In ’92 Clown and Paul formed up a band called “Painface“. They were joined by Anders Colsefni and Patrick Neuwirth (guitar), and recorded the following songs: “Slipknot“, “Gently“, “Idiot“, “What’s wrong” and “Wise up“. This period in the band’s history is the so-called “Basement Sessions“.
This project came to an end because of Shawn being too busy with his work.
In 1995 Clown, Paul and Anders formed a band called “The Pale Ones“. Donnie Steele (who was a guitar player in Body Pit) and Kun Nong joined the band as guitarists. Shortly after they were joined by Joey Jordison, who became the main drummer. The first drummer in Slipknot was Clown, and Anders played percussion. They were both drummers, they always wanted to do something more with the drums and percussion, that’s when Clown moved to percussion and Joey became the drummer. Kun Nong was replaced by Josh Brainard, who was Paul’s and Anders’ friend.
Back in 1991 Paul joined Anders’ and Josh’s band called VeXX. That’s when Paul and Anders became friends. After that they’d started a death metal band called Body Pit, where some of the riffs from “Surfacing” were written. Body Pit played some shows, and that’s where Pual met Joey, Shawn and Jim. Joey had a band called Modifidious, in which he played with Craig and Josh Brainard. Clown was in the band called Heads on the Wall. They all played shows together in a club called Runway, before it burnt down.
James Root was supposed to be the original guitar player, but that didn’t work out at the time.
A few months after the formation of the band, they played their first live show as “Meld” on December 4 in a club called Crowbar (Des Moines, IA). Later on the band had a show scheduled, but they didn’t have a name, so they came up with “Slipknot” (which was the name of their first song.)
During one rehearsal Shawn wore his clown mask. After that the band
Paul: “One day we were rehearsing, and Shawn put on this Clown mask and would not take it off. At first it pissed us off, but then we went ‘Man, that’s kind of creepy.’ So we decided to all wear masks so no one would know who we were. After shows we’d leave with our masks on, go home and change, and then come back dressed normal to find out if people liked us.”
In ’95 the band started recording material for their upcoming album “Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat.” They worked with producer Sean McMahon at the SR Audio Studios.
In early ’96 Donnie Steele left the band, he was replaced by Craig Jones, who was a guitar player in Joey’s previous band called Modifidious. Slipknot played its first live concert on April 4 in the Safari club. During their second performance, Slipknot opened the show for Stone Sour, in which Corey was the vocalist.
Craig played the guitar for a while before Mick joined the band. Mick played guitar in Body Pit with Paul, Anders and Donnie. After Mick joined Slipknot, Craig became responsible for the media/samples.
Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat. was finally mixed and released on October 31. Copies of the were sent to different people from the music industry. One of them was Sophia John, who worked at a Des Moines Radio station. She really liked the album, and she invited them to take part in the battle of the bands. One of the opponent bands was Corey’s Stone Sour. Slipknot eventually won the competition, but at the time they realised that they need a change. They needed a better vocalist. Anders was great for death metal, but he couldn’t sing. That’s when they thought about Corey Taylor.
Sophia John became the band’s manager. In June 1997 the band played DotFest. After the show they continued rehearsing, working on new songs.
Clown, Mick and Joey went to the “Adult Emporium” porn shop, where Corey was working. At that time Slipknot was recording a demo and they wanted to check if Corey would be able to sing the songs they have written. There’s a big legend about how they’ve threatened to kick Corey’s ass, but as Corey says: “That’s completely untrue. They were so nervous it was fucking adorable.” Corey said that he will “give it a try” and went to a Slipknot practice.
The first song Corey recorded was “Me Inside.”
Corey came out to be a great vocalist for Slipknot songs, he really fit very well in the band, so he took over the lead vocals, forcing Anders to become a percussionist who also sang backing vocals. In September Slipknot played their first live show with Corey, during which Anders quit the band.
