Starting out in 1995 Slipknot quickly became notorious for their crazy on stage antics and ‘wild side’ The band originated from the Midwestern state of Iowa, founded by Shawn Crahan and Paul Gray.
With only seven original members left remaining, due to shock deaths and departures, I think it’s time to look back on the career that Slipknot have had so far.
They band had changed their line up a few times before releasing any sort of E.P. or gained any radio airplay.The original line up of the band being:-
- Shawn Crahan
- Paul Gray
- Joey Jordison
- Josh Brainard
- Donnie Steele
- Craig Jones
After the changes in line up (including Mick Thompson replacing Donnie Steele on Guitar) and funding their own record, Slipknot released Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat. on Halloween, 1996. The only gained a small amount of airplay from this record, mainly of the self-titled song Slipknot. It was after their first record did not gain the level of interest that they hoped for, when they recruited fellow Iowa rock fan Corey Taylor to replace Colsefni, their original vocalist.
At the time, Corey had already formed Stone Sour but he quickly became lead vocalist of the band and Colsefni was moved to backing vocals and percussion before Colsefni left the band in September 1997. It was after this change in vocalist and a small line up change that urged the band to make a new demo record for producers and finally interest in them started to grow. In mid 1998, DJ Sid Wilson was added to the line up to make the 9 piece metal band that we know today.
The band were officially signed to RoadRunner Records in July 1998, after being offered a $500,000 seven-album deal. However, 2 days after Greg Welts (percussion) was fired and the band refused to comment on the reasons why.
1998 – 2000 :- The Rise of Slipknot
Chris Fehn was brought to the band to replace Greg Welts and the band began work on a new demo in September of 1998. During recording of this demo, Brainard decided it was time for him to leave the band and Jim Root was his replacement.
The band then consisted of
- Corey Taylor – Lead Vocalist
- Shawn Crahan – Percussion
- Joey Jordison – Drums
- Paul Gray – Bassist
- Mick Thompson – Lead Guitar
- Jim Root – Guitar
- DJ Sid Wilson – Keyboard
- Craig Jones – Guitar
- Chris Fehn – Percussion
In early 1999, the recording for the demo had been completed and Slipknot went on tour to gain their fan base. After playing at Ozzfest in 1999, it was clear that Slipknot were going to gain an amazingly large fan base with their new original sound of a nine piece metal band. From this, they went on release their home video Welcome to our Neighborhood along with two singles – Wait and Bleed and Spit it Out. It was from playing festivals and touring around the world that Slipknot’s fame grew quickly and by the year 2000 their self titled album was certified platinum, meaning over 1,000,000 copies had been sold.
2001 – 2003 :- The Iowa years
Due to the success of their first album, Slipknot began work on their next album, Iowa. It was rumoured that during the time of recording their had been conflicts between the band members over touring and recording schedules. Yet despite this, Iowa was recording by February 2001 and the world tour begun. The album itself wasn’t released until August 28, 2001, peaking at #3 in the Billboard charts but reaching #1 in the UK charts. This album had 3 singles released from it:-
- The Heretic Album
- Left Behind
- My Plague
In 2002, Slipknot appeared in the film Rollerball with the song I Am Hated. From all the success and promotion of the second album, Slipknot began playing in large venues and stadiums across the globe. But all was not well for the band members themselves. In mid-2002, the band took a hiatus due to conflicts between them and for one another to focus one other side-projects that they had. Corey Taylor and Jim Root remade the band Stone Sour, Joey Jordison went on to make the band Murderdolls, Shawn Crahan created To My Surprise and DJ Sid Wilson went solo as DJ Starscream. From this, fans and critics were unsure whether the band had split up or whether a 3rd album was to be anticipated.
2003 – 2007 :- The Second Hiatus
In mid-2003, the band began work on their third album Vol. 3:- The Subliminal Verses and it was completed by early 2004 alongside the start of The Subliminal Verses World Tour. During this tour they appeared on the Jagermeister Music Tour in March 2004. They released Vol. 3 on May 24th 2004 and its peak was #2 on the Billboard charts. Off this album came 6 notorious singles:-
- Vermilion Pt. 2
- Before I Forget
- The Nameless
- The Blister Exists
During the tour of their third album, Slipknot recorded their first live album 9.0 Live which when released, November 1 2005, peaked at #5 on the Billboard charts. Touring for Vol. 3 came to halt at the end of 2005 when the band went on their second hiatus. During their hiatus, Slipknot’s success did not stop. They won their first Grammy award for ‘Best Metal Performance’ for their single Before I Forget. During this hiatus, Joey Jordison toured with many different bands and produced 3 Inches of Blood’s third album; Shawn Crahan founded Dirty Little Rabbits and other members returned their existing pieces of work, including Stone Sour and DJ Starscream.
