Slipknot Overview

Slipknot is an American heavy metal heavy metal music band from Des Moines, Iowa, formed in 1995. The band was founded by percussionist Shawn Crahan and bassist Paul Gray Paul Gray (American musician) , after several line-up changes in their early days the band consisted of nine members for the greater part of their tenure—Sid Wilson, Paul Gray, Joey Jordison, Chris Fehn, Jim Root, Craig Jones, Shawn Crahan, Mick Thomson, and Corey Taylor. However, the death of Paul Gray on May 24, 2010 left the band with only eight remaining members. The future of Slipknot is currently unclear due to their current hiatus and reluctance to comment on the situation.

Slipknot are known largely by their attention-grabbing image, aggressive music style and their energetic and chaotic live shows. The band had somewhat of a meteoric rise to success following the release of their self-titled debut album Slipknot (album) in 1999. The 2001 follow-up album Iowa Iowa (album) further increased the band's po***rity. After breaking for their first hiatus, Slipknot returned in 2004 with Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses) and once again in 2008 with their fourth album All Hope Is Gone, which debuted at the top spot on the Billboard 200 charts. The band has also released one live album and four DVDs. As of May 2010 Slipknot has sold over 14 million records worldwide.


Early days (1995–1998)

Slipknot was formed in Des Moines, Iowa, in September 1995 when drummer Shawn Crahan and bassist Paul Gray Paul Gray (American musician) started a band named The Pale Ones.
Chris Fehn was brought in to replace Welts on percussion before Slipknot traveled to Malibu, California to work on their debut album in September 1998. Part-way through the recording process of the album, Slipknot returned to Des Moines, Iowa for the Christmas period, during which, guitarist Brainard decided to leave the band. Speaking about his decision, Brainard explained: "some decisions were made that I wasn't particularly happy with." Slipknot recruited Jim Root to complete their line-up and returned to Malibu to continue work on their debut album. Slipknot went on to release their first home video Welcome to Our Neighborhood and the two singles; "Wait and Bleed" and "Spit It Out".

Iowa and hiatus (2001–2003)

Anticipation for Slipknot's sophomore effort was intense and in early 2001, the band began recording their second album at Sound City and Sound Image studios in Los Angeles, California. It was about this time that conflicts began to arise between band members due to their extensive touring and recording schedules. Despite this, recording on their second album came to a close in February 2001 and Slipknot embarked on their Iowa World Tour. Iowa Iowa (album) , the band's second album was released on August 28, 2001, peaking at number three on the Billboard Billboard (magazine) album charts and at number one on the UK album chart. The album, like it's predecessor, produced two singles; "Left Behind Left Behind (song) " and then "My Plague" which appeared on the soundtrack for the film Resident Evil Resident Evil (film) . In 2002, Slipknot made their first (and to-date only) appearance in a movie, performing the song "I Am Hated" in a scene in the remake of Rollerball Rollerball (2002 film) . The release of the album and the promotion in support of it proved great for the band's po***rity, to the extent of them selling out shows in large arenas in several countries. However in mid 2002, Slipknot went on hiatus for the first time due to internal conflicts, seeing several band members focus on side-projects. At this time the future of Slipknot was unclear and there was speculation over whether the band had split and the possibility of a third album. Despite this, on November 22, 2002 Slipknot released their second DVD Disasterpieces.

Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses) and second hiatus (2003–2007)

After several delays, Slipknot moved in to The Mansion in Los Angeles, California in mid 2003 to work on their third album alongside producer Rick Rubin. By early 2004 work had finished on the album and they began The Subliminal Verses World Tour with their appearance on the Jägermeister Music Tour in March 2004. Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses) was released on May 24, 2004, peaking at number 2 on the Billboard album charts. The album produced four singles; "Duality Duality (song) ", "Vermilion Vermilion (song) ", "Before I Forget Before I Forget (song) " and "The Nameless". Slipknot recorded their first live album, 9.0: Live while touring in support of their third album. Released on November 1, 2005 9.0 Live peaked at number 17 on the Billboard album charts. Touring in support of Vol. 3 (The Subliminal Verses) continued through 2004 and up to the end of 2005 before Slipknot went on hiatus for the second time.

In 2005, several members of Slipknot where involved in Roadrunner United: The All-Star Sessions Roadrunner United , a collaboration album of artists signed to Roadrunner Records. 2006 saw Slipknot win their first (and to date only) Grammy Award, picking up the Best Metal Performance Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance award with the single "Before I Forget". On December 5, 2006, Slipknot released their third DVD Voliminal: Inside the Nine. While Slipknot were on hiatus, several band members once again focused their attentions on side projects; vocalist Taylor and guitarist Root returned to Stone Sour, drummer Jordison toured with several bands and produced 3 Inches of Blood's third album Fire Up the Blades, Crahan founded Dirty Little Rabbits and Wilson returned as DJ Starscream once again.

