Below you can read a few excerpts from an interview with Joel McIver, the author of the book “Slipknot: All Hope Is Gone.”
Omnibus Press: This is a massively updated and, as you’ve pointed out yourself more grown-up version of the original Slipknot biography you wrote ten years ago. Why now?
Joel McIver: For several reasons. Firstly, Slipknot is now a vastly different band from the one I portrayed in the original 2001 edition. Back then, no-one could have predicted that the group would still be together 11 years later: indeed, they themselves expressed public doubts about their longevity, simply because of the potentially explosive combination of personalities involved and the gruelling nature of their music. And yet here they are, a darker, more adult version of the original template, but here nonetheless. That fact alone demands an updated biography, but add to this the nature of the journey they’ve undertaken — involving tragedy, addiction and global success beyond anyone’s expectations — and the need for a new book is obvious.
Tragedy indeed, including the loss of founder member Paul Gray. I hear they positioned a cardboard cutout of him on stage last year?
Not quite: they had his jumpsuit on a stand of some kind with his bass positioned nearby, while a bass player (one of the band’s early guitarists) played bass off stage.
Oh but that’s equally wonderful. Their self-titled Slipknot was the first platinum album on Roadrunner. What, in a nutshell, do you think made them so right for that moment in 1999?
They encapsulated the popular nu-metal sound of the day but amplified it with death metal influences and grim sentiments for a new type of heavy music. Kids loved it and voted with their wallets. Dark is good! Also, they looked terrifying and their live shows were insane. All good, parent-worrying stuff…
The Subliminal Verses which was produced by Rick Rubin got to number two on the Billboard charts, and this was followed by a massive tour, and then another of their famous hiatuses. Do you think these peaks and troughs in the internal psychology of the band have added to their appeal over the years?
Yes I do. The band have built a veritable empire of side projects over the years, the most prominent of which is singer Corey Taylor‘s other band Stone Sour, which is snapping at Slipknot‘s heels in terms of commercial presence. This means that albums and tours from the mothership band come relatively far apart. A new album from this band is an event, accordingly, and the fans know and appreciate that.
Read more at Omnibus Press.