Slipknot started in September 1995 with Anders (Colsefni) and Shawn (Crahan). Anders and Shawn hung-out all the time, they would play Werewolf: The Apocalypse (RPG) all the time (where much of the lyrics came from for MFKR).
Anders was helping Shawn with some welding in his garage one winter, and they got talking about putting together a brand new band. At the time they were both drummers (Anders had been singing for awhile), and wanted to put together a band with extra stand-up percussion. Anders called Paul Gray (who was in L.A. at the time), and persuaded him to return to Des Moines and give it a try. They'd attempted to do so before as early as 92 and even wrote songs: "Slipknot" and "Gently", but Shawn got too busy and it fell apart. With the three core members: Andy, Shawn and Paul they enlisted the help of guitarists Donnie Steele (ex- Body Pit guitarist) and Quan Nong (ex heads on the Wall). The band retreated to Anders basement to figure out their sound and how to improve musically.
The band began practicing under the name of Meld, following the first six practices Quan Nong left due to his following of a more Alternative/Punk style. Feeling something was missing, Paul was determined to get Joey (Jordison) involved with his new project, despite failing to receive his interest in earlier projects such as Body Pit. Paul met up with Joey at Sinclair's where Joey worked nights, there he tempted Joey to watch rehearsals within Anders' basement. Joey reluctantly agreed and despite missing two rehearsals due to work priorities, eventually made it down to the basement to view a practice session.
This basement, was "largely, open spaced", not only was the area so small and cramped but for soundproofing the members used carpet samples and scraps from a nearby pet grooming centre, this made the whole basement smell of Cat piss. The first song that Joey heard them play was a song known as "Slipknot", followed by "Gently" and "Fur".......
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.
Iowa is probably best known as "the middle of nowhere." Most non-residents consider the corn-and-pig-state a geographical black hole. Since rock'n'roll's dawning in the early '50s, Iowa has had no singular voice to put on the musical map. Naming a significant musical entity from the state is inarguably a fruitless task; it simply can't be done.
However, nine freaks from Des Moines, draped in industrial coveralls, surrealistic self-made masks, and an attack that combines violently regurgitated "L.A. neo-metal," death metal, hip-hop, and downtuned screeching horror--are about to leap upon the unsuspecting world like a musical of Clockwork Orange.
"What I want to know is can you watch something that can change you?" That is the question posed by Slipknot's M. Shawn Crahan, more commonly known as Clown. With one view of Slipknot's latest DVD, Voliminal: Inside The Nine, you will be shaken, jarred and have your attention arrested. And yes, to answer Crahan's question, you will be changed, because Slipknot are that type of band.
If any metal band has the power to educate, entertain and change lives, it's the nine-headed, hard rock enigma known as Slipknot. Since their formation in Des Moines, IA, in September 1995, the band has released three studio albums that have sold over five million copies in the U.S. Their latest studio record, Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses), released in 2004, debuted at #2 on the Billboard 200 album chart and has sold over 1.5 million copies in the U.S. to date, spawning the singles "Duality," "Vermillion" and "Before I Forget." In November 2005, the band released Slipknot 9.0: Live, a gold-certified, double-live album.
"Slipknot -- which features DJ Sid Wilson (0), drummer Joey Jordison (1), Gray (2), percussionist Chris Fehn (3) Root (4), sampler Craig Jones - 133 (5), percussionist M. Shawn Crahan - Clown (6), guitarist Mick Thomson (7) and Taylor (8), -- is still heavy, still enamored of great, big walls of deeply textured layers of sound. But this time, they've approached their music with an eye towards stylistic expression that completely invalidates any and all comments about heavy metal clichés. Moreover, they've continued the exploration of melody that began on their first record.
“It gave us more time and energy to experiment in the studio. I was able to come up with more guitar sounds than ever,” says James Root.
While the heart of Slipknot remains its music, its soul is planted firmly on stage. Today, Slipknot are playing in sold-out arenas, but the band developed their talents by slogging it out in the Midwest, playing any show they could find. These were frequently one-off shows; the band would travel from their hometown of Des Moines to places like Omaha and Chicago. "There were never any actual tours in those days," says Mick Thomson. "Our shows were like sporting events: We’d put everything into them and then afterwards, we'd be fucking exhausted. We weren't going to pile into a van -- all nine of us -- and then drive all night to the next show. We'd have fallen asleep at the wheel and died."
"Those early shows were rough, but I loved the small stage," says Paul Gray. "There was something intimate about it. It was like an old-school punk show, which is what I grew up with."
"I don't miss that shit at all," disagrees Mick Thomson. "It was 8,000 degrees, you're bumping into people, you're tripping over equipment. Those small stages have low ceilings, so the heat's trapped real low -- right at your head. Those shows are about survival, not about playing."
As difficult as those early shows were for the band, they were just as challenging for whoever might be standing in the front row.
"Shawn used to bring chop saws on stage to grind pipes for sparks," remembers Thomson. "Once, a chunk broke off and sent a kid to the hospital. But people who got hurt at our shows were cool about it -- we'd follow them to the hospital and sign some shirts and shit. It was like, you know, no harm, no foul."
"Everyone tried to control us, though," says Corey Taylor.
"Yeah, those fuckers," says Thomson. "We'd be on tour and fire marshals would show up with camcorders and accuse us of all kinds of crazy bullshit. They'd say, 'We heard you set yourselves on fire.'
"Well… okay, we'd done that!" Thomson continues, laughing. "Sid and Clown would spray each other with lighter fluid and then they'd pull out lighters. That got us in trouble. One promoter would call the next -- they'd warn each other and they'd hit us with 'do not' lists. We were castrated."
Surviving for 10 years is an accomplishment for any band. With Slipknot, it feels like some sort of miracle. Personalities frequently collide, side-projects abound, and on-stage fights are common. And yet, year after year, album after album, all nine men keep coming back for more. "We're banded together in hate," says Joey. "Sometimes we hate each other, sometimes we hate the world, sometimes we just hate our own lives. But when we get together, something monstrous happens and we pull this amazing sound out of all that energy."
"Plus," he adds, "we believe in world domination, and this is the band that's gonna get us there."
"You know, we went from being some local band in a basement to selling millions of records," says Gray. "It's going to be a decade since the first album came out. I'm so happy and amazed and proud and thankful for where this band has gone. I've gotten to see the world -- and I get paid for it! I'd have done it for free."
Chris Fehn agrees. "I think the best part about being in this band has been getting exposure to the rest of the world. You realize that everything in the world is the same -- people feel the same, they have the same desires, hopes, fears. Being worldly is a gift that I don't ever want to give back. It changes your life -- especially when you're from a small town in Iowa."
"I always knew we'd go far. I just knew it," says Taylor. "There was no way this band was going to fail. But I never knew we'd reach the heights we've come to. We've traveled the world so many times; all the different countries are like our second homes. To this day, it still blows me away that we took this crazy idea and made it a global sensation."