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Slipknot looked slightly respectable in their suits and ties at the VMAs in 2008.

Even with Slipknot adjuncts such as Stone Sour tooling around the country, the group is at work on its next album -- and first project since the shocking May death of bassist Paul Gray.

"It's already in motion," drummer Joey Jordison, who has canceled his band Murderdolls' Violent Night, Deadly Night tour slated to begin Dec. 3 due to "an unforeseeable family emergency," tells Billboard.com. "It's definitely exciting. It's a little emotional, of course, but I think it's going to be really, really cool and I think it's gonna be a really, really great record because everyone's really involved in the process."

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Jordison says he and the group's other members are demoing material for the follow-up to 2008's "All Hope is Gone," and though no firm timetable has been established he expects Slipknot to united in studio during the first half of 2011. "It's going to be a little interesting," he acknowledges, "but I think it's gonna be a healing process for all of us. Slipknot is not going anywhere. We're a family, and losing a family member sucks. You can't help that, but you need to move on, and I think that what we're gonna do might be the most powerful thing that we've ever created."

Jordison says Slipknot will remain an octet, with no replacement for Gray. On stage, however, "we'll have a bass player that's right next to me, to the right behind the stage, to lock in with me. But there's no one right now who will go on stage."

Murderdolls, meanwhile, hope to reschedule the canceled tour dates in 2011 and said in a statement that, "These decisions are never easy to make, and we did everything we could to keep from having to cancel, but this was unavoidable...Sorry ghouscouts, but we'll see you all soon!" The cancelation hasn't dampened Jordison's enthusiasm for the group's new album, "Women and Children Last," however.

"I consider this to be the first Murderdolls record," Jordison notes. "The first one [2002's 'Beyond the Valley of the Murderdolls'] is what it was, and it's a great record, but it's more of a glorified demo. This is the first time me and Wednesday actually sat down and wrote songs together, and we put more production into it and it's a more thought-out record than the first one."