We chat with Slipknot
After earning the title of one of the greatest bands in the world by metalheads everywhere; one would ask how Grammy Award winners Slipknot might show their appreciation.
The answer includes a triumphant return to the live stage, their very own music festival and to top it all off, a double-disc greatest hits album. After performing a number of shows in the past year or so, Slipknot have just released Antennas to Hell – a showcase of their recorded career’s very best.
With heavy enthusiasm, percussionist Chris Fehn aka #3 declares, “we’re back in action and stronger than ever!” They are – expectedly – excited about Antennas to Hell and have crafted the double-disc album carefully. “Everything that we put out is a representation of us. We control every aspect of our music and our work very tightly”.
Disc one represents an accurate setlist of back catalogue tracks tfhat the band generally play live. Disc two is Slipknot’s live performance at Download Festival in 2009 and the deluxe version contains a third disc: a DVD of all the music videos the band has ever made, plus some more bonus features.
To summarise such an overwhelmingly successful career can be difficult. “I love every song we ever did. I have a special relationship with each one so it’s always hard to put together a setlist, whether it’s our greatest hits or a live album – but it’s a fun thing to do,” says Fehn.
He and the rest of the band are stoked to be able to release the audio from their Download Festival performance. “It is amazing with technology these days, you can just watch a show that happened over two years ago at your house and be there experiencing the atmosphere with the crowd.”
Any maggot (a colloquial term for a Slipknot fan) understands the level of stage production and pyrotechnics involved in a show – it is much more than just the music.
With the calibre and liveliness of their stage shows have come a bunch of health and safety issues. Earlier in July, frontman Corey Taylor fainted on stage during a dedicated performance. The band are now making a conscious effort to keep healthy and be physically prepared for their flame-filled productions.
“We’re responsible about it and we want to perform at our best for ourselves and for our fans,” explains the percussionist, “we take it very seriously and it’s one of the most tiring things you can ever imagine.”
Recently, Slipknot has launched their very own music festival called Knotfest. Joining them are musical beasts Deftones, Machine Head and a whole lot more. “Clown and Corey (both members of the band) have been working really hard with management to make this happen for a really long time and we’re super excited about it,” enthuses Fehn.
Knotfest is very special to Slipknot and is the first of what they hope will eventually be an annual event in the future. “We are very proud that we’re able to make this happen – it’s a really great thing from our perspective,” says Fehn. “We’re doing it in the mid-west and that’s our little tribute to where we grew up,” speaking of the Des Moine area of his native Iowa, the same American state that Fehn was born and played an integral part of the band’s development.
In fact, it became the title for Slipknot’s sophomore album, with Iowa going on to achieve Gold Status here in Australia before peaking at #2 on the albums chart.
As Australians – isolated and tucked up down under – we often feel like we’re missing out on the greatest music festivals and lineups that tour throughout the United States, but Fehn thinks we Aussies have it pretty great: “America doesn’t get a lot of what we get to do in areas like Australia or Europe and we want to bring the best things we have seen around the planet back home.”
When the metal collective aren’t touring, members of the band take time to work on various side projects. To name a few, Corey Taylor and Jim Root are set to release a new studio album for their band Stone Sour late in 2012, whilst Shawn Crahan produces solo material as well.
How does Fehn feel about all the extra-curricular activity? “We all stay in close touch with each other; there are no secrets or anything like that so it’s easy for us to co-ordinate anything Slipknot related,” he responds.
While Fehn refused to reveal any information about the ‘big things’ set for 2013 in the Slipknot camp, fans suspect this will involve release of their first studio album since All Hope is Gone back in 2008.
Until the, if you consider yourself a real ‘maggot’ – you can contend yourself with Slipknot’s brand new best of: Antennas To Hell.
Antennas To Hell is available now through Roadrunner Records. Available in both a regular and a deluxe edition with a DVD.