Korn, Rob Zombie, Slayer, Anthrax, Buckcherry, Staind, Flyleaf, Tech N9ne, Hollywood Undead, Chris Jericho, Asking Alexandria, Black Veil Brides, and More Talk Discovering Slipknot
Mon, 30 Jul 2012 06:39:47
If you're a music fan, there's nothing quite like hearing or seeing Slipknot for the very first time.
It's a momentous occasion, and it's proved to be massively influential and life-changing in some cases. Remember the moment "742617000027" and "(sic)" first piped through your speakers or those days on OZZfest 1999 when the band began turning the entire world upside down with their live show? You can never forget witnessing this nine-headed monster ripping through your senses, and that's for a couple of reasons.
Not only can they play with the precision of the genre's best, but they can also write incredibly infectious songs. Slipknot properly merge extreme metal intricacy with elegantly evil hooks unlike anyone else in history. Compound that with the visuals. They're abrasive in a cinematic manner. Watching them live is like viewing Apocalypse Now—or getting ready to participate in the apocalypse. All of these elements converge in one unforgettable experience.
The impact Slipknot exert on heavy music remains undeniable so ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino spoke to a myriad of musicians about the first time they heard Slipknot and what made them fans.
In this exclusive feature, Korn, Rob Zombie, Slayer, Anthrax, Buckcherry, Staind, Flyleaf, Tech N9ne, Hollywood Undead, Darren Lynn Bousman, Chris Jericho, Asking Alexandria, Black Veil Brides, and more share their Slipknot stories.
When did you first hear or see Slipknot and what made you a fan?
James "Munky" Shaffer of Korn and Fear and the Nervous System
"I came off of a tour and heard their first record [Slipknot (10th Anniversary Edition CD/DVD)]. Ross Robinson gave it to me in 1999. He said, 'Listen to this. It will change your life.' I couldn't believe some of the riffs I was hearing. That level of intensity and anger was something I always wanted my own band to accomplish. We played a European festival with them, and I remember them walking around backstage in their masks. They were super intimidating, even though they're just normal guys [Laughs]. Paul Gray was probably one of the nicest most down-to-earth people ever. I can't say enough good things about that guy. Having Ross Robinson as a producer early on, we all come from the same family as far as similar ideas about music. It's unspoken, but we had some kind of connection because of that. When Joey Jordison was playing with us, he brought a different feel to it altogether. Actually, Clint Lowery [Sevendust] was playing with us at the time doing background guitars. He brought up that maybe Joey would be available, and I thought it would be the coolest thing. We found out he was down to do it. There might be some video footage of me freaking out and saying, 'Yeah, I can't believe it!' [Laughs] The first time he came in and jammed with us, there was a lot of excitement, especially after the ups and downs we had been through."
Kerry King of Slayer
"I heard Slipknot after the 1999 OZZfest when they were the big buzz on the other stage. I was never there in time to see them. After that tour, I got the album. I listened to the first song and I was like, 'Awe fuck, this song's awesome'. I got three in, and I said, 'This song's awesome too!' By the time I was at number five, I thought, 'These guys are alright' [Laughs]. Soon after that, I saw them at The Glass House in Pomona. It was spooky. They were really spooky back then. They were more scary than shtick-y. I remember Iowa coming out, or we had an advance copy, whatever the fuck...We were on the Extreme Steel tour with Pantera. Pantera's security guy and myself would blast 'The Heretic Anthem' nightly the entire tour—over and fucking over! The liquor was flowing as you can imagine, and it was the meaning of after show party night after night. By the way, I Am 666!"
"The first time I was aware of them was OZZfest. They were on the second stage, and we were on the main stage. It was in 1999 with Black Sabbath. I didn't see them then though. I would always see these guys walking around afterwards without their masks, and they would have the black stuff around their eyes. I was like, 'What the fuck is up with these guys?' [Laughs] I never saw the show! For whatever reason, I could never get over to the stage. Their live show is phenomenal. Joey was in our band for a couple of tours, so I feel like I've toured with Slipknot, but I've actually never toured with them [Laughs]. I just had some of Slipknot in the band. That would be a great tour."
