Chris (the one with the long nose!) from Slipknot talks to VF in advance of their Download appearance.
VF:A lot of people wondered if you’d ever do a third album – now that you have and you’re reported to be feeling a lot more like a band again then can people look forward to more future releases, and what affect will this have on side project bands?
Chris: Well right now it’s just all about slipknot, you know. If we do continue to have side projects after this album, then we’ll go off and do our side projects and then reform again after that. It may be that that’s the way things work from now on. But right now, no one has any side projects on their mind – its such a great record and we’re more excited than ever to be on the road again together – it’s really all Slipknot.
VF:How do you feel about your new album Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses) getting leaked onto the Internet, before it’s release?
Chris: I wasn’t aware that it had been leaked. But you know we work really hard to make sure that type of thing doesn’t happen – to keep everything under lock and key all the time. I only got my copy yesterday belive it or not. We keep a tight reign on our music now a days.
VF: Your first two albums were heavy and brutal, focusing on aggression and speed. However in listening to songs from the new album its apparant that this one will see you focus more on the musicianship (particularly with Mick and Jim)…….what made you swap pummelingly fast tunes for guitar solos?
Chris: Well, basically we showed up with no direction, that’s one thing we wanted to do was not have a set plan as far as the new record is concerned. And so what we did was basically go in with a few songs we wrote back in Iowa – just to have something to work with and it just took off from there. Rick Ruben was instrumental in saying ‘don’t be afraid to do anything you want on this record,’ and we certainly did that.
VF: Claiming to be such a heavy band who ‘push the envelope’ and with the backing of legends like Slayer, do you feel compelled to try and produce a ‘radio hit’ single on each of your albums? If so,Doesn’t this sit uncomfortably with everything Slipknot want to represent?
Chris: No we don’t – it’s more the case that one song tends to stand out, because you know we really don’t get any love from radio or MTV, or anything like that – it’s quite rare that they accept anything from us ..you know. It’s just basically our core fans that really keep this band alive, the love they have for this band and the love that we have for them. So no we don’t go ‘hey lets sit down and write a single’, it’s just if the best possible song we have on the album makes it to the radio, then hey that’s great.
VF: So you’re not worried about how the radio/media feel about you, you’re more interested in how your fans feel about the band?
Chris: Yes, It doesn’t really matter to us, our fans don’t need a radio single to like this band – they liked the frst two records which didn’t really have any singles like that. They love Slipknot and the live show and that’s what we go off on.
VF: Do you listen to Morbid Angel & Obituary & Carcass & cry yourselves to sleep at how you compare to those legends?
Chris: I can’t say everybody in the band, but a lot of us do listen to those bands and we have done since we were kids – we love those bands.. it goes even deeper than that with Venom and Bathory – everything like that. We don’t compare ourselves to anybody, but to be in the same scene as those guys is definitely a priviledge, because we have mad respect for those bands
VF: Are you going to be roaming the festival grounds before and after your set, or are you not allowed to? If you are going out then which other bands will you be going to see?
Chris: Yes, we want to see Slayer, Machinehead, Metallica… it’s just a great bill, I mean every band on that day is just…it’s incredible.
VF: Whose was the original idea behind the bands image, and how long did it take for everyone to agree on the look?
Chris: Um, as far as the masks?
VF: Yes, and the live performances.
Chris: I believe Clown wore a clown mask in practice, and wouldn’t take it off, and it was just sick looking, you know – just kind of a middle finger to Iowa music anyway – no one really cared about us anyway, so it was screw you, we want you to pay attention. So that’s basically how it started and everyone just followed along of course.
VF: How much does wearing the masks free you up to do stuff that you wouldn’t do without them?
Chris: That’s a good question…..no I don’t think so, I think the music is so good, so agressive anyway, that it would still be a very intense slanted show, you know we couldn’t help it… so I would have to say no, the masks are just you know – I mean if we took them off during the show we would still be very in to it.
VF: Has any member of the band not shown up for some reason and been substituted for someone else behind the mask without letting on to the audience?
VF: What’s the most outrageous thing that the band has ever talked about doing on stage but hasn’t yet done?
Chris: Um, doing a song without the masks on.
VF: In the song ‘Duality’ does it go ‘Made of all the things i have to take’ or ‘made of all the things i am today’ (just need to prove some complete wannabe slipknot fan wrong)
Chris: Like how that goes in a row?…it goes ‘but it’s made of all the things I have to take’
VF: Can you settle an old debate – if you had to agree on a knickname for Slipknot what would you prefer to be referred to as The Slippers or The Knotties?
Chris: Neither, can I just pick a knickname oh, wow….Brutality.
VF: Dead or alive, who would you put on the bill with you for your dream festival line-up?
Chris: Probably…ahh, that’s a great question…Umm…Black Sabbath, Slayer and Venom
VF: Thank’s for your time.
Chris: No problem, you bet you, see you at Download!