2008 – 2010 :- All Hope Is Gone
Towards the end of 2007 and early 2008, Slipknot began work on their fourth album All Hope Is Gone and recording ended in June that same year before tour began in July. The album was then released August 20th 2008 and managed to reached #1 on the Billboard chart. The 5 singles of the album are:-
- All Hope Is Gone
- Dead Memories
The year 2009 was the 10 year anniversary for their self-titled and first album Slipknot and to celebrate the band released a special edition version of it on September 9th 2009 and toured until October 31st 2009 before announcing their third hiatus. Corey went on to create the band Junk Beer Kidnap Band but also returned to Stone Sour with Jim Root. Shawn continued work with Dirty Little Rabbits; Joey went back to working on Murderdolls and became the permanent drummer for Rob Zombie; Chris Fehn joined the band Will Haven as bassist and Sid Wilson went on to create the band Sid.
In 2010, destruction struck the band in a sad and devastating way. The bands’ bassist Paul Gray, who was due to go on tour with Hail!, had been found dead in a hotel room in Iowa. At the time his cause of death was unknown and the tragedy hit the band, Slipknot fans (and metal fans around the world) pretty hard. A few days after his death, the 8 remaining members of Slipknot held a live press conference, alongside Paul’s widow and brother, discussing the tragic loss of their friend and band member. June 21st 2010 marked the day that the autopsy results came back to say that Paul had accidentally overdosed on Morphine and Fentanyl (which is a synthetic morphine substitute). At the time the band did not wish to comment on the future of Slipknot and in various interviews many band members has conflicting comments about it.
2010 – 2012 :- The Slow Comeback
When asked a while after Paul’s death, Corey said to NME magazine that “Paul would want [them] to continue and in spirit [he] feels they should” yet at the time he felt unsure. In 2011, the band began touring again but only a few small runs of shows within Europe. That year they headlined Sonisphere Festival and Rock In Rio alongside bands such as Iron Maiden and Metallica. For these shows, Slipknot asked original guitarist Donnie Steele to come on tour to replace Paul but he was kept from the audience’s view.
The band also confirmed that they would write and continue work on their fifth studio album without replacing Paul Gray. Joey Jordison had said in an interview that the band had already written around 17 songs which they were contemplating for the album.
On May 29 2012, the record label RoadRunner Records released a teaser video for Slipknot’s greatest hits album to be released on July 7th 2012, which Corey confirmed on Twitter the same day. But he also assured that didn’t mean it was the end of Slipknot. Corey tweeted that there was no new album or new material to be coming out in the near future but demos were being put together.
In 2012, Slipknot hosted their annual music festival Knotfest among a number of other bands such as Lamb of God and Deftones.
On Friday 14th June 2013, Slipknot headlined for the second time at Download Festival playing to around 90,000. The band had to stop their set twice due to the barriers breaking from the crowd being just a little crazy. (It really was crazy, I was there)
2013 and onwards :- The future of Slipknot
The drummer Joey Jordison, was announced to have left the band on December 13th 2013 leaving fans left devastated and in no hope of a new album any time soon. The reason which was given on the bands’ website was ‘personal reasons’ but no member has yet wanted to discuss the real reason behind his shock departure. Joey is currently the drummer for band Scar The Martyr.
But there is good news somewhere hidden in all this, the band have announced that they will continue with work on a new album despite Joey’s departure. The long awaited fifth album has been said to be released within the next few years, so that’s a massive positive to come out of the negative Slipknot have endured in the last few years. Jim Root took it upon himself to sit out from Stone Sour’s January tour in America to work on Slipknot work and it has been hinted that the new album may be a double record. (I could not be more excited)
On February 24th 2014, all of Slipknot’s social media pages got ‘blacked out’ (all the images are just black squares) and no reason has been given as yet. But all I can say is I hope it means that a new Slipknot album is on its way soon.
Below I have put together a gallery of a few photos of Slipknot through many years.
Links to Slipknot related sites:-