Josh Todd of Buckcherry
"I got introduced to Slipknot through the Disasterpieces DVD. That was the first time I had seen them. The way it was shot, the fact you never saw their faces, and the intensity of the live show blew my fucking mind. I instantly wanted to know everything about them. I got a ticket to see them live. I think it was at the Great Western Forum in Los Angeles around 2005. I watched it as a fan and audience member. I knew none of the guys, and that show made me feel the same way I felt when I was 15-years-old seeing Minor Threat for the first time. I felt like I belonged—like these fucking pieces of shit feel the same way I do inside. It was deliberate, destructive, demonic, and most of all sincere. I just remember leaving there feeling so inspired that a band like that existed. What I like the most about Slipknot is they created their own world. If you tried to stop them, you would become another casualty of war. If you got behind them, however, you got to be a part of this really special, sick, honest, and sinister movement. My favorite record is Iowa. I love the title. I think Iowa is a cool word. "People = Shit" is my favorite song. Through books and live experiences, I have witnessed how despicable human beings can be to one another so the song and lyrics really resonate with me. As an artist, all I ever wanted to do was 'Tell it like it is', and when I see a band doing that shit, I'm a fan for life."
Scott Ian of Anthrax
"The first time I saw them was when we played with them. It was December 1999. They hadn't really blown up huge yet. They were on the verge. We played a radio show together in a club in Boston. It was a 1500-seat club. I'd obviously heard them before that, but it was my first time seeing them. Being backstage with them before the show, they were getting ready and it was quite impressive. The energy was amazing. Watching them for the first time and seeing the fucking chaos, I was like, "This is fucking insanity!" It was hard for me to comprehend it at first. The first 30 minutes of that show, there was so much going on. It was a small stage as well. There were nine dudes, and each guy was more brutal than the next. It was fucking sheer chaos, and I loved it. The other day, I said this to Corey. I watched the show in Mountain View, and I hadn't seen them in a few years. It's been a while since I saw them play. I was like, 'There's a maturity to the band now. By maturity, I don't mean you guys have mellowed out and gotten older and it's not as crazy anymore. If anything, the brutality is even more focused, which makes it even more dangerous in a way.' It's like they went from being a fucking gatling gun to now being a fucking lightsaber. They're even more dangerous. It was awesome! Watching Slipknot reminded me of the old Samsonite commercial where they put a suitcase in a cage with a gorilla and he just beat the shit out of it. That's what Slipknot is on stage!"
"The first time I heard them was some time in 1996. It was a demo I heard. I was working on a project in the studio on State Line Road. The engineer was familiar with my Nnutthowze Group. We used to wear jumpsuits with barcodes on the back, and I had face paint. So, he gave me the CD in one of our sessions and was like, "There are some guys out of Iowa, and I think you'll love it". I didn't have an image of them until I listened. I took the music home, and I heard that shit. It was like rock, drum n' bass, rap, and hardcore metal—everything. There was rapping on some songs. I heard some scratching and DJ cutting. I saw them live, and I was like, "What the fuck?" Their show blew me away. I was a fan before they below up, and I've followed them since their first album. DJ Starscream is my homeboy, and what he and the guys in Slipknot created is a wonderful clusterfuck of music. I look forward to hopefully working with them someday. My favorite slow song is "Vermilion Part 2". It's acoustic, and it's on Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses. I would like to say that "Duality" is also one of my favorites. Rest in peace, Paul Gray! I just found out he wrote it when I saw them in concert recently. Their show was explosive when I saw them in the '90s at the Granada in Lawrence, KS. To this day, they've taken it higher. I don't recall Clown's hydraulic kegs going that high in the air in Lawrence. It's beautiful. The energy is there. They don't ever let you down. They sing the old and new stuff. The older material is what got me in the beginning and what has me enjoying their newer stuff as a fan today. We are the pulse of the maggots!"
Darren Lynn Bousman [Director of Saw II, Saw III, Saw IV, The Devil's Carnival
"Before I actually heard their music, I saw a picture. Every time you see the masks, they're striking. You know what you're looking it. That led me to research, experiment, and listen to them. There's no one like Slipknot. I became out of breath watching them on stage [Laughs]. I don't understand how they can have that kind of energy night after night. It's exhausting to watch!"
Aaron Lewis of Staind
"I don't remember the show, but I saw Slipknot, and I was completely blown away by the magnitude of aggression. It really redefined heavy aggressive music in a manner that had never been fucking witnessed before."
