From: Des Moines, Iowa, USA.
Slipknot formed: The original Slipknot group was that of Anders, Shawn and Paul, they had the idea of making a group and played around with the idea, they even wrote some songs as early as 1993. However Shawn became busy and project "Slipknot" fell through. Fortunately the idea was revived in 1995 by Shawn and Anders and thus Slipknot was officially formed in September 1995.
Slipknot's first show: Slipknot performed their first show at a club thought to be named "The Love Shack", previously called the Crowbar. The performance was without masks and the band went under the name "Pyg System". The show took place in November 1995, around a month after Josh joined the band. This was the only show with Donnie Steele who soon left after conflicting interests.
Practised: At first the group practised in Anders basement, the group used carpet samples and scraps from a nearby Pet Grooming Center as soundproofing, according to Mick, "The animals that were there had bladder problems, because the carpet smelled like animal piss... thereby making our practice space smell the same way." However the basement was far too small and not all of the group could fit in the main area, resulting in Craig having to set up his system in the laundry room.
Percussion Methods: When the band was started, Shawn was the lead drummer, however he no longer wanted to play the drums and thus Joey was brought into the band to take over the main drum role. Joey plays the main set and as a result is the main drummer who sits at the back and holds the band together. Shawn is the "Total Power Drummer" and is all aggression. Slipknot have now acquired electric drums to work with the samples and the music to provide a new element to the music. The third drummer is Chris, previously Anders and Cuddles, they take care of the tribal sound which is so important to Slipknot's sound, it is also an auxiliary sound. Slipknot wanted three different perspectives to provide an "auditory overkill".
When Shawn started the band he decided that they would need three drummers to give a powerful, tribal sound. Shawn, being into "power" stuff also wanted the basics of all instruments, believed to be by him, the drums. He wanted a drummer to the left and right with one at the back controlling it all, creating a wall of power, a fist layer... .
Battle of the bands: In this competition Slipknot performed against several bands including that of Stone Sour, Corey's old band. Slipknot were psyched and were extremely competitive, although Stone Sour were good Slipknot won the competition. It was one of the band's highlights.
Aims Slipknot: In 1995 there were two rules. Slipknot had to play what they wanted to play and it didn't matter what they played, who they played to and the cost of seeing them play should never matter. The second rule was that there needed to be 3 drummers. The members came from several different bands ( Pre-Sk Bands ) and each had the common view on the way that everything was going in the town of Des Moines, they were sick of it; there was no music scene, it was hard to get bands CDs, etc... . As a result Slipknot was born with one mission, this mission being to 'Clean up the music industry'. The band's aims remain to be to create a sound the world has never heard, a vision no one has ever seen, this can be clearly seen by the hype to Slipknot's second album. They sensed people were ready for a show, rather than some guys just playing some music...
MFKR? Where form? MFKR, otherwise known as Mate Feed Kill Repeat was Slipknot's very first album, created in 1996. The album is very experimental, covering a wide range of styles and genres. The album is very rare and is now out of print, only 1000 copies were ever made and when distributor -Ismist picked it up only half were left, the rest being given out as promos at gigs, etc... . You can find one of these albums at EBay rock memorabilia for the hefty price of $350.
Funk/Disco: Within the MFKR album there are several instances of funk and Disco, in particular the song, "Do Nothing Bitchslap" which all though heavy goes into a funk form half way through along with disco and jazz instances; it is a very strange yet original song. The funk element came from several influences however it, along with the rap and disco, was put in generally to spice up the songs and put Slipknot a foot further ahead of other bands. The songs are ultimately based around ground thumping riffs and all out aggressive music yet keep to the rule of giving the world something they have never seen.
Masks: The band didn't start of wearing masks, the idea was originally brought up by Shawn who one day brought in a mask and mucked around with it. It was fun and the idea caught on, soon other members of the band were wearing masks, they pivoted around the idea of how a mask can make you a different person. It was a chance the group were willing to take, to be original and out there, it worked. One thing the masks aren't is something to get people into Slipknot, a point continuously repeated by the band. The group were constantly being degraded for trying something different and as a result the masks were used to conceal identities and portray the band as an anonymous entity. "It's not about our names or faces, it's about the music." state Slipknot
Josh: "One of the fist questions they asked me was whether I was willing to wear a mask or not. My favourite band being Kiss, of course I said 'FUCK YEAH!!!'. We actually had a bunch of different masks around our rehearsal place, we would often trade and wear different masks. I think mine started when I wore a ski mask stocking cap to practice one night. We were playing and I just pulled it down".