Clown: “Andy was the lead singer and we had a huge following. But we had to replace him with Corey because we were evolving and he was not growing. If we were smart, we would have said, ‘Andy, chill the fuck out. Play the drums.’ But he quit, right onstage.”
Greg Welts, also known as “Cuddles,” filled in the gap on percussion.
After that, Slipknot worked with Sean McMahon on a second album called “Crowz.” Even though Mick Thomson stated that: “There is no record called ‘Crowz‘” the band was actually working on a second studio release. Songs like “Gently“, “Do Nothing“, “Slipknot“, “Tattered and Torn“, “Me Inside“, “Carve“, “Coleslaw“, “Scissors“, “Windows” and “May 17th” were recorded during that period of time. Crowz was more like a demo rather than an album.
Sophia John asked Slipknot who would they like to produce their album. They said that they want Ross Robinson, so she contacted one of her friends, John Reese, and aksed if he knew somebody who has contact with Ross. She didn’t knew that John was actually Ross’ manager. A demo was sent to Ross.
Ross Robinson: I’m really into the “meant to be” thing. I wasn’t really into the demo I heard, but I went out there just because it was such a weird coincidence I knew not to ignore it. And then when I flew in and saw them it was love at first sight.
Paul: “He said he would produce the album without us having a record deal. Then we got an offer on the table from Sony. They had a guy named Vince Bannon, [the VP of Artist Development] who came to Vegas to see us at the EAT’M Festival. But when we got home, the fucking deal was null and void because Bannon said, ‘If this is the future of music, I don’t want no part of it.’”
Before Dotfest the band played one of their first concerts outside of where they lived. They played in Las Vegas at the Eat’M Festival (Emerging Artists and Talent in Music.) They opened the show for Amen. That was a festival which featured 150 bands that were chosen from over 700 bands. They had already a contract deal waiting to be signed, the band wanted to play a last show as an nunsugned band, and after that there planned to come back to Des Moines and sign the deal with Sony. But, as Corey said, in Vegas they scared the shit out of many record labels, those fucking plastic, pussy assed bitch motherfuckers, and when they came back to Des Moines the deal has already been cancelled.
In June the band played in front of 20,000 people at the second DotFest. One of the other bands to perform at that fest was Sid Wilson‘s DJ group – Sound Proof Coalition.
Sid: “They had seen my and my DJ crew, the Soundproof Coalition, at a local festival, so they asked me to show them my stuff. I didn’t even know who Slipknot was. But I went over there and they liked what I was doing, but they said they had to think about it. So, I went to one of their shows, and during “Tattered & Torn,” just as Clown was about to go into the crowd, I grabbed him by the head, headbutted him and almost knocked him out. He went back to Joey and said, ‘I don’t care what anyone says. That dude’s in.’”
Sid Wilson joined the band in early 1998. Cuddles used to write “Must Kill” on his knuckles before he got that tattooed.
After playing DotFest “The Baby” was kicked out of the band. Chris Fehn replaced him. He wanted to be Shawn’s drum tech in the first place, but Clown gave him an offer to fill in the gap on percussion. But before Chris joined the band, Slipknot played one show in Malibu with Brandon Darner as their percussionist (who later was in Shawn’s other band – To My Surprise.)
In July Slipknot finally signed a record deal with Roadrunner. The contract was signed in frot of ‘Axiom Piercing‘.
In late ’98 Slipknot went to Ross Robinson‘s Indigo Ranch, were they began recording their self-titled debut.
Corey: “I’ve never screamed or sang like that in my life. Ross pushed me to the point where, by the end of every day, I was literally broken completely in half and I couldn’t stop crying. I was throwing up all over the fucking place. The vocal booth smelled so bad from days’ worth of uncleaned vomit and sweat and snot. And it just kept me going. It was fantastic.”
In January Josh Brainard left the band. He was replaced by James Root. Even though James joined the band, the guitarist on the album cover is Josh.