Sameer Bhattacharya of Flyleaf
"I was a sophomore at Holland High School in August 1999, when my buddy brought his 'discman' to lunch and let me listen to 'Wait and Bleed'. I was so blown away I didn't know what to think about these dudes wearing coveralls and masks. At the time, I was listening to a lot of Radiohead, Incubus, and Jimmy Eat World. I was taken aback by how aggressive and fearless Slipknot was. There were no inhibitions. I didn't take to it right away. I now realize their music had planted a seed in me. Slipknot had completely changed my approach to music and art. It begged me to be fearless."
Wes Borland of Limp Bizkit & Black Light Burns
"The first time I saw them was on the side stage of some festival. We all went over together, and it was just insane. I never get tired of watching them. We were just in Australia with them, and I made sure to go watch them every night because it was so much fun. My favorites would be the first two albums. They're killer."
Wayne Static of Static-X
"We actually toured Europe together in 2001. We were in Europe with Slipknot when Machine came out. It was an awesome tour. I believe it was (hed)p.e., Static-X, and Slipknot. The first time I saw Slipknot, I didn't really know what to make of it. They were great!"
Nick Hipa of As I Lay Dying
"The first song I heard from Slipknot was 'Disasterpiece', and it absolutely blew my mind. Previously, I had known the band to be a unique and eclectic groove metal type outfit, but Iowa caught me completely off guard in that it tastefully incorporated many elements from more extreme forms of metal within the context of well-crafted songs.
Chris Jericho of Fozzy
"Slipknot saved rock 'n' roll over the last 15 years. Their energy and their fire make them one of the few must-see live acts of this or any other generation. They are like a rabid dog unleashed...you never know when you're going to get bit! Plus, Corey Taylor's voice is one of the best in rock today."
J-Dog of Hollywood Undead
"I'm not sure when the first time I heard them was or what year it was. It was during their first record, and my friend saw them at The Palace, which is now called Avalon on Hollywood and Vine. He said it was the craziest show he'd ever been to. I think he broke or sprained his ankle, and I remember he said they called the crowd 'maggots' [Laughs]."
John Boecklin of DevilDriver
"The first time I heard Slipknot was in 1999, smoking weed in my friend Rob's bedroom. Looking at the cover of the first album, I was immediately thrown off by the masked army, expecting hear something in the form of Insane Clown Posse. I was wrong. Of course, we all know what they sound like now, but it was such a rare moment when you're truly surprised on a first listen. The drums and vocals spoke to me immediately. They just sounded like all-out war—plain and simple. Iowa has come to be my favorite release by them. Many bands reach that high plateau very first as Slipknot did with their first record. However, almost none truly break the sophomore slump curse like Iowa did. That record did not let me down one fucking bit, and it was ten times heavier than their debut. Iowa let everybody know you couldn't fuck with them. It's one pissed-off little ditty."
Christian Coma of Black Veil Brides
"I first heard Slipknot in either '98 or '99. Everything about their sound and image was unique. To me, it was a nightmare of metal perfection. I had to see them. When I went to their show at the Hollywood Palladium in 1999, I was more than fascinated by the talent, kegs, masks, and fights—all of which were on stage. That show will forever be my favorite."
Frederic Leclercq of DragonForce
"I discovered Slipknot back in 1999, but I thought they were just a nu metal band so I didn’t really know what they sounded like. I just kept saying, 'Nah, it's not my thing' just to sound true and underground! I later finally discovered that their music was in fact very brutal and terribly catchy! We toured with them in 2008 for a summer festival and got to know the guys—whether I was drinking espressos with Jim Root or shots of Jack with Craig Jones, or discussing death metal with Joey Jordison! I remember partying way too hard with them one night and missing my bus call! My favorite album would be Iowa, but I also need to mention Vol.3: The Subliminal Verses because of the song 'Duality'."
Danny Worsnop of Asking Alexandria
"I've grown up on Slipknot. I really appreciate and love what they've done. The first time I heard them was probably when 'Wait and Bleed' came out. The first thing I thought was, 'This is the heaviest thing I've ever heard' [Laughs]. The first time I saw them was Mayhem Festival in San Bernardino. It was intense. They're as tight as ever."
Ben Bruce of Asking Alexandria
"I was about 12-year- old, and my friend was playing 'Wait and Bleed' in his bedroom. I fell in love with them instantly. They are just unlike any other band out there. They're completely original. My favorite Slipknot album is Iowa."
Oliver Sykes of Bring Me The Horizon
"I remember when Iowa came out in the UK. It went straight to number one in the charts, which was mind-blowing. Ever in the history of British music has a band even a tenth as heavy achieved a number one album. It was insane. All of a sudden, tunes like 'Left Behind' were playing Radio One. Looking back now, you can see it was more than deserved. Every song on that record is a fucking belter.
