Slipknot guitarist Jim Root is planning his own solo project, using his time in quarantine to compile new ideas. Root revealed the idea to Loudwire during an exclusive interview, detailing his creative process and admitting he may overthink it to death.
Slipknot often revolves around the schedule of Corey Taylor, going dormant when it’s time for the frontman to focus on Stone Sour. After Slipknot’s tour schedule for We Are Not Your Kind is complete, the Nine will likely be away for two or three years, giving the musicians ample time to work on other creative projects.
“I’ve had a lot of people ask me about doing a solo project. I think now I have a little bit of extra time to dedicate to that, so I’ve been writing some stuff that maybe wouldn’t slide into the Slipknot world,” Root explains. “I would like to just because I need to stay busy. You know, I didn’t start a family, I never got married, I didn’t do any of that stuff. I know Corey wants to do a solo project that’s outside of Stone Sour; he’s mentioned that.”
“For a solo project, I’m gonna overthink that until I’m insane and it may never ever come out,” the guitarist laughs. “What direction do I go? Do I even think about a direction? Do I just let it naturally come out? Do I use things that I’ve written intended for Slipknot that maybe Slipknot didn't gravitate towards?”
Root concludes, “Obviously, Slipknot is my priority and it’s what I’m always gonna have as a priority … With all the arrangements I’ve written for the last couple of Slipknot records, I don’t know that I need another outlet, but I’m going to try. Set a goal, maybe see if I can achieve it.”
Watch our full interview with Jim Root above and click here to watch the Slipknot guitarist play his favorite riffs.
Posted on: 01 May 2020
Metal Hammer caught up with Slipknot's Jim Root at Rock On The Range to talk about the future of the band and what else he's got in the pipeline.
Posted on: 01 Jun 2015
Slipknot guitarist Jim Root continues to speak out against his former band, Stone Sour. Root was fired from the band back in May. Given his recent comments, many suspect his personal issues with the group are with guitarist Josh Rand. Talking with TeamRock Radio recently, Root stated:
“I spent 12 years helping that band, writing songs for that band and doing things for them. When people conspire and turn their back on you because you have a bigger obligation to get to, it’s a little bit like, ‘Well, I guess that’s that.’
But when people don’t give you any reasons then all you can do is speculate. If people are going to make decisions like that for their career, I honestly would rather get on the life raft and get away from that sinking ship.
Maybe there’s neurotic people who are nervous and don’t know what their future is – so they have to make rash decisions to try to make sure they have a future. But that’s short-sighted. I tend to look past the end of my nose for my future.
Hey, if that’s what they feel they needed to do so they could go play another month’s worth of shows and do a cover record, then more power to you, have fun with that. I know where my passion lies and where my brothers are.”
Posted on: 22 Nov 2014
Jim Root sat in with Triple J Radio and addressed the departure from his former band Stone Sour - which is fronted by his Slipknot bandmate Corey Taylor. Recent interviews have implied that he was unhappy with certain members of the group. Given his latest comments, you can likely rule out Taylor as the source of the tension.
On the situation that led to his departure from Stone Sour:
“I think, in some ways, there are certain people in that band that are just extremely impatient, and they think that they need to have everything that they have, and they need to realize that the only reason they have anything of what they have is because Slipknot made it possible for them to have what they have. Slipknot has graciously and kindly stepped aside and let this other band do everything that it’s ever needed or wanted to do, yet this band can’t seem to take a break for Slipknot to do what it needs to do. And, I don’t know… For me, it seemed like it was a little bit of a smack in the face. So it just got to the point, for me, where I couldn’t stand it anymore, and I needed to work on Slipknot, it was apparent, and it was becoming more and more apparent the more shows that we were doing. And that’s essentially how that sort of happened.”
On how the split impacted his relationship with Corey Taylor:
“I’ve never had a problem with Corey. You know what I mean? Corey and I understand each other a lot better than anybody else from the other bands could, because we’ve been pullng double duty for all these years. And when you’ve got other people in the bands that you’re in that don’t share that common thing, they could never really understand what it is. And after a while you become so spread thin that it becomes really hard to give a hundred percent to both things, and eventually there comes a time where you have to say, ‘Enough is enough,’ and, ‘I need to put my focus a hundred percent into what it is that made this all possible for all of us,’ And let’s face it: Slipknot is a world-class, cult-status band, and it’s where my passion lies.
That’s not to say I’m not passionate about Stone Sour-I’m absolutely passionate about everything that I contributed to Stone Sour - but there are certain people in that band that have a different idea of what Stone Sour should be, and I don’t necessarily wanna be in a radio band, so to speak, you know what I mean? I’d rather be creative and be artistic and be able to play intricate music that moves and really takes you on a journey. About the closest Stone Sour ever came to that were the two records that we just released, and I don’t know that they’ll ever do that again in the future.”
