The members of Slipknot held a press conference last night to pay tribute to bassist Paul Gray, who was found dead in a hotel room in Urbandale, Iowa on Monday morning. (Watch video from the press conference below.) The band, who were not wearing their trademark masks in public for the first time, were also joined by Gray’s wife Brenna and brother Tony. "It's very important that everybody on the outside of us understands that Paul Gray was the essence of the band Slipknot and Paul was there from the very beginning," percussionist Shawn "Clown" Crahan said. "None of us would be on the path that we're on right now in life, or have the sorts of lives that we have, without him. He really was the essence of Slipknot and we'd like for him to be remembered that way. He's going to be sadly missed and the world is going to be a different place without him."
Gray's wife Brenna, who is pregnant with their first child together, also took a moment to pay tribute her late husband, remarking that their daughter would be raised to remember her father "as the way he was." Since the press conference marked a rare time when Slipknot were seen without their grotesque masks, fans who watched the event had trouble distinguishing the band, who provided no comment on whether they would continue without Gray.
In a statement yesterday, investigators in Gray's death said they have found no evidence of foul play or trauma and that the cause of death is still under investigation following an autopsy. Investigators are waiting on the results of a toxicology report, which could take four to six weeks, before the cause of Gray's death could be positively determined.
Watch video of the press conference below.