Slipknot returned to the Indigo Ranch, were they re-recorded “Spit It Out” and recorded a new song – “Purity.”
Joey: “Toward the end of recording, Josh Brainard got lonely or something and didn’t know if he wanted to deal with what lay ahead, so he quit. He’s a great guitar player and a great friend, but he quit out of the fuckin’ blue. So we called Jim again and we were like, ‘Hey, man, would you like to join?’”
Jim: “A year after I made a promise to my former band Death Front that I would never join Slipknot, they called me to replace Josh. I told them no because of my vow. Then I reconsidered. I went from playing weekend gigs and working 6 in the morning until 6 at night silkscreening T-shirts to going to Malibu to record ‘Spit it Out‘ and ‘Purity.’”
In May the band played their first show with a new line-up. They played in Minneapolis. During the show Chris went into the crowd and destroyed an expensive expresso machine, he was threatened to be arrested.
Before going to OzzFest, Slipknot played their last show at Hairy Mary’s in Des Moines.
Corey: “Two weeks before Ozzfest I had trouble singing and I discovered I had really bad acid reflux and had basically fried my vocal cords. I saw a specialist at UCLA and he told me not to speak for two months. And I was like, “No, I’m going on the road.” And he said, “Well, all you can do is sing. Don’t talk.” So, I didn’t talk again until the pre-production for Ozzfest. I could actually feel that my voice was getting better, but because of that, it dropped down a step and a half. But in retrospect, I’m glad that it did because my voice sounds better now.”
On May 27th Slipknot played their first show at Ozzfest in West Palm Beach at the Coral Sky Amphitheatre. That was the day when the whole music world heard about Slipknot.
Corey: “I can remember walking out on t the second stage here at Ozzfest ’99. Peopleheard the noise and started running over the hill towards us. It was insane. When we first started playing there were probably about five hundred kids. By the ned of it the entire field was packed, and people were just staring at us. There were like ‘What is this?’ And it was like that every show, until the point about halfway through the tour, when there would be this gargantuan crowd actually waiting for us to hit the stage.”
Jim: “Being on Ozzfest was a real sensory overload. All of a sudden I was thrown into this lifestyle that is so different from what you think it’s gonna be. It was like dreaming because you’re seeing these people like Ozzy and Rob Zombie that you’ve only seen in print or on television, and all of a sudden here they all are and they’re talking to me?”
Corey: “There were a lot of times during Ozzfest when it was so hot and I was raging so hard that I threw up in my mask and had to eat the puke because there was nowhere to spit it. And I broke my mouth so many fucking times just coming up too hard on the mic. I’d go from swallowing blood to puking and having to swallow that.”
June 29, 1999… That day changed the world once and for all. The self-titled debut album had its premiere that day. Fans all over the world got the opportunity to witness the full (sic)ness.
The noise of The Nine infected many people all around the world. For many it was like love from the first sight. Slipknot was something new, something different. And it’s not about the masks. Bands wore make up and mask long before Slipknot did. But it was all about the music and staying true to them selves. It was all about showing a middle fucking finger to all these fake sellout scumbags.
Corey: “We hadn’t recorded the album yet; we hadn’t gone out an toured; we didn’t know how people were going to take us. So we’d just written songs for us. There was no audience until then.”
Ozzfest and the release of the band’s first album put the band on the music map. The band worked really hard to get there, and looking back at where they came from, it was a great achievement.
Corey: “We had three, four strikes against us to begin with. We were a nine-piece band from Des Moines, Iowa, at the time playing brutal metal. There’s no way in hell we should have made it. We tapped into something that was out there, that people needed. There was a pissed off group of people that were tired of the really soft, really dishonest message that was going on out there. We didn’t care. We were just ready to eat people alive.”
In late July/early August the band went on the Livin La Vida Loco Tour. They were opening for Coal Chamber.