All Hope Is Gone, Gray's death and third hiatus (2008–present)

Preparation for Slipknot's fourth album began towards the end of 2007, however work began when the band entered the Sound Farm Studio Sound Farm Studio & Recording Environment in Jamaica, Iowa with producer Dave Fortman in February 2008. Work came to a close on the album in June, prior to the beginning of the All Hope Is Gone World Tour on July 9, 2008. Slipknot's fourth album; All Hope Is Gone was released on August 20, 2008, debuting at number 1 on the Billboard albums chart. The album produced four singles; "Psychosocial Psychosocial (song) ", "Dead Memories", "Sulfur Sulfur (song) " and "Snuff Snuff (song) ". 2009 marked the ten year anniversary of Slipknot's debut album, to commemorate the event the band released a special edition version of Slipknot on September 9, 2009. Touring in support of the album continued throughout 2008 and 2009, before coming to a close on October 31, 2009 resulting in Slipknot's third hiatus. During the hiatus several band members focused on respective side projects; vocalist Taylor founded Junk Beer Kidnap Band and returned to Stone Sour with guitarist Root, Crahan continued working with his band Dirty Little Rabbits, drummer Jordison returned with his band Muderdolls and became the new permanent drummer of Rob Zombie, percussionist Fehn is now a full time bassist with metalcore band Will Haven and DJ Wilson founded the band Sid.

In 2010, bassist Gray was planning to tour with the super-group Hail!. However, on May 24, 2010, he was found dead in a hotel room in Urbandale, Iowa. Circumstances surrounding his death at the time were not immediately known, though an autopsy suspected no foul play or trauma was involved. The day after his death, the remaining eight members of the band held a live press conference alongside Gray's widow and brother, expressing their feelings about the incident. On June 21, the cause of death was confirmed as an accidental overdose on morphine and fentanyl, the latter being a synthetic morphine substitute. The band has been hesitant to comment on the future of Slipknot and it is currently unclear what will happen following their time apart. However band members have made conflicting statements in interviews regarding the situation; drummer Jordison told The Pulse of Radio "there is another Slipknot record already kinda in the making". Vocalist Taylor revealed to FMQB Productions FMQB ' that he is "very conflicted about whether or not [he wants] to do anything with Slipknot". It has been announced that the first release since Gray's death will be Slipknot's fourth DVD (sic)nesses. Due for release on 28 September 2010, the DVD features Slipknot's complete live performance at the 2009 Download Festival and a 45 minute film documenting their tour in support of All Hope Is Gone.Slipknot draw influence from an array of styles and bands, most notably including hard rock and heavy metal bands such as Kiss Kiss (band) , Black Sabbath, Slayer, Judas Priest, Korn, Metallica, White Zombie, Led Zeppelin and Beastie Boys.

Slipknot are known for their chaotic and energetic live shows, something which contributed to their early success. Their early performances featured extreme acts such as stage dives from high balconies and and band members setting each other on fire. However, in recent years they tend to refrain from acts as extreme as this. Ex-bassist Gray explained that this was due to receiving lawsuits and to prevent harming other people, adding that it was a "better move" for the longevity of the band. While reviewing a Slipknot performance, Alistair Lawrence of Kerrang! enthused, "the choreographed chaos is too multi-faceted to fully describe," on a similar note, NME described one of their shows as "a scene of chaos".wearing the 2009 variation of his Clown mask
The band is known for its attention-grabbing shock rock image; the members wear matching uniforms, have unique masks respectively and have aliases which are simply numbers. Vocalist Taylor had this to say when questioned about the masks in 2002: "it's our way of becoming more intimate with the music. It's a way for us to become unconscious of who we are and what we do outside of music. It's a way for us to kind of crawl inside it and be able to use it." The concept behind wearing matching jumpsuits has been describe as a response to commercialism in the music business and led to the idea of assigning the band members numerical aliases. "Originally, we were just going to wear the jumpsuits [...] we figured we might as well take that further and number ourselves. [...] We were basically saying, 'Hey, we're a product!'" explained Taylor. Their image has been the subject of much criticism, generally thought of as a gimmick to try sell more albums. The band strongly objects to these claims, proclaiming that the masks are used to draw the attention away from themselves as individuals and put it on the music. Several band members have noted that wearing the masks also helps keep their personal lives private. During an interview in 2005, percussionist Fehn went as far as saying it was a "blessing" that they do not get recognized.