On the prospect of starting another project:
“That’s one of the things that I’ve kinda learned from having two bands. It might be fun to play with some other people or maybe write songs with some other people. But to have another full band with other people where you spend the time in the studio and you put together a full album cycle of touring after that, it really spreads ya thin man. It’s a lot to take on. I commend Corey for wanting to continue all that—if he does, ya know what I mean?—but I know Corey has a lot of other interests in his life, he wants to pursue acting.
He writes books—he’s an author. I know he likes to go out and play with Slash and these bands like Camp Freddy around LA and stuff like that, so… I think if we were all just focus a little bit more on Slipknot that would afford us to more time to really have fun and do the other things that we want to do. It’s hard to say though, I can’t read anybody’s mind, I can’t really take them at their word for anything. You know, actions to me speak louder to words and only time will really tell.
Right now we’re all in a really good headspace and we’re all getting along very well. And everybody is extremely excited about this record and passionate about this record and that’s really all that matters right now at this time, ya know? If I find myself in three years from now at the end of this album cycle and there’s no talking of doing another album, I’m going to continue to write music. Whether that ends up being Slipknot music or whether that ends up being something for something else… I guess only time will tell that.”
Posted on: 25 Oct 2014
Paul's widow Brenna Gray testified in the involuntary manslaughter trial of the doctor who treated Paul in the days before his 2010 death that she tried reaching out to some of Paul's bandmates in SLIPKNOT just days prior to the bassist's death but that none of them wanted to get involved. She revealed, "One was playing golf two minutes away from our house but couldn't come. Nobody else cared, nobody was involved. They told me it was my problem."
Asked if Brenna was wrong in making those comments during the trial, Root told Sweden Rock Magazine (original English-language quote provided exclusively to BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I think she's probably gonna say whatever it is she thinks she needs to say for the lawyers to hear. You know, I mean, Paul was our brother; Paul was very close to us. We tried putting Paul into treatment numerous times, we took him off of tours and we had interventions with him. I would stop by at Paul's house with my ex-girlfriend and he'd still be in bed.
"There are a lot of circumstances and dynamics there and I'm sure that she is hurting very deeply and trying to find some way to maybe put the blame somewhere.
"At the end of the day, Paul was sick and Paul had a problem and we were there for Paul. "Paul wasn't always available. "I feel bad. I feel bad for the whole situation. "Brenna's always got brothers that she can count on, and October will always have eight uncles that give a shit."
Pressed on whether he was saying the other members of SLIPKNOT did in fact care enough about Paul's well being, Root replied: "Absolutely. He's our friend, he's our brother, he's our compatriot. He's always gonna be a part of our lives no matter what.
"What can you do? If you have a sickness, you gotta fix that sickness, but you can't keep putting somebody into treatment over and over and over again. What are you supposed to do? Babysit someone and live with them? What can you do?"
Brenna revealed in a 2011 interview with Revolver that her husband had agreed to get help for his drug problem just one day before he died on May 24, 2010.
Paul was found dead in a hotel room in a suburb of Des Moines, Iowa, where he and SLIPKNOT were based. He was 38 years old. He left behind his widow and a daughter, October, who was born three months after his death.
Brenna said on the witness stand at the Polk Country District Court in Iowa in April 2014 that Paul's final weeks were a "blur of extreme drug abuse," which neither his doctor nor his bandmates would help his wife confront.
Daniel Baldi was facing involuntary manslaughter charges in the deaths of Gray and eight others. Baldi was accused of causing the deaths with his careless prescription habits. Baldi denied the claim, with his lawyer saying that Baldi didn't prescribe the drugs that resulted in the deaths.
Brenna testified on the stand that Baldi continued to prescribe Xanax for Paul despite knowing that the musician was a drug addict, saying, "I just wasn't really sure why he was on it, why he needed it along with the medication he was taking for addiction."
Baldi's lawyer cross-examined Brenna, asking her if she was aware that her husband overdosed on the painkillers fentanyl and morphine, neither of which Baldi ever prescribed to him.
SLIPKNOT singer Corey Taylor told The Pulse Of Radio back at the one-year anniversary of Gray's death how he felt about the loss of his friend and bandmate. "I just miss him, you know," he said. "I miss him so much sometimes that it doesn't feel like he's gone, and there are times when I'm thinking and he's in my train of thought and I have to stop myself and go, 'Oh, God, he's not here.' But you know, I mean, there's not a day that goes by that I don't miss him. I mean, not even as far as the band goes — I wish that he was there to watch his daughter grow."
