One of the most successful hard rock producers of the late ’90s was unquestionably Ross Robinson. Robinson began as a thrash metal guitarist (he was a member of a band that included future Machine Head drummer Dave McClain), but picked up a thing or two from the studios where his band recorded demos. It wasn’t long before Robinson was well-versed enough with the recording studio that he received his first credit, as an assistant engineer for W.A.S.P.’s ambitious 1993 concept album, The Crimson Idol. Almost immediately afterward, Robinson received his big break, when he hooked up with an up-and-coming alt-metal band by the name of Korn. The union between Robinson and Korn would last for a pair of hit albums — the quintet’s self-titled 1994 debut and 1996′s Life Is Peachy — which put both the band and producer at the top of the ’90s metal heap.
Robinson then signed on to produce the debut by a rap-metal band that Korn had taken under their wing, Limp Bizkit, resulting in the massive-hit debut, 1997′s Three Dollar Bill Y’All. Not only did the release turn Limp Bizkit into overnight sensations, but it opened the floodgates for the whole rap-metal movement of the late ’90s. Becoming one of rock’s most in-demand producers, Robinson continued to produce others, including Machine Head, Sepultura (including their landmark release Roots), Soulfly, Amen, Cold, Glassjaw, At the Drive In, and even Vanilla Ice’s rap-metal makeover/comeback album, Hard to Swallow. It wasn’t long before Robinson helped discover another unknown band that would go on to become one of metal’s most popular acts, the masked nine-man band Slipknot. He produced their two massive albums, 1999′s self-titled debut and 2001′s Iowa. Robinson also runs his own record label imprint, I Am Recordings, which is distributed by such renowned labels as Roadrunner and Virgin.
Ross Robinson, the mastermind behind Slipknot’s Self Titled and Iowa albums. Simply put, self titled is an absolute masterpiece, and that’s an under statement. Robinson was a huge influence on both Self Titled and Iowa, shaping Slipknot into a more professional band. He got a know each member on a personally level and knew what each wanted. If not for Robinson, Slipknot could have gone into a totally different direction and maybe wouldn’t have been as successful as they are now.
Ross introduces the members of Slipknot:
#0 – Sid Wilson
“I call him DJ Cupcake. He took 75 hits of acid one day before he was in the band – he still sees trails every once in a while. He gets to be a little bit high all the time, and he likes it. You can depend on him to put an amazingly sweet vibe in the room. And he jumps off really amazingly tall things.”
#1 – Joey Jordison
“Joey is pure genius in all ways. One of the smartest people I’ve ever met, and he can play everything. He and Paul have written everything on the new album so far.
I totally respect him.”
#2 – Paul Gray
“100 people will call him for money and he gives it to ‘em. He’s a giving sharing, 100% sweet, musical genius – and writes the fuckin’ baddest riffs too.”
#3 – Chris Fehn
“Chris is an amazing sports fanatic. He’ll whip you in golf. He’s amazing at everything he does. He’s got a natural ability to tear it up.”
#4 – Jim Root
“He’s got the man’s disease. When you’re walking down the street with your radar on and you see every hot girl….he’s got it bad.”
#5 – Craig Jones
“When I first met him he never talked. He was super-quiet and never spoke a word. I would point at him and say, hey dude, I bet you’re the most psycho fucker in this band! And he still didn’t say anything. I would try and get him to talk and he would just sit and stare at me. The first time he talked during an interview he said, “if I wasn’t in this band I’d probably be out killing people.” And when he said that, it caused so many problems, all these letters coming in. So the only time he talked, he caused a bunch of shit!”
#6 – Shawn Crahan
“Shawn lives, breathes and eats psychotic fuckin’ thoughts. He has the world on his shoulders. He feels like he has to take care of the world, maybe because he’s not taking care of himself. He’ll learn to ease up, though. It’s a lot to take because they got so huge all at once. He seems to be someplace else, but his heart is pure and beautiful.”
#7 – Mick Thomson
“Mick says he actively hates everything that exists. Fuck, that guy is extremely smart – he knows every bit of gear, he is so on point with knowing everything. That guy, I love him so much. When I see him my heart melts.”
#8 – Corey Taylor
“He loves women. He’s getting married soon. He fell in love and found an awesome life through the band. Corey was a pretty tortured kid, his father was never around. He gave a lot out to the listeners.”