Joey: “We went out with Coal Chamber after Ozzfest and every night on that tour, I used to pour lighter fluid all over my drums and light it, and one night I caught fire and got third degree burns right up the side of my chest. Like I always say, no one kills themselves like Slipknot.”
Slipknot was touring the States until December. While on tour, on November 9, 1999 Slipknot released their first home video – “Welcome to Our Neighborhood.”
In mid-December the band went on their first European tour. On December 21, 1999 Slipknot‘s “Welcome to Our Neighborhood” home video achieved Gold Status.
After their first European shows, Slipknot came back to the States toured in January, kicking off the tour with 2 shows in Iowa. On the 28th of January Slipknot‘s self-titled album achived Gold Status, selling more than 500,000 copies.
In February the band visited Japan and Australia for the first time. A day after their last show in Australia the band’s home vide – Welcome to Our Neighborhood – achieved Platinum status in the United States.
The band made their network tv debut performing at the Conan O’Brien show on the 25th of February.
On May 2, 2000 Slipknot‘s selt-titled album achieved Platinum status.
In this year Corey and Jim started writing some material for their other band – Stone Sour.
In October the band started working on their second album. At the end of 2000, after almost 2 years of touring, the band was really, really tired of everything. But they din’t give up.
Corey: “After the last show on the tour, we were getting ready to do the next album. And it was weird. It was a totally different mindset, because we’d done all this; we’d come so far.”
Slipknot decided to go in a very dark direction on the next album.
In January Slipknot entered the Sound City and Sound Image studios in Los Angeles, CA with producer Ross Robinson to record their sophmore album.
Despite some personal problems the band had at the time, the writing process went quickly. However the mixing of the album took longer than aniticipated.
Corey: “It’s a lot easier than people think. We wrote the whole second album in about three-and-a-half weeks.”
In May the band went to St. Paul, where they rehearsed for their upcoming tour at the Xcel Energy Center. At the last day (May 9, 2001), they recorded “I Am Hated” for the “Rollerball” movie.
With new masks, new jumpsuits, new stage setup, Slipknot became much more dangerous and ferocious.
The band played the Kill The Industry Tour in May. In June the band had a spot on the 2001 OzzFest. A week before the release of IOWA the band played 2 shows in Japan at the 2001 Summersonic Festival.
On August 28, 2001 the world witnessed something no one would ever expect. The 9 piece monster from Iowa released an album named after their home state. IOWA, the 14 track disasterpiece, was not expected to be heavier than Slipknot‘s 1999 release. The album devuted atnumber 3 at the Billboard charts.
Monte Conner: “Everyone thought they were gonna make the wimp-out record and become more mainstream. And they turned around and made a record that was substantially heavier. When I first heard it I loved it, but as a label guy I thought, ‘What are we gonna do with this?’”
Clown: “When we did IOWA, we hated each other. We hated the world. the world hated us.”
Jim: “It was so exciting as well as scary to be part of this huge process.”
Corey: “The only way to describe this album is like a Zeitgeist’s hangover. Suddenly we were front page news and people were wearing our this on TV shows like [sitcom] Absolutely Fabulous. It was really, really werid. Lookign back it’s hard for me to believe that I’m even the same physical being as I was during that time. I was someone who wasn’t even looking for hope because I’d become interwined with darkness. You only have to listen to the record to hear that.”
On October 10, 2001 Slipknot’s second studio album – IOWA – achieved Platinum status. That was a great achievement, even thought after 9/11 the band didn’t have a lot of airing time on the radio or MTV.
Corey: “September 11 happened right after Iowa came out. We had to pass on a lot of tours because everyone was terrified to fly. It wasn’t a good time for the country, but it wasn’t a good time for us, either. We got banned at a lot of radio stations and MTV wouldn’t touch us. So here we were with our finest work to date and nobody will give us the time of day. We’re working our asses off and we aren’t getting paid shit. The sunshine from the first album was totally fucking gone and it was a total eclipse for a very fucking long time.”
