If you need more evidence that Slipknot is nuts, besides watching nine masked Iowans in jumpsuits pumping out death metal riffs and drumming on trash cans, read these true stories about the maggot-loving, corpse-huffing, substance-and-alcohol vacuums in Slipknot. The band has been a mainstay on the metal scene since the late '90s when they appeared out of the American heartland like a real-life extreme metal horror freak show version of Devo, screaming about how much they hate everything until they were coughing up blood. True Slipknot stories more than live up to that description.
Somewhat improbably, Slipknot hit the zeitgeist; the band obliterated nu-metal peers by making real metal cool again. Their music is pure catharsis in the form of metal.
Slipknot has continued its scurge on mainstream music ever since its debut. If you think the band members are getting soft more than two decades into their career, think again: these WTF stories show their proclivity for setting things on fire, drinking stuff you’re not supposed to drink, and fighting with knives. If you think the masks, screaming, and anti-social nihilism is an act, you'd be wrong.
Some gonzo stories about Slipknot will trigger those of weak constitution, so if you have issues with people eating a rotten bird corpse or drinking puke, you may want to read some less wild celebrity stories. If you’re still here, you’re ready to dive into the infernal swamp of Slipknot.
At a place like that, there's only two things to do, really - you take drugs, and you f*ck. Crank was just starting, and I was a total speed freak and really into coke. I remember waking up one morning in a dumpster. And, instead of taking me to a hospital, they took me somewhere and dumped me in a trash can, thinking I was dead. So I come to, I've got no shoes on, I've got no T-shirt, I've got blood on my face. I'm 12 miles from my house, and I proceeded to walk from there. The whole way home. I was like, I've gotta get out of here.
Mick Thomson, the gargantuan guitar player (who's 6'4") otherwise known as #7, is not someone that most people would want to get into a physical altercation with. In 2015, he and his brother got into a knife fight on the front lawn of a residence in Clive, IA. When cops showed up, they found the intoxicated guitarist covered in non-life threatening, but nonetheless serious, stab wounds.
The brothers refused to press charges against one another but were charged with disorderly conduct.
Every performer needs to get into the right headspace to achieve purity in his or her art. This is especially true of musicians, whose job requires manual dexterity, athleticism, and showmanship.
In the early days of the band, the members of Slipknot had their own special way of getting into the mood before a show. Clown (percussionist Shawn Crahan) kept a deceased crow in a jar, which he was allowing to decompose. Before each show, he took a big whiff of its terrible scent and passed it around to his bandmates. Wouldn't you know it, fans wanted in on the action, and they ended up eating the rotting bird.
Said DJ Sid Wilson of the ritual:
We had a dead bird in a jar. Clown kept it in there for a long time. We’d bring it out on stage and take big deep breaths out of it, see what death smelled like, have that inside you, gets you in that dark place. It would make you throw up immediately, vomit in your mask. He had it in there for so long it started getting this gelatinous liquid in the jar as it decayed.
While recording Slipknot's second album, Iowa, vocalist Corey Taylor was in such a terrible place, he self-harmed during vocal takes. "I was cutting myself while recording songs in the studio. I was bleeding everywhere. I just wanted something, I didn’t care what it was."
While the band was recording Iowa, its manager, the now-deceased Steve Richards, was creating unnecessary tension between members. As Mick Thomson recalls:
I should dig Steve Richards up and beat his f*cking corpse. Every once in a while I think there may be a God that put a cyst on his brainstem and caused him to be a f*ckin’ zombie. The dude just stepped into our lives and tried to cause rifts between band members...
Clown recalls similarly depressing memories about making the record:
It was a disaster because the world got in. Drugs, women, just listening to, 'You guys are gonna be huge.' Everybody wants our money. So I hate the album, but it is brutality at its finest. People are like, “Do another Iowa.” And I’m like [extends middle finger], 'Sit on this! You know why? We almost all died.'
It was bad. There were chemicals. I was probably the worst, man. My wife was very ill during those times. I felt really isolated because I couldn’t be with her. So out of the sadness of not being together, there’s that frustration and anger, too, that she’s taking care of three kids and we’re being lied to about money and we’re still broke. I was just anti-everyone in the band, coming for everyone in the band.