The co-founder of the legendary Def Jam label, producer Rick Rubin was among the key figures behind the commercial and artistic rise of hip-hop, lending his signature rap/metal style to many of the biggest records of the pre-gangsta era. Born Frederick Jay Rubin on Long Island, NY, in 1963, he was attending New York University when he and Russell Simmons founded Def Jam in 1984. Operating the company out of Rubin’s dorm room, they bowed with the T La Rock and Jazzy Jay single “It’s Yours,” issued in association with Partytime/Streetwise. By 1985 Def Jam entered into a distribution deal with Columbia, and the label also produced its own rap movie, Krush Groove; however, even from the outset, Rubin’s interests extended well beyond hip-hop, and he raised more than a few eyebrows producing Hell Awaits for the thrash band Slayer later that same year.
Legendary musical genius Rick Rubin produced Slipknot’s latest album, Vol. 3 The Subliminal Verses. Rick Rubin opened the doors for Slipknot, influencing them in making the masterpiece. More singing, piano and guitar solos, yet still takes you back to the roots of Slipknot with heavy songs like Three Nil and The Blister Exists. From brutally heavy album IOWA, to the beauty of Vol.3 – The Subliminal Verses. Vol. 3 is another chapter in Slipknot’s history.
Shawn Crahan: “‘Vol. 3′ was all about rebuilding friendships and since we were rebuilding, it was really easy to rebuild the innovation of our music. Listen to that fucking record. It’s spiritual. Rick Rubin’s the oracle. He sat us down with each other. I heard things from the other members I don’t care to repeat. I gained a couple of friends. I might have created a couple of enemies. We all agreed we were going to get on a plateau of communication and that’s what we did.”
Jim Root: “Rick was really attentive to what we needed as a band. He knew I was going through major anxiety. I got a knock on my bedroom door one day, and his assistant came up and he had this herbal drop that you put on your tongue to mellow out. A lot of the guys in the band say Rick was unavailable. And yeah, he takes on a lot of projects at one time, but he also does things that are beneficial. He would listen to what we’d done, then have us retrack things that needed work. He’s kind of like Big Brother up on the hill. Even though he wasn’t there physically every day, he was. That’s my favorite record we’ve done.”
Corey Taylor: “I wouldn’t know what it’s like to work with Rick Rubin. I only saw him about four times. Rick Rubin is a nice man. He’s done a lot of good for a lot of people. He didn’t do anything for me. I’m not happy with the vocals on that record. There were a lot of takes that I thought were much better than the ones they fuckin’ used and I wasn’t asked about a lot of shit. It sounds amazing; the songs are great. But we were being charged horrendous amounts of money. And for me, if you’re going to produce something, you’re fucking there. I don’t care who you are.”