Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat.
It was 1996. After a recording period of seven months, Slipknot released their first demo 'album'. Containing many influences including Funk, Jazz and Disco, the band began distrubuting the record themselves to fans, radio stations and record labels. Though the majority of its songs appeared reworked on later albums, the original pressing was limited to only 1,000 copies and since the band's rise to fame in 1999, it has been a sough-after rarity for Slipknot fans!
The original Slipknot group was that of Anders, Shawn and Paul, they had the idea of making a group and played around with the idea, they even wrote some songs as early as 1993. However Shawn became busy and project "Slipknot" fell through. Fortunately the idea was revived in 1995 by Shawn and Anders and thus Slipknot was officially formed in the September of 1995.
Slipknot's first show:
Slipknot performed their first show at a club thought to be named "The Crowbar". The performance was without masks and the band went under the name "Pyg System". The show took place in November 1995, around a month after Josh joined the band. This was the only show with Donnie Steele who soon left after conflicting interests.
At first the group practised in Anders basement, the group used carpet samples and scraps from a nearby Pet Grooming Center as soundproofing, according to Mick, "The animals that were there had bladder problems, because the carpet smelled like animal piss... thereby making our practice space smell the same way." However the basement was far too small and not all of the group could fit in the main area, resulting in Craig having to set up his set in the laundry room.
When the band was started, Shawn was the lead drummer, however he no longer wanted to play the drums and then Joey was brought into the band to take over the main drum role. Joey plays the main set and as a result is the main drummer who sits at the back and holds the band together. Shawn is the "Total Power Drummer" and is all aggression. Slipknot have now acquired electric drums to work with the samples and the music to provide a new element to the music. The third drummer is Chris, previously Anders and Cuddles, they take care of the tribal sound which is so important to Slipknot's sound, it is also an auxiliary sound. Slipknot wanted three different perspectives to provide an "auditory overkill".
When Shawn started the band he decided that they would need three drummers to give a powerful, tribal sound. Shawn, being into "power" stuff also wanted the basics of all instruments, believed to be by him, the drums. He wanted a drummer to the left and right with one at the back controlling it all, creating a wall of power, a fist layer... .
Battle of the bands:
In this competition Slipknot performed against several bands including that of Stone Sour, Corey's old band. Slipknot were psyched and were extremely competitive, although Stone Sour were good Slipknot won the competition. It was one of the band's highlights.
In 1995 there were two rules. Slipknot had to play what they wanted to play and it didn't matter what they played, who they played to and the cost of seeing them play should never matter. The second rule was that there needed to be 3 drummers. The members came from several different bands (Pre-Slipknot Bands ) and each had the common view on the way that everything was going in the town of Des Moines, they were sick of it; there was no music scene, it was hard to get bands CDs, etc... . As a result Slipknot was born with one mission, this mission being to 'Clean up the music industry'. The band's aims remain to be to create a sound the world has never heard, a vision no one has ever seen, this can be clearly seen by the hype to Slipknot's second album. They sensed people were ready for a show, rather than some guys just playing some music...
MFKR? Where form?
MFKR, otherwise known as Mate Feed Kill Repeat was Slipknot's very first album, created in 1996. The album is very experimental, covering a wide range of styles and genres. The album is very rare and is now out of print, only 1000 copies were ever made and when distributor -Ismist picked it up only half were left, the rest being given out as promos at gigs, etc... . You can find one of these albums at EBay rock memorabilia for the hefty price of $350. Beware of FAKES! Below is what an original version should look like.
Within the MFKR album there are several instances of funk and Disco, in particular the song, "Do Nothing Bitchslap" which all though heavy goes into a funk form half way through along with disco and jazz instances; it is a very strange yet original song. The funk element came from several influences however it, along with the rap and disco, was put in generally to spice up the songs and put Slipknot a foot further ahead of other bands. The songs are ultimately based around ground thumping riffs and all out aggressive music yet keep to the rule of giving the world something they have never seen.
The band didn't start of wearing masks, the idea was originally brought up by Shawn who one day brought in a mask and mucked around with it. It was fun and the idea caught on, soon other members of the band were wearing masks, they pivoted around the idea of how a mask can make you a different person. It was a chance the group were willing to take, to be original and out there, it worked. One thing the masks aren't is something to get people into Slipknot, a point continuously repeated by the band. The group were constantly being degraded for trying something different and as a result the masks were used to conceal identities and portray the band as an anonymous entity. "It's not about our names or faces, it's about the music." state Slipknot
Josh: "One of the fist questions they asked me was whether I was willing to wear a mask or not. My favourite band being Kiss, of course I said 'FUCK YEAH!!!'. We actually had a bunch of different masks around our rehearsal place, we would often trade and wear different masks. I think mine started when I wore a ski mask stocking cap to practice one night. We were playing and I just pulled it down".
It represents the basic cycle of life, Reproduce, Feeding to survive and Kill to overcome the enemy and stay alive, this cycle then repeats itself.
Paul (Bass Guitar)
Warwick Corvette Bass, Carvan Eden WT Head and Ampeg 8X10 Cab.
Guitars used (while in Slipknot) include a Black Ibanez Iceman, a blue Randy Rhoads Jackson V, and a Black Jackson Dinky reverse.
Yamaha controller, Yamaha PSR 720, Roland JP8000, AKAI MPC2000XL sampler, Nord Lead Synth or a Yamaha Crsx-7 for 74126000027 and other weird effects also heard in Tattered and Torn.
Custom aircraft (titanium) material kegs on hydraulic lifts. These were made by Shawn Crahan.
Mick (Lead Guitar)
Recorded CD w/Jackson King V...uses an older Jackson DR3 as well as a Modded Ibanez. Dual EMG 81 pick-ups. Amps - Rack mounted Marshall 9200 power amp w/JMP-1 preamp. Various pedals including a Boss GT-3 and a ring modulator used in many songs. Various rack effects. Marshall cabs. More of a straightforward player. Mick uses Dunlop Jazz III picks.
Standard MIC , Ludwig Snare Drum without the snares, 2 Ludwig Toms: :12" and 14", and an 18" Ludwig.
Random BlurbJoey Jordison's new side project, Scar The Martyr debut album out october 1st.
Available to download from the iTunes store