After Spetember 11th the band went on the Pledge of Allegiance Tour.
The band played their last show in 2001 on October 31 in East Rutherford, NJ. After that they took a short break.
In 2001, Joey Jordison worked on a remix of “The Fight Song” by Marilyn Manson. In late 2001 Joey Jordison also started working on his side project band, The Rejects, which soon had its name changed to the “Murderdolls“.
In January and February Slipknot played several shows in Europe. On February 16, 2001, they were recording their London show for the upcoming live DVD.
After Europe the band traveled to Japan. After performing in Asia the band went back home and took some time off.
In June 2002, Shawn Crahan, Brandon Darner (former Slipknot member) and Stevan Robinson began working on an album together. Two songs that Crahan and Darner wrote in 2002 were sent to producer Rick Rubin, without the intent of working with him. To My Surprise, because that’s the name of this new band, were invited by Rick Rubin to Cello Studios in Los Angeles to work on an album with the later Slipknot producer.
In 2002 Joey formed a band called the “Murderdolls“. They signed with Roadrunner Records and released an EP “Right to Remain Violent.”
Murderdolls played their first show together on July 30, 2002 at San Diego’s Epicenter club
Slipknot came back together for a European Festivals Tour in August
August 20, 2001 was a special day for Joey Jordison. On that day the Murderdolls released their first album “Beyond The Valley Of The Murderdolls.” But Joey was not the drummer in his new band.
Joey: “I didn’t want to come out playing drumss and wearing my mask. It’s important that kids see that I play guitar.”
On August 27 Stone Sour‘s self-titled debut album had its premiere. The 13 track album was something completely different from what Slipknot fans were used to.
Corey: “As soon as this mask comes off, it’s not Slipknot anymore.”
“This was the record that allowed me to stop thinking about Slipknot for the first time in years. It enabled me to start thinking about these songs and what this band was really going to be. The part of my soul that belonged to Stone Sour really came to fruition, and the timing of it was absolutely perfect. I’d developed this really bleak outlook on life and I think this album played a major role in changing that.”
“We didn’t like each other. There was a lot of screaming and a lot of animosity, and that’s one of the big reasons that tour only lasted for seven or eight months. Then Jim and I, we went off and did Stone Sour because we just had to get the fuck away from Slipknot. And that was a little better. But at the same time, I was not being fulfilled musically anymore because I had bigger problems.”
In September Stone Sour played their first show in support of their self-titled album.
Some band members got addicted to alcohol and drugs during the break.
Pul: “I was pissed at Corey and Jim for doing Stone Sour. I thought, Fuck, we should be working on Slipknot. But we really needed that time apart. During the downtime I played with Unida and jammed with friends, but mostly I did a lot of drinking and some drugs—some heavy, heavy drugs…lots of heroin. I was shooting speedballs every day. And then pills. I was on everything, man. In the beginning I kind of had my shit under control, but after a while, no. I became an addict.”
Chris: “I moved to Lake Tahoe with my girlfriend. No one was talking and I didn’t know if we were ever gonna get back together and that drove me into a deep depression. I’d be driving home up the mountain and I would hear Corey on the radio with Stone Sour. And it was a really good song. And I’d be bummed out and happy for him at the same time. So, what would I do? I did a lot of drugs and tried to make it through the night.”
On November 1, 2002 the “Disasterpieces Release Party” took place in New York. The Disasterpieces DVD was released 3 weeks later (November 22.)
During the IOWA days Slipknot got ripped off by some people.
Mick: “I should dig Steve Richards up and beat his fucking corpse. I’m an atheist, but 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 fuckin’ zombie. The dude just stepped into our lives and tried to cause rifts between band members because, as long as you’ve got them occupied, you can be raping them and stealing from them and they’re not noticing because they’re too caught up in stupid shit to see a bigger picture. I tried to show people in the band his true colors for years and they wouldn’t listen because he would treat certain people like they were important. He basically corrupted and pissed in the beautiful thing we had done and did a lot of fucking damage for his own financial gain.”
