What is up ladies and gentleman and welcome to THE SEED Ep#2 The History of Slipknot part 2! I want to thank you very much for tuning into another patreon exclusive podcast thank you very much for your support! before we begin i want to invite you to follow me on all social media you can follow me on twitter @chrispeeters870 and on instagram Chrispeeters8705. Please subscribe to my youtube channel The underground metal gamer and make sure you click that subscribe button and turn on all notifications.
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Rarely since the fiery crash of Buddy Holly's plane in 1959 have the words "Iowa" and "rock and roll" been used in the same sentence. As we've come to know it, Iowa means corn, livestock, conservatism, and precious little else. And like a thousand other landlocked heartland nowheres, it brims with kids dying from boredom, and with small-minded politicians trying to keep their little slice of Americana quaint, quiet, and soul-crushingly sterile. But the kids aren't all right - they're getting pissed.
And in Des Moines, their rage has a name: Slipknot. Draped in Ed Gein-style coveralls and nightmarishly surreal masks, touting a sound patched from the best parts of metal, industrial, and violent L.A.-style "new metal," and armed with a multidimensional percussive onslaught the weight of a hundred Neubautens, you could call Slipknot equal parts style and substance. You could also call it payback time for Middle America.
In an Alternative Press cover story, drummer Joey explained the band's vitriolic attack this way: "All of us were so used to having the middle finger thrown at us, that when we finally threw it back, we did so with ten times the venom."
And they hit a nerve in the process. Slipknot's self-titled Roadrunner Records album achieved platinum status. Their home video, "Welcome to Our Neighborhood," has dominated Billboard's Top Ten since its release, and it became platinum. But that's just America. Australians have made the album gold and the video platinum, and the band continues to sell out gigs there - and throughout Europe and Japan too. Even grumpy old England -- notoriously intolerant of heavy American rock -- has chimed in with a Silver record and New Musical Express' declaration of Slipknot as "brilliant." Similar accolades can be found within recent cover stories in Alternative Press, Circus, Guitar World, Hit Parader and Metal Hammer, and the band has also been featured in Kerrang!, Metal Maniacs, Rolling Stone, and Spin, among others. To top it off, the tune "Wait and Bleed" (which the band performed on Late Night with Conan O'Brien) has lately been rotating on MTV, KROCK NY, KROQ LA, LIVE 105 in San Francisco, WHFS Washington, DC, KNDD Seattle and so............
Slipknot's self-titled debut album detonated like an dirty bomb when it dropped in 1999 and i remember the day very well. June 29 1999. It Was graduation day for me at Neelin High school, and all i could think about was walking up to cd plus to buy the Self titled Debut Simply titled "SLIPKNOT" But Who were these masked mad men and where had they come from, seemingly out of nowhere? Of course, the answer Is Des Moines Iowa, and like most bands that "make it overnight," they had in fact been kicking around the local circuit for years, grinding it out, perfecting their vision, collecting scars and paying their dues and they have to this fucking day.. EARNED EVERY OUNCE OF SUCCESS and Notoriety, everyone was against them from day 1 and no one took them seriously! Funny, how everyone sure is eating their fucking words now! Formed in 1995 by percussionist Shawn Crahan, drummer Joey Jordison and bassist Paul Gray, the group would go through a number of different lineups and looks, self-release a highly limited album Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat., huff dead birds and lock each other in boxes, before enlisting a singer and porn-store employee named Corey Taylor as their frontman. The rest, as they say, is motherfucking history.
In 1999, Slipknot released their raging first album. Against all the odds, it's sold over two million copies. Metal Hammer finds out how it came about.
“If the truth be told, it was really my wife who persuaded me to sign Slipknot,” says Roadrunner Records supremo Monte Conner. “I really wasn’t sure I liked them but I was prevaricating. That and a character that they had in the band at that time – called, I think, The Baby [aka the mentalist Cuddles – Ed] – swung me.”
Welcome to the mid-90s, a period that seems almost as remote as the Dark Ages in terms of the phenomenal changes that we have seen in heavy music and in the lives of nine [or so] crazy kids from the Mid-Western USA who had an idealistic dream to scare the living piss out of the whole motherfucking planet. Slipknot wanted to destroy the world and they were hungry from day 1. This vision coupled with 9 young men who wanted nothing more than to make their rage and pain known to every person on the planet, took the world by storm. I remember how many detractors and doubters their were in the metal community who mocked me and mocked them calling them "a fad, quick fix, 15 minutes of fame" and made other negative speculations in regards to the bands potential. As a diehard maggot from day 1 I defended them constantly against haters and spat upon people who thought that just because they liked slayer for example that they were more metal than i was!
“Slipknot is still the heaviest album ever to make it onto the Billboard chart,” says Corey Taylor. “There’s no doubt that the album opened the door to a lot more very extreme bands crossing into the mainstream,” says Monte Connor.
“It set the bar,” agrees Joey Jordison.
In retrospect, Slipknot’s 1999 self- titled album was a major change in metal. Until then, bands were still caught up in the fallout from grunge, and while the lightweight pop-metal of bands such as Korn, Limp Bizkit and others were keeping hard rock alive and on permanent rotation on MTV, there was nothing outside of the underground to challenge the old guard of Slayer, Metallica and Megadeth, nothing with any real substance. That was until these 9 freaks in masks and boilersuits emerged from a desolate corn-field in Des Moines Iowa and made Bands like Slayer, Metallica and megadeth look like childs play. The sheer amount of emotion in the debut album is absolutely astounding when one stops to consider just how much shit slipknot had gone through leading up to the creation of the band, along with their violent sound, aggression, brutal percussive onslaught and lyrics that touched on subjects of hatred, murder, pain, rage and aggression and violence they would go on to reach a group of people who were just as disaffected and pissed off with the world as they were. This group with come to be known affectionately as maggots.
Slipknot had no idea what they were going to sound like when they formed: stuck in dead-end bands and dead-end day jobs, they wanted to do something – anything – to get the fuck right out of that life. “Back at the time, there was no metal going on in Des Moines, there was no hardcore, nothing. We had all been in bands that had opened up for each other, and the scene had become just terrible. No one really gave a fuck about music, so we formed Slipknot,” says Corey Taylor. Now I can only imagine how awesome it must have been to be a part of all of this from day 1. In my opinion these men have something no other band in history have.. and that is a vision and a purpose many artists fail to possess. It became very evident to me early on in Slipknot's career that the meaning and purpose to their art meant more to them than fame or success. To this day the band still don't act like rockstars or celebrities. Granted they do have a successful life but they are still those men from IOWA who make dark crazy music that connects with millions of maggots globally. and it hasn't fucking stopped! "WE ARE NOT YOUR KIND"
Shawn Crahan used to frequent a club in Des Moines called The Runway where cover bands and tribute bands would try to outshine each other in their slavish imitation of other bands. When the only two original metal bands in Des Moines that he liked broke up, he knew it was time for him to do it himself. Along with vocalist Anders Colsefni and Paul Gray, he formed a band called Meld. Local drummer Joey Jordison was persuaded to come and watch them rehearse: one song they played that night was called Slipknot. He knew there and then that he had to be in.
Joey Jordison worked as night manager at a gas station. He’d leave band practice at 10pm, take a radio and TV to the gas station and crank metal out all night. Shawn Crahan would come down and they’d start plotting things out. When he left at 5am, they had worked out the blueprint for the band that Slipknot would eventually become. Then he got fired because he was scaring the customers away. “We literally had people pull up, see me and Shawn sitting in the window, floor it out of there and go to the Amoco station across the street.”
Slipknot’s live shows around the period between 1995 and 1998 were occasionally shambolic affairs, played out in bars in the bad part of town to at best indifferent and at worst hostile crowds. Line-ups changed: original guitarists Donnie Steele and Josh Brainard left, the former after he “found Christ”, the latter lost interest. Anders Colsefni left in 1997 and was replaced by Corey Taylor who the band had met when they faced off against Stone Sour in a Battle Of The Bands contest. Craig Jones was tapped to replace Donnie, but he was moved to samples and Mick Thomson joined as lead guitarist. When Josh bolted, Corey suggested a replacement, James Root, from his old band Stone Sour. The band found DJ Sid Wilson later on, and the incarnation of Slipknot that we all love to hate was formed.
Their debut release – 1996’s Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat. – was essentially a collection of demo-quality tracks, and it gives us a snapshot of a band not quite fully formed.
“There were a few tracks on that record that were good that ended up being redone on the first Roadrunner album,” says Monte Connor.
As well as Connor, producer Ross Robinson – then riding high on the success of his work with Korn and Limp Bizkit – had heard the album and went to Des Moines to see the band himself, intending to sign them to his IAM imprint. After seeing them and hanging out with them in strip bars – “Des Moines’ main form of entertainment,” says Corey Taylor a tad wearily – Robinson was impressed by their dedication and by their vision. It was the alchemical reaction that would turn base metal to gold. I can wholeheartedly agree with this statment because of what slipknot's music has done for me to this day. Back in 1999 though I had never heard anything like this and In my mind there would never be another band of this calbier ever again.
Thanks in part to Robinson and Monte Connor’s wife, Slipknot were signed and travelled out to Robinson’s Indigo Ranch studio in California to start work on the album. For a time, Robinson seemed to be the only person who was totally convinced by Slipknot. As far as the band were concerned, they’d written the album for themselves and had no idea that anyone else outside of their friends and family would buy it. Imagine
if Slipknot's vision stayed that linear? We wouldn't have the greatest band in history blasting in our stereos and breaking our necks from headbagning and our throats wouldn't be sore from screaming some of the most powerful lyrics in history!
“We hadn’t recorded the album yet; we hadn’t gone out and toured; we didn’t know how people were going to take us. So we’d just written the songs for us. There was no audience until then,” says Corey. Man, i can only imagine the feelings that were going through the minds of Slipknot at this time, slowly but surely their determination and persistence to turn their art into a career was unfolding before them.
The band travelled economy class in those days and slept where they fell, on couches and on armchairs if they were lucky, on hard floors if not. Robinson has a reputation as a producer who lays down challenges to bands to get the best work out of them; with Slipknot it was a two-way street. This is exactly how legends are created, make them work hard and earn everything and you will have people with a strong appreciation and work ethic. This to me is why Slipknot are so godamned incredible.
“I was working out every day just to stay on top of that record,” Robinson, a man who seems to hyperventilate with enthusiasm in everyday conversations, told Hammer. “It was spontaneous, it was violent. Things were getting broken. We were out there away from anyone else, nobody dropping by or hanging out, it got crazy really quickly.”
“Ross had me pounding that kit so hard that my hands were bleeding, and that was when we were just setting up the drum levels. My hands were covered in these bloody bandages,” says Joey.
“Ross pushed us and we pushed back,” says Corey. “It was a fight. Ross was throwing punches at us. He was so into it. You can hear that on the record.”