Posted on: 25 Oct 2014
Shades of Gray: Between the death and departure of various band members, Slipknot have had a rough few years. With .5: The Gray Chapter, they channel the energy of deceased bassist Paul Gray and return with a brutal but multifaceted album.
“The future of Slipknot is always in doubt,” guitarist Jim Root says. “I always prepare for each album as if it’s gonna be the last.”
It’s a minor miracle that Slipknot have lasted as long as they have. Yet, they have endured since the group formed in Des Moines, Iowa, 19 years ago, becoming one of the heaviest and scariest bands in a genre crowded with heavy, scary acts. Some 13 years have elapsed since the band’s self-titled debut album placed them at the forefront of the then-burgeoning nu-metal scene.
“With all the different guys in the band and all the different ideas of what’s what, it’s hard to get everybody on the same page sometimes,” Root says. “We are a very tight brotherhood, but we never know what we’re going to do.”
However, nothing in Slipknot’s turbulent history has been as daunting as the death of their longtime bass player, Paul Gray, from a morphine overdose in 2010. The tragedy was compounded by the recent departure - somewhat acrimonious, apparently - of longtime drummer Joey Jordison. Because both Gray and Jordison were key songwriters for the band, Slipknot’s future has hung in the balance these past few years.
But Mick Thomson, Gray’s coguitarist, says he never really considered packing it in.
“Any devastating moment throws you into shock,” he says. “I was just hoping that no one in the band was going to get caught up in the raw emotion of the moment and make any kind of grand statement, like, ‘I will not go on without Paul.’ You say something in the heat of emotion, and sometimes later when you settle down, you think, Maybe I should take that back. Once you can think straight again, what do you do? Obviously, you gotta get on with your life. We all grieve differently. I mean, we still are grieving, every time we think about it. It’s not something you get over. You just find a way to deal with it.”
With Gray and Jordison out of the picture, the bulk of songwriting duties fell to Jim Root on Slipknot’s new album .5: The Gray Chapter. The title pays homage to the deceased bassist, and the music remains true to Slipknot’s disturbing legacy.
Somber, sound-collage intros - generally assembled by Slipknot’s turntablist Sid Wilson, sampling maven Craig Jones and provocateur-in-chief Shawn “Clown” Crahan = lull the listener into a false sense of security. Then all hell breaks loose in a cacophony of car-bomb percussion as Root and Thomson’s down-tuned guitars chug and grind like some diabolic machine and lead singer Corey Taylor does his level best to projectile-vomit his tonsils out over his front teeth.
“Once we get in the studio, it sounds like us,” Thomson says of The Gray Chapter. “Some of it is very classic us. Some of it is slightly more experimental us.”
“We’re still evolving as a band,” Root adds. “I think that’s really important for a band to do, especially after being around for so many years. Paul, before he passed away, really wanted the band to experiment a lot more, musically, with the direction of where we’re going. We’d done Slipknot. We’d done Iowa. I think the closest thing we’ve done to a record that Paul was very excited about was probably The Subliminal Verses. It’s very diverse. It had a little bit of everything in it. And we’re still trying to find our way. For me, and for Paul’s legacy, it’s important that we continue to evolve.”
In Gray’s absence, Root and Thomson handled the majority of bass duties on the new album, although the band did some early work with Slipknot’s touring bassist Donnie Steele. “Donnie’s a great guy,” Root says. “We brought him in to help us out in the studio for a while. But it wasn’t really jivin’. He wanted to go home and get married and do all that stuff. It’s just better off for us to kinda move on from Donnie.”
The identity of the drummer on The Gray Chapter, as well as that of the bassist who will take Gray’s place once Slipknot hit the road, was still a closely guarded secret at press time.
“We’re not saying who the new drummer is,” Root confirms. “Even if people find out beyond a shadow of a doubt who the new drummer is, I think we’re always going to deny who it is. He might not last. He might tour with us a year and figure out we’re all insane and he can’t handle being around us. Or we might shut him out. Who knows? For Slipknot, I’d say drumming is only 50 or 60 percent of the job. The rest of it is who you are and what your personality is. Will you clash with guys like me, Mick, Clown, Corey, Craig and Chris? We all have these strong alpha-male personalities.”
Posted on: 09 Oct 2014
While the identities of Slipknot‘s new drummer and bassist are widely believed to be Jay Weinberg & Alessandro ‘Vman’ Venturella respectively - the band themselves may never fully confirm it. Guitarist Jim Root told Guitar World:
“We’re not saying who the new drummer is. Even if people find out beyond a shadow of a doubt who the new drummer is, I think we’re always going to deny who it is. He might not last. He might tour with us a year and figure out we’re all insane and he can’t handle being around us. Or we might shut him out. Who knows? For Slipknot, I’d say drumming is only 50 or 60 percent of the job. The rest of it is who you are and what your personality is. Will you clash with guys like me, Mick, Clown, Corey, Craig and Chris? We all have these strong alpha-male personalities.”