On January 6, Slipknot‘s Disasterpieces DVD achieved Platinum status.
In 2003 Clown worked on his side-project band To My Surprise. On October 7, 2003, the band released their debut album To My Surprise through Roadrunner Records. A music video for the track “In The Mood” premiered on MTV’s Extreme show on December 1.
Clown: “I’m in a place in my life right now where I have to evolve. … It’s completely where I’m at and where I’m going to be.”
“Basically, I’ve been keeping in touch with the music side of myself. The time off made me find my voice … and I’ve been hurting for a long time for a musical voice for myself.”
In early 2003 Slipknot arrived in Los Angeles at the Houdini Mansion, where they started working on their third studio album with producer Rick Rubin.
Joey: “Me and Paul demoed a bunch of songs, then I flew down expecting to practice. I walk in and I’m like, “Alright, let’s jam.” And Corey goes, “No, I’m going to the Rainbow.” And Shawn says, “No, I’m working on something else.” I’m like, “What the fuck?” So, I go and get a bottle of Jack Daniels and drink myself into oblivion. Then I wake up at 3 o’clock the next day and say, “Let’s jam,” and no one wants to jam. It took us three fuckin’ months before everyone came together.”
Corey: “I can honestly tell you that I didn’t want to make this record. I wanted to make something new and exciting, but I was not stoked abount doing it with Slipknot. A lot of that was to do with the enjoyment that I was getting from Stone Sour. It had been such an awakening for me that I really felt no hope of feeling anything creative with Slipknot. I was literally dragged kicking and screaming into doing it, and at first it took everything I had not to begin self-medicating to ease that frustration.”
In July Stone Sour and Murderdolls went on a UK tour.
In an interview, which was conducted in July, Jim said: “There’s like 13 songs written right now, and so far it’s, like, really heavy — a lot of blast beats,” he revealed. “So far I think it’s more like towards the first album. But we’re gonna go back in and after pre-production, we’re gonna write 10 more songs, so who knows what direction it could take after that.
As of about four months ago, or five months ago, I wouldn’t have wanted to go back, I actually had a sick feeling about going back to do another Slipknot record. Just because… ‘Iowa‘, for me, I hated doing that album — it wasn’t a good experience for me. But now, having been away from it, I can step out of it and look at it objectively, you know what I mean? Like I’m not even in Slipknot. And I can watch the DVD without getting that sick feeling, and I can see that what we’re doing is still valid, and I can see from touring [with Stone Sour] that there are still kids out there that still want it. As long as that’s the case, then I’ll do it — it’s a great thing, and I’ll feel comfortable about it. But [once] it becomes this circus sideshow thing, then I think it’s time to hang it up.”
On August 13, 2003, the members of Slipknot took part in the “Freddy vs. Jason” movie premiere, which took place at the Cineramadome in Hollywood.
The band continued their work on the album for the next couple of months. As with ever previous album, the third Slipknot release was also rumored to be the last record by the 9 piece band from Iowa.
Corey: “When I was on the road with Stone Sour, kids would ask me when the next Slipknot record would be coming out,” he says. “I’m talking about hundreds of thousands of kids from all over the world. The fans want it. They have been with us since day one, and even when things have been at their worst, it’s been the kids who have brought us back. They were there for us, and we were there for them. This album is either a good way to say goodbye or that we will still be around. Obviously we are bandying around about the idea of making this our last album, but at the same time, we are just playing it by ear. We’ll get done with this, do a tour, and then do out own projects for a while. Then we’ll see if we want to get together to write another one. This album is going to take us in directions we never thought we would go in, and show people that just when they thought they had us figured out, they don’t know shit. We are coming back with a whole new fucking sickness.”
This is only Part 2 of the Timeline. Be sure to check out OOTP soon for the rest of it.