MFKR Meaning: It represents the basic cycle of life, Reproduce, Feeding to survive and Kill to overcome the enemy and stay alive, this cycle then repeats itself.
MFKR cover and inlay: Shawn is a welder and has created many things, one of them being the sculpture on the cover, named "Patiently awaiting the jigsaw flesh". Three people made it and strangely every time it is carried someone gets cut.
Man people think that inside the tray of MFKR are the Slipknot members, this is not completely correct but is technically, i.e. the guy with the steel frame around his head is Cuddles, the ex-percussionist well before he was in the band, his name is Greg Welts and he was the bands tattooist at the time. The other guys name is DaVo and he was the band's peircer and good friend at axiom piercing.
Davo explains the story behind the Insert: "Well the story about on the insert is, I was sitting at the shop waiting for Greg to show up (one of the many reasons I fired him is because of his constant lateness) and in pops Shawn and Paul. They asked where Greg was and I said late as usual. He showed up soon after. This was long before he was in the band. Anyway I guess Shawn had asked him to do it the night before (at the time he lived with Paul) and really I was a little pissed because he had someone waiting to get tattooed. So, he takes off all his clothes, wrapped in a blanket (I think it was cold that day. I know it was early fall like September) and we go out into the alley just south of the old Axiom (412 1/2 E 5th) where a lot of the early SK press photos were taken. I wasn't even going to be in it at first but Shawn wanted the people in the photo to be from outside the band. He thought that if no one knew the people in the photos, people would think it was real. This was of course silly because just about everyone in the scene knew me and/or Greg and the fact that the band wears masks and not everyone knows what they look like. I do remember us sitting there laughing our heads off cause there was people walking by the whole time freaking out. Shawn had made the cage and he asked me to be in it. If you notice I'm smoking because I didn't think I would be in it. We took the photo and that was the end of it. I didn't know what the hell they were going to do with until it ended up in the CD". Davo's Site
Slipknot publicly signed to Roadrunner records in front of this studio.
What was it like Back in the day? Shawn: "Back then we had very, very wacky shows instead of like, now we have all the same masks and stuff but in the old days, I would rent a Barney suit or a nuns suit or someone would wear a ballroom dress. . . and one of the guitar players would dress up like Little Bo Peep. Our shows, even though they were really dark and scary and underground, there was a humour to what we did and that went along with some of the music that we created like at the beginning of the shows the Strobe lights would kick in and Craig would play a sample loop of a maniacal laugh and ice cream man chimes which added to the anticipation. The Clown dropped his power saw, sending sparks across the already charged crowd, We also had this one song called "Do Nothing Bitch Slap" and it went from grind core to death metal to punk and reggae and then ending in disco. It went through all of these different variations of musical styles but all under the name SLIPKNOT and we were able to make that work".
9 people: No, when the band originally started in 1995 there were only 6 members, Anders , Shawn , Josh , Joey , Paul and Donnie, the next member to join was Craig Jones to replace Donnie who quit. As Craig wanted to work on sampling Mick was brought in to take the role on the guitar. The band increased its numbers to eight with the addition of the current vocalist Corey. However soon after Anders left and as a result Cuddles was contacted. The group became nine with the addition of the DJ Sid Wilson. Later on Josh quit the band and the group got in touch with James Root as a replacement, leaving the nine current members.
Who was Kun Nong? Kun Nong was the guitarist for Shawn Crahan's first band: Heads on the Wall. He started out as Slipknot's guitarist, but quit after about 6 practices. Donnie joined at about the 3rd practice. Neither had masks, as we hadn't really played a show before both of them quit. Kun decided it wasn't his style. He was more of an alternative/punk player.
Do all members play on every song? Not in MFKR, when everyone played things tended to become cluttered and thus only stuff that fits with the song is used. If something is not required, it is not there, usually being the added percussion by Shawn and Anders.
