Though they’ve been wearing their iconic masks for over 20 years now, questions seemingly still arise even to this day about the possibility of Slipknot ever performing without them. But artistic mastermind Shawn ‘Clown’ Crahan has shut down that idea immediately, explaining that the band would feel “cheapened” if they went without them.
Speaking on The Fred Minnick Show, the percussionist admits that, “There’s not a day that doesn’t go by that every member wishes we didn’t have to wear that stuff” – but, having come up with the idea of the masks in the first place, it’s something they will continue to stick with. “For all I know, maybe some of the guys think it’s the worst thing ever,” Clown says. “They went with it because of our love for each other and our dream and our brand, but secretly, some people could be just, like, ‘I can’t believe I signed up my whole life for this,’ whereas I’m only doing it with that. So I never forced it on anyone. It seems like it’s what we wanted to do. And it’s helped, and it really is who we are.
“People ask me all the time, ‘Are you gonna take off the mask?’” he added. “And I say, ‘Why do I need to do that?’ You’re only asking me because of behaviour. You’re only doing that because you have a hypothesis of all the other artists, some way or not, but I’m not a part of that test, that field research. I’m the Clown in a band called Slipknot. We are not your kind. We are not like you. We’re not part of your hypothesis.
Clown also added that this imagery is “pure religion”, and not something that “laziness or stress or just the will to not wanna put it on anymore” will mean that Slipknot ever go unmasked.
“I signed the deal we did in the beginning, and there’s just never been any of anything else,” he revealed. “I really couldn’t fathom us any other way. I would feel cheapened; I would feel betrayed. I think that’s the difference: it’s the self-worth in the dream, in the art that you create. Ours is very, very, very precise, and we do not deter away from staying the course.”
A couple of years back, Kerrang! asked Corey Taylor about his favourite ’Knot mask to wear – but the frontman joked that, “They were all fucking horrible.”
Corey explained: “The hardest was my original with the dreads. Anything that’s full-headed – there’s just no getting out of it. At least when you’ve got some kind of a half-mask with buckles, you don’t feel like you’re singing in a portaloo. But when it’s closed, you just put this big rubber hood on and there’s just no getting out of it.
“So that one and the Iowa one, because they were basically variations of the same thing,” he continued. “Those were the worst. The Iowa one was foam rubber. The ones from the first album were thin but then we got a little money and we were like, ‘Wow, let’s make some cool shit for the Iowa run!’ They used foam rubber, which was basically just like giant sponges.
“You could tell where we were at in the show by how big my head was getting and how heavy this thing was…”
Posted on: 05 Jun 2020
Slipknot are rocking Halloween 2018 with a brand new song in four years!
Listen to their surprise release of ‘All Out Life’ here!
It’s a good day to be a Slipknot fan. The band has released their first single in four years! The new track, entitled “All Out Life,” arrived on Halloween, and only rightfully so. The guys brought their classic dark psyche to the heavy track, and fans were thrilled to finally see new music from the rock band. “I LOVE THE NEW SLIPKNOT SONG HOLY SH–T” one fan wrote on Twitter after listening to the track. The song arrived with a music video as well directed by the band’s M. Shawn Crahan aka “Clown.”
Slipknot's Corey Taylor released a statement regarding the song’s release. “All Out Life” is a song that is trying to do 2 things: bring everyone together, but also remind everyone that the past is not something to be discarded with disdain. People are so eager to find the Next Big Thing sometimes that they shit all over the bands and artists that have come before, thus making the past feel disposable, like a dirty thing. Fuck that: Why should we pay attention to your mediocre future when you can’t be bothered to celebrate an amazing past? I’d rather listen to a guaranteed hit than a forced miss. “All Out Life” is the anthem that reminds people that it’s not the date on the music—it’s the staying power.”
For fans hoping to see even more new music from the band – you’re in luck. “The album is underway, and it’s going to be one of the darkest chapters in Slipknot’s history; it’s that good,” Corey said during an interview with Zane Lowe on Apple Music’s Beats 1, He continued, “It’s complicated; it’s dark; it’s heavy; it’s melodic; it’s fierce; it’s angry and it’s real; it’s raw as hell and it’s gonna be talking about a lot of things that people are going to need in their life right now.”