Throughout their career, Slipknot have developed their image; changing their uniforms and each member's mask accordingly with the release of each album. The masks do not differ drastically in appearance between albums and follow a similar style but with new elements. Drummer Jordison addressed the issue in an interview in 2004, stating that it is to show growth and difference within age in each individual. Alongside their usual masks, Slipknot have incorporated special masks for specific reasons throughout their tenure. Most notably; for the music video and live performances of the song "Vermilion" in 2004 and 2005 the band members wore death masks made from casts of their own faces. Then in 2008, the band wore a set of large masks entitled "purgatory masks" during photo-shoots prior to the release of All Hope Is Gone and are seen burning them in the music video for "Psychosocial". In the early days, Slipknot's masks were home-made, however since 2001 they have been customly made by the special effects company Screaming Mad George.Slipknot has been the subject of many controversies throughout their career, both for their image and their music. The lyrical content of some of Slipknot's songs has been linked to several violent and criminal incidents. One such case from 2003 involved a pair of young killers who blamed the lyrics from the song "Disasterpiece" for their vicious crime. Another from 2006 involved the lyrics from the song "Surfacing" being found at the site of a grave robbing. Slipknot deny any responsibility in cases like this and to date have not been proven to be liable in any cases of this nature. In 2008, vocalist Taylor commented on a stabbing in South Africa that Slipknot were linked to, saying: "obviously, I'm disturbed by the fact that people were hurt and someone died, as far as my responsibility for that goes, it stops there, because I know our message is actually very positive."

The band's image has also been subjected to several controversies. A long standing feud came from the band Mushroomhead, who, along with their fans, claimed that Slipknot "stole their image." While Slipknot acknowledged that their images had similarities they never actively got involved in the feud stating it was just a coincidence. Taylor explains: "we both started at the same time — neither one of us knowing anything about each other." In 2009, Mushroomhead vocalist Waylon Reavis stated that they were no longer interested in feuding with Slipknot, saying: "they're not the first masked band, we're not, no one was." Another source of controversy was the band's 2005 lawsuit against Burger King — claiming that the company created the advertising based band Coq Roq to capitalize on Slipknot's image. Burger King responded to the suit with a countersuit, pointing out that many other bands, such as Mr. Bungle, Mushroomhead, Mudvayne, Kiss Kiss (band) , Insane Clown Posse and Gwar have used masks as part of their image. However, after negotiations, the advertising campaign and lawsuit were both dropped.
RIAA certifications

These statistics were compiled from the RIAA certification online database.

*Slipknot: Double Platinum (February 2001)
*Iowa: Platinum (October 2002)
*Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses): Platinum (February 2005)
*9.0: Live: Gold (December 2005)
*All Hope Is Gone: Platinum (August 2010)

;'Videos and DVDs'
*Welcome to Our Neighborhood: Platinum (February 2000)
*Disasterpieces: Quadruple Platinum (November 2005)
*Voliminal: Inside the Nine: Platinum (February 2007)

Grammy Awards and nominations

Slipknot has been nominated for seven Grammy Awards, resulting in one win.

*"Wait and Bleed" – Best Metal Performance, 2001 (nomination)
*"Left Behind Left Behind (song) " – Best Metal Performance, 2002 (nomination)
*"My Plague" – Best Metal Performance, 2003 (nomination)
*"Duality Duality (song) " – Best Hard Rock Performance, 2005 (nomination)
*"Vermilion Vermilion (song) " – Best Metal Performance, 2005 (nomination)
*"Psychosocial Psychosocial (song) "- Best Metal Performance, 2009 (nomination);Current
*(#0) Sid Wilson – turntables Phonograph#Turntable technology (1998–present)>
*(#1) Joey Jordison – drums Drum kit (1995–present)>
*(#3) Chris Fehn – custom percussion Percussion instrument , backing vocals (1998–present)>
*(#4) James Root – guitars Electric guitar (1999–present)>
*(#5) Craig "133" Jones Craig Jones – samples Sampler (musical instrument) , media Sampling (music) (1996–present)>
*(#6) Shawn "Clown" Crahan Shawn Crahan – custom percussion, backing vocals (1995–present)>
*(#7) Mick Thomson – guitars (1996–present)>
*(#8) Corey Taylor – lead vocals Singing (1997–present)>

*Donnie Steele – guitars (1995–1996)>
*Anders Colsefni – lead vocals, custom percussion (1995–1997)>
*Greg "Cuddles" Welts – custom percussion (1997–1998)>
*(#4) Josh Brainard – guitars, backing vocals (1995–1999)>
*(#2) Paul Gray Paul Gray (American musician) – bass Bass guitar , backing vocals (1995–2010)>;Studio albums
*Slipknot Slipknot (album) (1999)
*Iowa Iowa (album) (2001)
*Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses) (2004)
*All Hope Is Gone (2008)

*Welcome to Our Neighborhood
*Voliminal: Inside the Nine


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