Guitar World recently conducted an interview with Slipknot guitarists Mick Thomson and James Root. Below you can read a few excerpts from the chat.
GUITAR WORLD: What do you remember about the songwriting process for Iowa? It happened pretty soon after the tour, right?
JIM ROOT: We had been on the road for two years, and after about a day I got a call to come over to Clown‘s house to start working on the new record. I really thought I was going to have more time off, but we got right to work, and that kind of set the tone for how we would always end up doing records.
MICK THOMSON: It was a little early. We were initially going to take a bunch of time off, because back then our touring was just ridiculous. We would do 17 or 18 shows in a row without a night off. Any date we weren’t on Ozzfest or opening for someone else, we had our own shows lined up in an attempt to pick up gas money.
It didn’t take too long; it was like two months of writing and we were done. It was weird. It was still early enough in those days that we did a bunch of the writing in a warehouse. A friend of ours, his dad owns an electrical company so we ended up there. And we did some of it in Clown‘s basement or Paul‘s basement. It was definitely like the old days. Now we’re a little more organized with tbe business.
It was always strange to me back then when people would lump you in with bands like Korn …
#7: Oh my God, or Limp Bizkit — any of that shit!
Guitar-wise, the big thing that set you apart from all those bands was the fact that you were down-tuning at a time when seven-strings were flying off the shelves.
#7: I was very against them. I taught guitar for a few years, so I’m like, “Why are kids buying seven-strings when they can’t even play six? If you want something with a lower pitch, change your fucking string guages! Change your tuning!” [laughs] You don’t need to add a seventh string. I’m glad those days are over, though. It seems like all the bands that play them now can really play them. They’re getting the most out of them.
It definitely seems like you guys had more of a thrash thing going on, which was especially apparent on Iowa. For instance, I hear a lot of Exodus, Overkill, Slayer, etc. Were those bands feeding into the sound of Iowa?
#4: Definitely, all those guys you just named. And Anthrax, early Metallica.
#7: When were starting out, people would say we sounded like Metallica, and I was like, “Yeah, we both have distorted guitars, I guess.” [laughs] I dont think we’re very easily labeled because we don’t really stick to one kind of thing. I wouldn’t say “eclectic,” because when I think of that I think of Mr. Bungle. I think we mix all sorts of different things and it just kind of turns into Slipknot.
Read the whole interview at Guitar World.