What does "Slipknot" mean? Anders: "Slipknot, the song, was written about 2 years before the band actually re-formed as Slipknot. I came up with that name. We tried Meld (Josh's idea), for a BRIEF time (about a month), and changed it back. Then, we tried PyGSYSTEM - (Joe's creation), and changed it back after about a month. That's it"
Joey: "The first track off Mate.Feed.Kill.Repeat is titled "Slipknot", and that is the song that we always opened with. It was just simple and sounded cool and it was pretty easy to remember. Like there is no actual meaning to the name and we don't even consider what an actual "Slipknot" is."
742617000027: This number is the barcode number on the Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat album, The band purchased the rights to this barcode and is used and abused only by Slipknot, the number also appears on the members jumpsuits and as the title of the first song on the self-titled album.
What is that sound at the start of the song Slipknot and the end of Dogfish Rising? The sound at the start of "Slipknot" is Shawn recording a power saw in the studio, overlapped and sampled against the noise of Shawn ripping all the electrical tape off his face and beard, (this gave Anders the idea of using it for his mask), all of the samples heard including the Famous "Black and Decker dil#o's" verse were put together by Shawn, Anders and Producer Sean Mcmahon, the secret track Dogfish rising is actually not a song but filled with samples and loops including the voices of the Simpsons and various other sounds.
Recording of Dogfish Rising: This is the secret track on MFKR, it started as a Kurt Cobain spoof however became something quite different. During this song's recording there were anything upto 20 people within the studio; each shouting out individual lines and chucking the mic to the next person. The lyrics in this song are very hard to make out but if you can... you will be on the floor laughing. Not only were the vocals weird but the instruments were played by different members and Joey set up his drum set in the control room.
Which members were present when recording Mate Feed Kill Repeat? MFKR WAS Slipknot, but isn't anymore. Original members for the recording:
Anders Colsefni: Vocals
Donnie Steele: Guitars
Josh Brainard: Guitars/b. Vocals
Paul Gray: Bass/b. Vocals
Shawn Crahan: Percussion/b. Vocals
Joey Jordison: Drums
Anders about Craig and samples: "Shawn & I. We made the sounds in the studio. While we were mixing (which took approx. 3 months), we asked Craig to play guitar, since Donnie had quit. He played guitar onstage (he'd wear his SPAM T-shirt and pantyhose on his head)until we asked him to switch over to sampling, since computers are his best friend. Craig is an excellent guitarist. Mick came in, then, and we made the switch on the CD sleeves."
Who is Corn Wallace? Anders: "C. Wallace is Me. Sometimes it was Joey. He came up with the name. When recording MFKR, he scribbled this funny, childlike picture of a monster with big, long claws and crazy hair. He wrote Corn Wallace under it. We all laughed our asses off. So, we played with the name. I used it to sign biographical writings I did for the band, so people would think we had some poor guy chained up in our practice place (my basement) writing stuff for us. Joey drew pictures and signed them C. Wallace. That's about it."
What is Crowz and what is the Shit video? All about "Crowz refers to a saying we started which started following a spooky incident when we where taking Paul home after a studio session, and the road his place was on was covered entirely with crows, or blackbirds, or whatever. Thousands upon thousands of them. When the headlights flashed over them, they all took to the trees as one big, black mass. It was eerie. Then, they all sat in the trees and phone lines watching us. That's where Crowz came from. Plus, Shawn found a dead one in his driveway, and kept it in a big, commercial pickle jar, and carried it around at shows until it turned to mush. During shows Shawn would open the jar, this would cause him to vomit all over the place and also cause fans to start vomiting all over the place. It was (sic), it was kept in the jar with all the bacteria and flesh eating creatures. It started secreting this brown liquid and became a fine sauce. [Yum] Some kids broke the jar open and played catch with it for a while and now it's disposed. The shit video was an actual pornographic scat film that everyone laughed at in the studio lounge. We made our producer watch it once, and he locked himself in the studio control room, and laid on the floor meditating for 1/2 an hour."