“All Out Life” might be one of Slipknot’s heaviest tracks yet! What better way to ring in Halloween than with new music from the iconic band. Listen to the new track above!
Posted on: 01 Nov 2018
Slipknot look like they could be back in the studio after the band posted a new photo online.
Shawn Crahan and frontman Corey Taylor has appeared on the band’s Twitter page. It was captioned “2019”, leading fans to speculate they have begun working on a new release for next year.
Corey Taylor gave fans an update on new material earlier this month, saying:
“I know that we’re gonna try and put an album out next year – however, that is all speculation. The best way to make God laugh is to announce your plans out loud. So I’m just going with the flow. The plan right now is next year but that is a huge plan because we still haven’t narrowed anything down, so we will definitely see what happens.”
He also explained that the band had been “writing tons of music” while he had “written lyrics to almost all of it.” “We’re going to start trying to put together demos here and there with the time off that I have and really try to get ahead of the curve as far as what happens next.”
Posted on: 25 Jun 2018
It's been three years since Slipknot's last album .5 The Gray Chapter but the Iowan wrecking machine have kept us satiated with the release of new live movie Day Of The Gusano. Filmed at the band's first-ever show in Mexico City, headlining Knotfest, the historical performance was captured on multiple cameras and directed by Slipknot's purveyor of darkness Shawn Crahan aka Clown.
We caught up with Clown to talk about their Mexican experience and what the future holds for The Knot.
“It’s finances, it’s the right time, it’s wondering about that society. It’s very difficult for kids there to pay for tickets. They have to work months and months and months. So it’s just not easy to pick up and go to Mexico City and do a show.”
“We’ve heard from day one in our career how crazy Mexican people go off at a show, how unified they are. You say ‘jump’ and they all jump, and you can feel it. So we thought, ‘Why not make this show a Knotfest?’ And we documented it, because it was a really special thing.”
“I came in about a month or so early to do press and I hung out with all the promoters – they took me to all the food places. I ate all the authentic stuff. I ate crickets, I ate ants, larvae… I will eat anything you want. I love all that stuff.”
Posted on: 04 Nov 2017
You can now keep up on all things related to Slipknot percussionist M. Shawn “Clown” Crahan in one place thanks to his newly launched official website at www.theclown.com, complete with the somewhat disturbing animated disembodied version of Crahan you see above.
Posted on: 24 Jul 2016
Slipknot vocalist Corey Taylor and percussionist M. Shawn “Clown” Crahan gave a revealing interview to Rollingstone.com about the difficult road to their soon-to-be-released new album, “.5: The Gray Chapter“. Crahan revealed that the album’s opening cut “XIX” drove him to tears:
“I don’t usually let people see me cry. It’s too hard. But when I heard what Corey Taylor sang on the song ‘XIX,’ I cried and cried and cried. It hurt so bad.”
Crahan also revealed that the bands new drummer—reportedly Jay Weinberg—went through an initiation of sorts at the hands of the band. Crahan flew him to Des Moines, IA to the grave of the bands late bassist Paul Gray, stating:
“I made him pay his respects and say hello. I told him what we’re gonna do, and we got on a fucking plane and flew to fucking L.A.”
Both Crahan and fellow percussionist Chris Fehn also spent a good time standing in front of the drummer, yelling and flipping him off as he played to initiate him into the outfit. Taylor in particular stated that the process of making the album and the adversity they faced making it has made them more appreciate of each other:
“When we were younger, we took each other for granted. We didn’t allow ourselves to – for want of a better word – love each other. We loved what we did together, but we didn’t allow ourselves to appreciate each other for who we are individually. We learned the hard way that you can paint yourself right out of a picture, if you’re not family. I think that’s the biggest way that we’ve changed. We’ve started listening instead of screaming. We’ve started reaching out and showing appreciation for each other, whereas before we might have been a little too proud, a little too stubborn. Losing Paul shook us to or foundations, but luckily that foundation held. We didn’t realize we were taking our time with Paul for granted. I’ll be damned if I do it with these guys.”
