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Slipknot Extends Their Early Success

Dec 12, 2007
Based in Des Moines, Iowa, Slipknot has been entertaining adoring fans for more than ten years with their alternative metal, heavy metal, nu metal, and rapcore albums and singles. The group, which is currently on hiatus, has been attracting a following with their rather extreme musical and performance style since 1995.

Background Information

Consisting of nine members, Slipknot has produced the majority of their music under the Roadrunner label since 1997. The band utilizes a common guitar arrangement, showcasing the talents of a lead and rhythm guitarist, as well as a bassist. A unique characteristic associated with the band is that unlike other groups, Slipknot includes two percussionists alongside their primary drummer. Through their evolution, Slipknot moved from near growling vocal sounds to the more recent melodic-infused style, while the lyrics have always presented aggressive tones and dark subject matter, including anger and nihilism.

Brief Career History

The group was known during its early years as The Pale Ones, Meld, and Pyg system before settling on their current name. It was during that time that most of the songs appearing on the album "Mate.Feed.Kill.Repeat" and later productions were created. Before Joey Jordison became a part of the band, the lead drummer position was given to Shawn Crahan (the founder of the group). It was Crahan who wished to create a distinct tribal resonance and what he called a wall of sound by using three drummers. Jordison is credited with later designing the band logo, which capitalized the k to pay homage to one of their major influences, Korn.

Over the years, many changes occurred in the lineup of the band. After the release of their first album on Halloween 1996, lead vocalist Anders Colsefini was moved to percussion and replaced with Corey Taylor. Colsefini left the band soon after, just before the group solidified a deal with Roadrunner Records. A self-titled album followed, and the group began to make their rounds touring with Ozzfest and achieving platinum sales status in 2000. This was a first for any album associated with Roadrunner Records.

A second album, "Iowa," was released in 2001, as the band once again toured, appeared in several different concerts, and was nominated for a Grammy in 2002. After the release of their fourth album, which continued to experiment with different song structures, additional tours were booked; a live album was released; and after a Grammy win for Best Metal Performance for "Before I Forget" in 2006, an interview with Corey Taylor revealed the group would take a break until 2008 while band members worked on side projects.

Current Members

Designated numbers and the masks identify current Slipknot members. Sid Wilson (0, turntables) wears a skull mask; Joey Jordison (1, drums) wears a white Japanese Noh mask with black lines; Paul Gray (2, bass guitar) wears a Hannibal-Lecter-type mask; Chris Fehn (3, custom percussion and backing vocals) wears a Pinocchio-style mask connected to a leather hood with zippable mouth; James Root (4, rhythm guitar) wears a white Jester mask; Craig Jones (5, keyboards) wears a mask with black needles coming from all directions; Shawn Crahan (6, custom percussion, backing vocals) traded a happy clown face for the look of a bloody, bandaged clown; Mick Thompson (7, lead guitar) wears a metal face with a grill-style mouth cover; and Corey Taylor (8, lead vocals) wears a Leatherface stitched face mask.

Former Members

Over the years, Slipknot has made a handful of changes to their lineup, especially with their guitar players. Former band members include Donnie Steele (guitar); Greg Welts (percussion); Josh Brainard (guitar and backing vocals); John Green (guitar); Quan Nong (guitar); and Patrick Neuwirth (guitar).

Discography and Musical Achievements

Released under a small record company based in Nebraska in 1996, "Mate.Feed.Kill.Repeat" became Slipknot's first album. Under Roadrunner Records, the group has reached two-time platinum status with their second album, "Slipknot" (1999), followed by the 2001 platinum record "Iowa"; the 2004 platinum record, "Vol. 3 (The Subliminal Verses)"; and the 2005 "9.0 Live." An anticipated album is currently scheduled for a 2008 release. The single "Duality" from their 2004 album reached the Top 10 lists across U.S. modern rock and mainstream rock charts.

Slipknot's work has also appeared on a series of major motion picture soundtracks, including "Rollerball" (I Am Hated); "Resident Evil" (My Plague); "Resident Evil: Apocalypse" (Vermillion); "Scream 3" (Wait and Bleed); and "Freddy vs. Jason" (Snap). Over the years, the band has released a couple of DVDs which have reached a multiple-platinum sales status. "Welcome To Our Neighborhood" (1999), "Disasterpieces" (2002), and "Voliminal: Inside The Nine" (2006) has all become popular DVD selections.

Overall, the band has appeared on a wide range of major national and international tours, such as Ozzfest and various events in Stockholm and Japan. The group easily reached the level of Grammy award status, as nominations for the Best Metal Performance and Best Hard Rock Performance were bestowed upon singles from three out of four of their albums. In 2006, they took home their first Grammy.
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