Alex Varkatzas of I Am War & Atreyu
"What made me a fan of Slipknot was touring with them when they headlined the second stage of OZZfest several years ago. The show didn't need any smoke or mirrors—just the band rocking so damn hard the earth had moved. My favorite record is Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses. It's a diverse, mind-blowing record. It doesn't do what you expect it too, except kick ass."
Chris Shelley of At The Skylines
"Fuck yes! I love Slipknot. After listening to Slipknot and reading the lyrics, I was like, 'Shit, these guys are for real. Their music is awesome'. That was three or four years ago. Ever since then, I've been a huge fan of them. The lyrics are brilliant. I'd love to tour with Slipknot. It's a high hope. The fact we're on the same label is awesome because I love that band. My favorite record is All Hope Is Gone. All of Slipknot's albums are incredible which makes them awesome. You can go and listen to the first, and it's just as good as the newest one."
Chris Garza of Suicide Silence
"I first heard of Slipknot in eight grade through some close friends right before lunch time. When I actually heard the record, I was blown away. It was the heaviest thing I'd ever heard, and I bought it that day. It's still in regular rotation on my iPod to this day. The first self-titled record will always be my favorite.
"I think I first heard Slipknot in freshmen year. I immediately became a fan because of the aggressiveness, impact, and they were putting electronic parts such as bass drops into their songs. My favorite record would have to be Iowa. All of the songs on there are absolutely on point. My favorite track is probably 'People = Shit'."
Matt Bachand of Shadows Fall
"I'm not sure where I actually first heard them. Before I ever did, I do recall partying with a few of them at Hairy Mary's in Iowa many years ago. We had a damn good time. I suppose after that I went and checked out their stuff as they were a bunch of really good people. I got into it after that. My favorite album would have to be Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses, although I do consider Iowa a close second."
Mike Hranica of The Devil Wears Prada
"I first heard them in fifth or sixth grade, and plainly, it was the heaviest thing my friends and I had ever heard."
Mark Hunter of Chimaira
"I first heard Slipknot in 1998. I wasn't quite sure what the hell I was hearing, but I knew I was hooked. I loved that the band was doing something fresh musically. When I saw them live, it was like a twisted evil religious experience. The intensity was beyond electric. No band can top the insanity that is a live Slipknot show. I love the first album and Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses the best. They're great songwriters and amazing talent. The guys have always treated the Chimaira camp like family."
Mike Sarkisyan of Spineshank
"I was in Monte Conner's office at Roadrunner Records when I first heard Slipknot. I was blown away by how much energy they had. It almost sounded like they were playing their songs 10-15 BPM faster than how they wrote them. My favorite Slipknot record is Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses. I think they really tapped into their dark side with that one while retaining the brutality they were known for. I remember hanging out with Paul Gray in L.A. and he was playing me the record, and I was just amazed by songs like 'Circle' and 'Vermillion'. You could tell that the record came from a really dark place. They proved that you don't have to be blasting at 2000mph to sound heavy and dark. They are an amazing band and great people. I’m proud to call those guys my friends."
Zach Householder of Whitechapel
"My older brother Terry has always been a massive Slipknot fan. Back when I was in high school and all about Swedish and Norwegian metal, he and I would always argue about which bands were better, heavier, etc. Anyways, when Iowa came out in 2001, my brother obviously purchased it the day of and left it lying on my computer desk. Out of pure interest, I put in the album and started listening. Now, I had heard the music from the prior album here and there from my brother jamming it but never sat down and just listened—until Iowa dropkicked me in the face. I sat and listened to the album front to back two times that day on our brand new computer sound system with the killer subwoofer that was probably blown the next day [Laughs]. I was hooked ever since just because of the pure energy, aggression, and feeling that comes out of their music. It's honestly hard not to love it. Even though I have been ever since and kept up with them, I think Iowa will always be my favorite because it's timeless to me. When I was really young, it's when my brother Terry and I finally started having comradeship over music and really enjoying it together."
Alex Wade of Whitechapel
"The first time I heard Slipknot was when a friend showed me their self-titled album when I was 15-years-old. I was completely floored by how angry and aggressive the music was. I had never heard anything that heavy until then. My favorite album is Iowa and my favorite song is either 'People = Shit' or 'My Plague'."
