cycle for Iowa, he used a black mask with dark eye and nose holes, with a small slit near his mouth, and it bore a striking resemblance to the Man in the Iron Mask. During the Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses) touring cycle, his mask took on a more facial shape and contained small angled metal bars inside a larger mouth area. It was decorated with a bullet hole and small cracks.
Gray currently has two masks that he uses for the All Hope Is Gone era. The first one is a gray leather mask, almost identical to the one used during the Vol.3 era, except the bars are now vertically lined, and it is indented with small cracks. His second mask is almost identical to his previous one, except that white paint has been smudged down the mask in a line from the eyeholes, and it is adorned with more visible stitches on the face.
Gray commonly uses a pick on later releases, but he can be heard using the slapping technique in the songs "Do Nothing/Bitchslap" and "Confessions", on Slipknot's demo Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat. He also has a fingerstyle technique, as seen in the DVD of The Making of All Hope Is Gone.
Gray is also noted for using altered tunings on his bass, including some which would be considered extremely odd. A comprehensive list of these tunings: