Members: Paul Grey, bass (born Los Angeles, California, 2 October 1974); Craig Jones, keyboards (born Des Moines, Iowa, 5 July 1972); Corey Taylor, vocals (born Des Moines, Iowa, 8 December 1976); Joey Jordison, drums (born Des Moines, Iowa, 26 April 1977); Sid Wilson, turntables (born Des Moines, Iowa, 3 March 1978); Chris Fehn, percussions (born Des Moines, Iowa, 24 February 1973); Shawn Crahan, percussions (born Des Moines, Iowa, 24 September 1971); Mick Thompson, guitar (born Des Moines, Iowa, 3 November 1976); Jim Root, guitar (born Des Moines, Iowa, 2 October 1974).
Best-selling album since 1990: Slipknot (1999)
Hit songs since 1990: "Liberate," "Spit It Out"
Intense, loud, and visceral, Slipknot burst onto the nu-metal scene with a hard-edged fusion that used the vernacular of Staind, Incubus, Nickelback, and Limp Bizkit. But beyond the howling vocals, floor-rumbling bass, and machine-gun drums, the band's chief calling card was their disturbing look, consisting of ghoulish masks, makeup, and generic overalls. No one used names onstage—their outfits bore only the numbers one through nine. It was macabre, but it had the desired effect: young boys were thrilled, and parents were appropriately shocked and stupefied.
Slipknot came together when the founding members, percussionist Shawn Calvins and Joey Jordison, assembled the initial roster of musicians to play local gigs. After a few minor changes the lineup settled with nine members, an unusually high number for a rock band. "Everybody freaks out that there are nine guys in the band," Jordison told the Los Angeles Times. "I didn't want nine guys in the band; that's too many ******** people! But that's what it took to get the sound we want."
Initially, people scoffed at the idea that a metal band would launch in Des Moines, Iowa. But that very dismissiveness ignited the band's imagination and prompted the device of nameless stage visuals. But it was the band's intense firepower on their debut Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat. (1996) that turned most adolescents' heads. Released on Halloween of 1996, the eight-song, fifty-minute CD demonstrated the budding group's penchant for distorted sound, extreme guitars, and complex song structures. The group's sonic signature came together on Slipknot (1999) as they spiced their sound with edgy turntable scratches and Korn's metallic burns. Slipknot's musical palette nonetheless leaned heavily towards death metal. Lyrically, songs like "Wait and Bleed," "Tattered and Torn," "Liberate," and "No Life" reflected metal's anger and rage—not that most of the songs' lyrics, recorded or performed live, were discernible.
Slipknot's metal fusion and comiclike outfits swiftly became popular. Their follow-up album, Iowa (2001), debuted at number one on the Billboard charts, which was ironic considering their antisocial look and angry lyrics. With the help of their producer, Ross Robinson, Slipknot cranked the thrash and death factor a notch higher on the album. On songs like "People = S***" and "New Abortion," guitars and drums are played at an industrial pace. All throughout the band convincingly evinces their darkness and mayhem credentials. Like other late-1990s numetalers, Slipknot's public visibility benefited from key spots on the Ozzfest tours. In their live shows Slipknot worked hard to make themselves the most aggressive, violent, and unrelentlessly brutal of the bunch. In lyrics like "I wanna slit your throat and f*** the wound," from "Disasterpiece," Slipknot provided an outlet for the expression of the contents of raging adolescent ids.
Harder than Korn or Nine Inch Nails and weirder than Marilyn Manson, Slipknot used excess in their music and message to provide a compelling experience for fans in the expanding nu-metal market of the late 1990s.
Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat. (ismist, 1997); Slipknot (Roadrunner, 1999); Iowa (Roadrunner, 2001).
"Slipknot." Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Popular Musicians Since 1990. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 18, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/slipknot
"Slipknot." Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Popular Musicians Since 1990. . Retrieved February 18, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/slipknot
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Hardcore metal band
Thrashing and bashing their way out of America’s heartland, Slipknot has attacked stages with a vengeance and become popular around the world. The group’s sound is metal, with aggressive lyrics and at times a repulsive sense of humor. Fans are seemingly attracted not only to the catchy melodies of Slipknot’s songs, but also to the group’s symbolic persona. Reaching back to dramatic influences like Kiss and Ozzy Osbourne, group members wear masks along with prison jumpsuits marked with bar codes and identify themselves with numbers while on stage. Slipknot’s popularity smoldered for several years before it spread like wildfire. Live performances, the group’s masked personas, catchy tunes, and an honest approach to their art all help to fuel the blast furnace that is Slipknot.
Slipknot arose from the persistence of Shawn Crahan, who had been playing with a loose mix of local Des Moines, Iowa, musicians. Supposedly, three of the members were hanging out at the gas station where one of them worked the night shift when they committed to forming a band. Crahan, Paul Gray, and Joey Jordison, the gas station employee, started practicing seriously in 1993. After several changes in the lineup over the next few years, the band solidified in 1995. Corey Taylor replaced the group’s original singer during the summer of 1997 after he was approached by the initial three members and realized how hot the band was. Native lowans make up Slipknot’s roster: DJ Sid Wilson (#0), drummer Joey Jordison (#1), bassist Paul Gray (#2), percussionist Chris Fehn (#3), guitarist James Root (#4), sampler Craig Jones (#5), percussionist Shawn Crahan (#6), guitarist Mick Thompson (#7), and vocalist Corey Taylor (#8). Taylor writes most of Slipknot’s lyrics.
Perhaps the sordid collection of homemade rubber masks worn by the group was the initial vibe that caught the attention of fans. Members started donning the rubber expressions after Crahan put on his evil Bozo mask during a band practice. In addition to masks, each member wears monotonous jumpsuits which are labeled with a bar code on the back. Slipknot tries to express themselves as a group rather than as individuals. Crahan stated on Slipknot’s official website #1, “Our music is so reliant on each other that if one guy is gone, it just wouldn’t be our songs. Without one person, something is really, really missing. Everybody has to be present. Even the littlest things make our songs magical.” The masks were put on more as a response to the group’s environment than a special thrill for their listeners, as Jordison suggested on the record label webpage: “We never put on the sh** we wear to try to get people into us. We did because, after being degraded constantly for trying to play music or do something in Des Moines, it just came out to be like we were an anonymous entity…. No one cared, so we were never about our names or our faces; we’re just about music.”
Slipknot recorded, self-released, and self-distributed their debut album in 1996 entitled Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat. Only six members were in the band at that time. The group eventually attracted the attention of producer Ross Robinson, known for his work with Korn and the Deftones, who signed and produced the band for their debut on the Roadrunner Records imprint I Am Records in 1997. The band’s second album, Slipknot, was released in 1999. During the first week after Slipknot’s self-titled release, the sales volume hit 15,000 copies. It reached gold status in 30 weeks and eventually went platinum by April of 2000. “Welcome to Our Neighborhood,” the group’s home video, debuted at number one on Billboard’s Top Music Video chart in November of 1999.
Slipknot is a conglomerate of a band in a way. Three drummers lay down the strategy for the machine-gun guitar attacks, and a DJ guides the advanced technology sampling arsenal. One of the percussion kits used by the band includes home-welded parts. “We’re a highly, highly aggressive band, and very seldom do we meet people who are in the realm of our aggressiveness when we play as a unit, and Ross took us into the recording room and was throwing punches at us. He was into it. Ross got up every day and went and worked out so he could be in shape to do our album,” Crahan said. In a summer of 2000 cover story in Alternative Press, Jordison explained the band’s vitriolic attack: “All of us were so used to having the middle finger thrown at us, that when we finally threw it back,
Members include Sid Wilson (performing alias #0), DJ; Joey Jordison (#1), drums; Paul Gray (#2), bass; Chris Fehn (#3), percussion; James Root (#4), guitar; Craig Jones (#5), sampling; Shawn Crahan (#6), percussion; Mick Thompson (#7), guitar; Corey Taylor (#8), vocals, lyrics.
Formed in Des Moines, IA; noticed at the Ozzfest Tour, 1999, debut record label release, Slipknot went platinum, 1999; headlined Tattoo the Earth Tour, 2000.
we did so with ten times the venom.” Anthony Bozza of Rolling Stone described Slipknot as the first death-metal jam band, concluding, “Slipknot make music that sounds like Ministry without synths, Slayer with a groove and Marilyn Manson if he were actually angry.”
Slipknot’s popularity truly caught fire in 1999. Early 1990s theatrical thrasher Dave Brodie of Gwar stated that rock music fans were ready for acts like Slipknot after the grunge era of anti-showmanship. “People got tired of that, Kiss put their makeup back on, and the floodgates burst open,” Brodie said. Slipknot’s musical pungence attracted listeners’ curiosity and desire for new stimulation during their second-stage show at the ’99 Ozzfest tour. They began the new century by performing on Late Night with Conan O’Brien in the winter of 1999-2000. A hit single, “Wait and Bleed,” was featured on the soundtrack for Scream 3. The group took part in the Tattoo the Earth and the MTV Return of the Rock tours during the summer of 2000.
Slipknot’s live performances have stunned audiences around the world. The group has performed stunts like drinking their own urine and breaking band members’ bones onstage. They have smashed a goat’s heart, vomited openly, and spewed sparks all over the stage from angle grinders. During one show, Crahan defecated on stage and hurled the feces at Jordison. A concert in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, was ceased by fire marshals after the promoters accidentally oversold the show by 300 tickets. However, the band decided to treat everyone equally by coming back to play a larger venue. During a performance in Washington, D.C., one of the band members further propelled the group’s reputation for extreme theatrics when he burned a teen magazine advertisement featuring a member of Korn posing for a major clothing designer. At a show in England, a band member dove from 30 feet into the crowd, resulting in a fan being treated for head and spinal injuries.
Australians made Slipknot gold, and the band continued to sell out gigs there and throughout Europe and Japan as well. Even in England, a country notoriously inattentive to heavy American rock, produced a silver record and a New Musical Express (NME) declaration of Slipknot as “brilliant.” The band won numerous awards and was nominated in readers’ polls in a few of the country’s top music magazines. Slipknot was nominated for Brightest Hope for 2000’s NME Premier Awards. They won for Best New Band and Best Album in Kerrang!, and they earned the titles of Best New Band, Best Album, Best Drummer (for Jordison) and Best Metal Hammer Cover Feature in Metal Hammer.
In an interview with All Rock World, Jordison said about the group’s anonymous stage appearance, “Being of the anonymous factor is to keep all the rock star cliché and the ego bullsh** gone, so the bigger the band gets we can remain grounded. We can keep the music focused and not rob the kids of any music. You see a lot of bands, as soon as they start getting big, closing endorsements, getting involved with money, producing videos, going out with… porn stars and that’s not where it started. What got them big is when they were grounded. It got to a certain point and then they moved away from it and we don’t ever want to move away from it. That’s why the anonymity comes in.”
Jordison is positive about the future of Slipknot: “If you can make it in Des Moines, or come out of Des Moines, I think you can pretty much do it anywhere,” he said in an interview with All Rock World. “I don’t know necessarily about moving away from that type of sound, because that’s what we’re drawn to mostly. I do agree. You can’t go through every element of life like that. The things that have been done to us and the evolution that we’ve tried to come through as a band, we have enough hate and rage to fill probably three or four records, we have a lot of sh** to work out still.”
Slipknot toured for about a year in support of their label debut, then took some time off to get in touch with themselves in the wake of all the hoopla so that their third album hits even harder. They plan to write it in Des Moines before recording and mixing with Robinson.
Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat, self-released, 1996.
Slipknot, I Am/Roadrunner, 1999.
(Contributor) Scream 3 soundtrack, Wind-up, 2000.
Rolling Stone, April 27, 2000, p. 43; July 6-20, 2000, pp.75-78, 150.
Spin, May, 2000.
All Music Guide, http://www.allmusic.com (April 17, 2000).
All Rock World, http://www.altrockworld.com/interviews/slipknot.html (July 2000).
AntiMTV, http://www.cloud10.org/toons/slipknotinterview.html (July 2000).
The Kinda Music You Like, http://www.kindamuzik.net/q_and_a/slipknot.shtml (July 2000).
KNAC, http://www.knac.com/servlet/Article_Page?articlelD=651 (July 2000).
MTV Online, http://www.mtv.com (May 10, 2000).
Slipknot at Roadrunner Records, http.//www.roadrunnerrecords.com/artists/Slipknot/(July 2000).
Official Web site #1, http://www.slipknot1.com/(July 2000).
Spin Magazine Online, http://www.spin.com (May 6, 2000).
"Slipknot." Contemporary Musicians. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 18, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/slipknot
"Slipknot." Contemporary Musicians. . Retrieved February 18, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/slipknot