Many great mysteries have been ensconced in rock and roll history: did Robert Johnson sell his soul to the devil at the crossroads? Did Brian Jones drown accidentally, or was it murder? How did Jim Morrison die, and why was there no autopsy? But of all the modern-day questions that music fans have been puzzled over in recent times, none are more pressing than this: who is Tortilla Man?
OK, so a little bit of context here. Back in 2019, longtime Slipknot percussionist Chris Fehn left the group. Maybe a percussionist leaving doesn’t sound like a big deal for most groups, but for Slipknot it’s an absolutely essential part of their sound. They need guys pounding on trash cans and oil drums or else it’s just not going to sound like Slipknot.
So they hired a new percussionist. Except that they didn’t tell anyone who it was under the new mask. With no clues as to the musician’s identity, and with no identifiers to refer to the new hire, fans began to call the new member ‘Tortilla Man’.
That moniker comes from his mask, another iconic part of the Slipknot experience. Weathered and cracked near the skull, the mask also uncannily resembles some Mexican cuisine. Since Slipknot weren’t spilling the beans as to who this mystery man was, he once and forever became Tortilla Man.
Now, Tortilla Man has stepped forward to announce his true identity. That would be Michael Pfaff, a member of fellow Slipknot percussionist Shawn ‘Clown’ Crahan’s side project Dirty Little Rabbits. Pfaff confirmed his identity on the band’s Instagram account and announced an AMA on the band’s Reddit page, which you can check out here.
That’s one more rock and roll mystery put to bed. No for the next: when did Rush become cool?