On the bassist front, Jim Root stated that both he and fellow guitarist Mick Thomson handled the bulk of the playing in the studio. At one point touring bassist (and former guitarist) Donnie Steele was involved with the studio sessions for the bands new album “.5: The Gray Chapter“. However, things didn’t pan out, as Root explains:
“Donnie’s a great guy. We brought him in to help us out in the studio for a while. But it wasn’t really jivin’. He wanted to go home and get married and do all that stuff. It’s just better off for us to kinda move on from Donnie.”
Posted on: 09 Oct 2014
Late Slipknot bassist Paul Gray plays a large role on the groups forthcoming new album “.5: The Gray Chapter“. Band guitarist Jim Root relayed one possibly otherworldly experience in the studio to Revolver as part of an upcoming cover story:
“It’s weird, man. I’m not a very spiritual person, and the whole religion thing, I’m kind of on the fence about a lot of that stuff. So when somebody loses someone who’s close to them and says that they’re still with them, I’ve always thought that was bullshit or whatever.
But I was out in the garage and working on an arrangement for a song that turned into either ‘The Devil In I’ or ‘Sarcastrophe.’ Normally when I write, I throw down the first thing I come up with, then I double it, then I throw a bass on it, and then I put the drums around it. But on this arrangement, I noticed that I wasn’t just throwing the riff down—I was trying different variations on it, trying different positions on the neck, and thinking about melodies while coming up with what the chord progression was going to be…
I suddenly realized, Fuck, man! That’s what Paul used to do! Paul was so meticulous. He would overthink everything, even if it was just how to get from one chord to the next chord. He would explore every possibility on the fretboard, especially if he was writing it on the guitar. And it made me go, He’s here, man—he’s helping me write this shit! And it blew my fucking mind. I had to put my guitar down, and I put my head in my hands. I was like, You fucker!”
Band frontman Corey Taylor also added of the effort:
“There’s a lot of pain on here, there’s a lot of honesty, there’s a lot of insight as far as what we’ve been through. There’s some anger, too. I mean, when you lose someone, there’s naturally part of you that gets really angry that you lost them. At the same time, you kind of have to concede that you have to be happy for the time you got with that person. A lot of stuff is pointed inwardly, as well, because naturally there’s a lot of survivor’s guilt going on, like, ‘What could I have done?’ That’s the burden of people left behind. You never get a good answer. All you can kind of do is make peace with it. And that’s what a lot of this album is about—making peace with the loss that we’ve suffered.”
Posted on: 16 Sep 2014
Guitarist Jim Root has now added a Jazzmaster to his signature models with Fender. See what he had to say about this latest collaboration in the video clip below.
Stark, dark and menacing, the Jim Root Jazzmaster guitar has got to be the most distinctively minimalist version of the instrument ever devised in the model’s entire half-century history. At the behest of the towering SLIPKNOT guitarist, gone are the dual tone circuits and barrage of controls. Gone are the fret position markers and enormous chrome bridge. Gone, in fact, is pretty much everything typical of a Jazzmaster guitar, replaced only by fearsome EMG 60 (neck) and 81 (bridge) humbucking pickups with brushed nickel covers, a single three-way switch, a single volume knob and a hard-tail Stratocaster bridge.
Posted on: 05 Mar 2014
Singer Corey Taylor #8 is turning his full attention to his other band, SLIPKNOT. With Jim Root, guitarist for both groups, back in Los Angeles writing and demoing material, Corey told The Pulse Of Radio where things stand for the long-awaited record. "Me and Jim have been writing a lot of stuff, and it's really starting to kind of shape up really… I mean, we've got a nice chunk, and now we just kind of need to, you know, shape everything to that SLIPKNOT point of view, that SLIPKNOT way, that SLIPKNOT sound."
He added: "There's an excitement that we haven't felt in a while."
The new SLIPKNOT album will be its first since 2008's "All Hope Is Gone" and the first since the 2010 death of bassist Paul Gray and the recent dismissal of drummer Joey Jordison.
Jim Root told The Pulse Of Radio late last year - before the news about Joey Jordison broke - that he was feeling the urgency to make a new SLIPKNOT album. "You know, we haven't done a record since Paul's been gone and it's been pushing six years. And there's a lot of people in SLIPKNOT and a lot of fans and me myself kind of feel like it's time for that hurdle to be overcome. And for me, that's really like my number one priority and the most important thing for me right now."
Posted on: 26 Jan 2014