What Event was the turning point in Slipknots career? One of the largest turning points in Slipknot's career was Dotfest I. Not only was this the biggest crowd they had ever played to (of roughly 12,000) at that point but there was also a number of industry people there to check them out. The show was not their best show to say the least, the sound kept going out and the crowd began to throw turkey leg bones on stage. At the show Slipknot came out throwing Tampons into the crowd and had several "gimps". This was the first and last time for the "gimps". The gimps were Frank with a gas mask, Lanny with tribal markings in liquid latex, Greg covered with liquid latex and a ball gag in his mouth and Greg's friend Slick Rick in a latex hood. Slipknot had the original idea of having a professional stunt man, Rick, come out dressed as Shawn and then Shawn would come out and set him on fire. They had all the things to do it (for a long time it set in the cooler at Safari) but the city would not issue the permits to perform it so the event had to be abandoned. The set ended with them being cut off and an almost riot breaking out as Andy cut open his arms and tossed CDs over the fence to the fans. Just like a big ass rock band. The biggest thing to come out of that show was they gained a whole new crew of under age fans that couldn't get enough of them.
The spot in the lineup at Dotfest was earned by Slipknot as a result of winning the 107.5 the Dot's Battle of the Bands. The other prize was that Slipknot got recording time at SR Audio which brought about the Spit It Out demo.
Dogfish Rising is the very last song on MFKR, it is a badly played song and was made primarily as a joke. Within this song Joey plays both guitar and drums, Josh plays Bass and there are a huge number of "singers" many of whom are not within the Slipknot group. The first singer is Paul, followed by Frank Pumley and then Sean Mcmahon (MFKR producer). This is followed by Paul again and then Shawn performing his Buffalo Bill act. These are not the only singers and there are several others, however these are unknown.
Tattered and Torn is a song entirely written by Shawn and he doesn't mind if you hate it. "We firmly believed that we would get beer bottles thrown at us onstage while playing that annoying song that got intensely heavy at the end. It didn't happen, though. Because it was "Shawn's song", he always jumped into the crowd and fucked with people while we played it. He'd often screw-up his Mic and not be able to do his vox."
When the band first stared rehearsing they started out with the names The Pale Ones , Pyg system and Meld before Anders decided to call them Slipknot which was based on a song he had written , early into the first rehearsals Shawn played Main drumkit and they even had a guitar player named Kun Nong who decided Slipknot wasn't his style of music who left soon after.
The album cost around $15,000 to record, mix, master, and reproduce.
"While we were mixing (which took approx. 3 months), we asked Craig to play guitar, since Donnie had quit. He played guitar onstage (he'd wear his SPAM T-shirt and pantyhose on his head) until we asked him to switch over to sampling, since computers are his best friend. Craig is an excellent guitarist. Mick came in, then, and we made the switch on the CD sleeves"
Craig gave himself the name 133 MHz because that was the top MHz of computers at the time. Unfortunately, things have progressed a lot since then. .. As for his say in things, Craig generally is the most quiet person, so he doesn't say anything most of the time. Josh used to have a nervous habit of gnawing on his knuckles, so they called him Gnar. Shawn's mom told him he looked like a silver-backed gorilla when she watched them practising one day, so they started calling him Kong.
Anders and Corey played a couple of shows together sharing vocal duties, Three shows into this arrangement at an all ages gig at Safari's right before performing the last song he shocked everyone even Slipknot by announcing that he quit, he best explained it saying "I quit thinking I'd never be in another band. I also quit knowing they would be signed, and become huge. I still wouldn't have been happy being a background singer".
Slipknot dedicated the album to another Joey, he was the younger brother of Frank, a close friend of Paul. He accidentally shot himself in the face and died the year the CD was recorded. Dedicated to Joey Plumley.
At the first couple of shows, Shawn and Anders were the only ones to wear anything at all. After taking account of the stage show, Joey suggested that they all wear something, so that Shawn and Anders weren't the only two people standing out.
One of Slipknot's early platforms to recognition was the KKDM Battle of the Bands , ironically they were not expected to win but funny enough made it to the finals and beat Stone Sour who featured front man Corey Taylor.
Shawn used to be a welder, and made his own drum set ( the titanium kegs that Slipknot use as percussion instruments) - he also welded together the Death cage that Joey sits in on the front cover of mfkr and various other strange objects that you would expect from Shawn.
The Funk and Disco elements heard in various songs off MFKR were due to Paul, he came up with that goofy idea, since he was all funk-oriented. He had a good mind for what disco should sound like.