Hyro Da Hero
"I first heard of Slipknot in high school. I saw their name written on a desk, on everyone's t-shirts, and all of the rock kids mentioned them. I had to check it out. When I heard it and saw the videos, it scared the shit out of my black ass. The masks were so realistic and the style of music was so hard. What made me a fan was the drop of hip hop sprinkled into the tracks, especially the track 'Duality'."
Austin Dickinson of Rise to Remain
"When I first heard 'Wait and Bleed', it sent shockwaves down my spine. I couldn't believe that bands could get this heavy. Today, years after their self-titled and Iowa albums, they are still one of my favorite bands. What a fucking phenomenon. Maggot for real."
David Sittig of Impending Doom
"I first heard of Slipknot when I was in seventh grade. The first time I heard 'My Plague', I was immediately hooked and thought it was the heaviest and most pissed-off-sounding thing I'd ever heard. I still think that to this day to be honest [Laughs]. Iowa is my favorite record by far—so raw, so angry, and so emotional. How could anyone not love this band?"
Rick Armellino of This or the Apocalypse
"I was eleven-years-old when my friend Brynn showed me 'Wait and Bleed' at a sleepover. He was doing that full upper body headbanging thing that Clown did through the whole song—earnestly, too! To me, Slipknot stood apart from all of the other aggressive bands. At that age, it was the first band who seemed able to convey those emotions in a way that felt realistic to me. Until then, I felt like most heavy bands were comprised of actors. Corey seemed so genuine and relatable. The self-titled album remained on one of those mp3 players that could no more than 12 songs for like a year!"
Davey Richmond of Glamour of the Kill
"I first heard 'Wait and Bleed' by Slipknot when I was 13-years-old. It was probably one of the first songs where I found my love for heavy music. I was mainly attracted to the sheer aggression of Corey Taylor's vocals. That was the first thing that grabbed me and made me pay attention to Slipknot, but it was the borderline insanity of the band in their stage show that really made my love for them grow. I'd say every one of their albums is a favorite for different reasons. 'Wait and Bleed' was the first tune that grabbed me, so for that reason their self-titled album will always have a special place in my music past. However, I guess it wasn't until Iowa and Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses that I really started to appreciate their musicianship. Slipknot are one of the most consistent bands out there and haven't released a bad record—which I'm pretty sure I can't say about any other band I know, even the giants of rock and metal."
Robby Baca of The Contortionist
"Slipknot was the first REAL heavy band that I got into. I was probably 13-years-old, and the first time my mom heard me listening to Iowa, she confiscated it. However, she quickly returned it to me after she saw how many tracks I had learned to play off it. That record still blows my mind today."
Tom Huestis of SoulSwitch
"I remember first hearing Slipknot my junior year of high school. I was in art class and my friend gave me his 'discman' and told me to listen to this song which was 'Wait and Bleed'. I think that same day I went out and bought my own copy of their self-titled album. It was heavy, and it was metal, but it was a new form of metal that was unlike anything coming out in that time. Between the in-your-face music and Corey Taylor's aggressive voice I was instantly hooked. I have to say Iowa is probably still my favorite album from them though. That one definitely got worn out in my cd player."
Matt Larson of SoulSwitch
"I first heard them on their self-titled major label debut. What actually won me over was watching their stage show though!"
Jimmy Kwong of SoulSwitch
"The first time I heard Slipknot was their song 'Wait and Bleed'. I thought the melody was great! And the energy was amazing when I saw their stage show on TV!"
Mike Mouris of SoulSwitch
"I remember the first time I heard Slipknot's debut CD. I listened to it from front to back while I was at the gym back in College. I never got so pumped up in my entire life. I was addicted at first listen. Being a drummer, I obviously was floored by Joey Jordison's skills combined with his grooves even though he is playing speed metal. Awesome drums, amazing energy, and raw lyrics supported by blistering guitars all over the album...it's an instant classic."
See our review of Slipknot's Antennas to Hell here!
See our interview between Clown and The Devil's Carnival director Darren Lynn Bousman here!
Also, see our exclusive interview with Corey Taylor here and a list of his favorite concerts here!
Check out our "Five Reasons We Can't Wait for Slipknot's KNOTFEST here!
See exclusive photos from the amazing Scott Uchida of the band live here!
Be sure to get Slipknot's Antennas to Hell collection and don't miss them on Mayhem or at KNOTFEST August 17 and 18!