Posted on: 18 Oct 2014
SLIPKNOT frontman Corey Taylor says that when he first saw the image that became the cover artwork for the band's long-awaited fifth album, ".5: The Gray Chapter", he was "so blown away" that he immediately knew SLIPKNOT had found what it was looking for.
The ".5: The Gray Chapter" was designed by M. Shawn Crahan, better known as Clown, who is the percussionist and founding member of SLIPKNOT. Crahan is also the art director for SLIPKNOT and directed their DVDs, "Disasterpieces", "Voliminal: Inside The Nine", "Of The (sic)", and "(sic)nesses: Live at Download". He has been the creative vision behind the band since their inception.
"The minute I saw that image, I knew that it was the cover," Taylor told Mistress Carrie of the Worcester/Boston, Massachusetts radio station WAAF, "because the great thing about Clown is that… He does all the artwork for us, he comes up with so much of the concepts, and he's really never gotten the amount of credit that I think he deserves. So when he came in, he had some of this fantastic artwork, I was so blown away. But that one image was so striking, and I think it told so many different stories just in that one image. Because it's black and white, but if you look at it, there's so much gray in it without the color gray even being there. I just knew that was our moment, that was our image, that's what we were gonna put up and hold up to the world and say, 'This is our album.' I just knew that was it."
Posted on: 17 Oct 2014
A report over at TMZ.com has word that county fire officials have shutdown Slipknot‘s plans to burn camel dung at this years US ‘Knotfest‘. However, the report doesn’t cite the burning feces as the main problem, but rather the oil—though both are considered a public nuisance.
While the original press release did state that burning camel dung and oil would become ‘the scent of Knotfest‘—band percussionist/originator of the idea, M. Shawn “Clown” Crahan, was quick to correct the press release, stating that oil was not involved.
A representative for the ‘Knotfest‘ has told TMZ that they are currently exploring other avenues to fulfill their aromatic plans. The festival will be held at the San Manuel Amphitheater & Campgrounds in San Bernardino, CA from October 24th-26th.
Posted on: 16 Oct 2014
Slipknot percussionist M. Shawn “Clown” Crahan has elaborated on just why the band intend to burn camel shit during the upcoming US ‘KNOTFEST‘. Shawn Crahan points out though that despite the press release mentioning oil would also be involved, it will be pure camel dung that will be burned during the fest. Speaking with Rolling Stone of the matter, he offered:
“We did the camel dung on the first Knotfest. It was awesome; it was beautiful. came into the museum and they had to be hit with camel shit. A very distinct smell. You can’t huff it, but it’s got this smell. And it’s not necessarily the most comfortable thing, but its not necessarily the worst thing, it’s just remembering thoughts — it’s gonna be a reoccurring thing.”
“I write down things in life that are special, that only living in this thought process can you ever obtain. Freshly mowed grass. How it smells when a nice spring rain hits. Because of Iowa, I like being in a different state that doesn’t even have grass and think that I smell fresh-cut grass. It brings me home.
Makes me feel safe… So, I figure, since we’re not a band anymore — we’re a culture, everybody needs to get used to that real quick — that the culture has to have a smell. You have to be able to be somewhere in the world, maybe be in a little pain, and then all of a sudden smell that and feel good again.”
“.5: The Gray Chapter” is due in stores October 21st on Roadrunner. Pre-Order the brand new album now from iTunes / Amazon.com.
The US ‘KNOTFEST‘ will be held at held at the San Manuel Amphitheater & Campgrounds in San Bernardino, CA October 25th-26th.
Posted on: 30 Sep 2014
Slipknot percussionist Shawn M. Crahan (a.k.a. Clown) revealed that the band’s next album will contain songwriting contributions by the band’s deceased bassist Paul Gray. He explains:
“There are songs that he’s written that will be a part of the next record. We’re all going to have to think like him, and he’ll be there. He’ll be there; there’s no way that Paul Gray will not be a part of anything that we do for the rest of our career.”
Slipknot’s last studio album All Hope Is Gone was released back in August 2008, nearly two years before Paul Gray died. Although the band has not yet announced an official replacement for Paul, Donnie Steele, who was the guitarist for Slipknot from 1995-1996, had been filling in for him on their last tour.
Posted on: 07 Mar 2014