Springing forth from the cornfields of Iowa (like some sort of reverse pet semetary) Slipknot has managed to channel their violence and speed-metal-thrash into a much needed foray into masochism for their special fans known as "maggots." All nine members look like they stepped out of a sickly twisted carnival that mass murderer John Wayne Gacy would find offensive. From the three-pronged percussion sonic assault, the twisted guitar interplay and the odd samplings from the turntable - Slipknot has laid their claim as one of the most brutal and hypnotic bands to see live. Their masks hide their true identities or are these bizarre manifestations really who and what they are?
Livewire's Phil Bonyata caught up with lead drummer Joey Jordison (Number 1) to see what torment might be lurking in the recesses of his brain.
Livewire: You recorded your latest release Vol. 3 (The Subliminal Verses) in a reputed haunted mansion once owned by Houdini. Were you scared?
Joey: Not at all man - it was good for the album and the vibe of the place was great! It was really reflective on the way the album came out - it was more of like a commune thing, you know with the band living together especially after our time off and everything. But, as far as the scary thing - no. We just fed off the vibe and the weirdness of the place - it really helped with the record, it was cool.
Livewire: Describe the look of the house.
Joey: Fuck man - it's old. It's like from 1918 when the place was built. very desolate, but very beautiful at the same time. Unless you were there - it's very hard to put into words. You don't want to shortchange it. It's very open ended and it's like a fucking maze! (laughs)
Livewire: Has ace producer Rick Rubin help steer your music in a different direction?
Joey: Well, it was good because you know - we wanted someone with a different opinion and a different perspective. We wanted Rick's take and taste on what we do. He really helped us open up as far as our talent and really build upon everything we're known for and just take it to the next level.
Livewire: Describe your music in one or two words.
Joey: Pain, man. That shit hurts.
Livewire: That's more than two words.
Joey: Are you sure? (laughs)
Livewire: In what order would you rate all the Slipknot albums?
Joey: (serious) That's an original question - I've never heard that one before! Well you know like dealing with the new one a lot of bands will tell you it's their best ever. Here's how I'm going to rate it and I'm not going to give you numbers.
Livewire: Fair enough.
Joey: Let's hope this will be good for you. A lot of bands will tell you that their new record is really special and the best they've ever done.
Livewire: That's what I'm expecting you to say.
Joey: When a band tells you that usually - it's a 100% bullshit! Most of the time they're just trying to feed you shit to sell more records. I'm not going to tell you any fucking bullshit, man. This record is really the best one we've ever done. It is. We are all the way full force back into this band. We're not doing this because of a record contract or money. This is the one, man.
Livewire: What about Iowa or your debut? How would you rate them?
Joey: They're both 10s.
Livewire: C'mon man!!
Joey: (shouts) THEY'RE BOTH FUCKING 10s!!
Livewire: I see... (adjusts his glasses)
Livewire: What bands' helped to inspire you to get into music?
Joey: Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, the Who, Mott the Hoople then roll into Judas Priest and fuckin' KISS and into Venom and Slayer and into Warped Angel. When I was younger my parents wouldn't let me watch TV - so they set me in front of the record player - with records.
Livewire: That sounds like a good thing.
Joey: I know - it was (raises his voice) FUCKING awesome!
Livewire: Slipknot appear on MTX: Mototrax video game. Is this your first appearance on a game and do you feel that this overly commercializes the bands' image?
Joey: Yes, it is our first time. No, it's what it was - you know like there's three songs out and it's just a progression of leading you into the new album. A lot of our fans are fucking video game fanatics. It's that simple. We've never done it before, but it was cool and it worked out fine.
Livewire: If Slipknot were President of the United States - what would you do differently in Iraq?
Joey: That's a weird one! Umm, sighs, fuck man you got me. Why did you pull that one on me? Umm, I would get us the fuck out of there. We've overstayed our fucking presence over there. I'm really not a political person and I don't really agree with what's going on over there. I'm not the President of the United States, but I think we made our fucking mark - now it's time to get out of there.
Livewire: Should we have gone in there in the first place?
Joey: (long pause) I don't think so. I don't think so, man.
Livewire: What do you feel about bands such as Mudvayne and Mushroomhead that have seemed to copy your style?
Joey: Umm, I have no problem with both bands. I like both of those bands. You know, there's a lot of room in music and the arts for bands to wear masks or whatever. It doesn't matter - there could be a million bands with masks and Slipknot will hold it's own with the way we look at the world and the way we hold our band together and the way we communicate with each other and most importantly - the way we communicate with the fans - so, you'll never get another Slipknot. We're a one-of-a-kind band.
Livewire: If I were to pull your mask off in public what would you do?
Joey: I've taken my mask off before. I'd have my security guard punch you in the balls. (laughs loudly)
Livewire: Do you keep your mask on when you're having sex?
Joey: I've done it only with one girl.
Livewire: Was it a girlfriend or someone you didn't care for?
Joey: No, no - it was an ex-girlfriend of mine. That was her thing man?
Livewire: Is Slipknot ever going to discard the masks and let the music do all the talkin'?
Joey: No, I think Slipknot is mainly the music, but the masks are reflective of how we feel and through the music that we create. We won't ever demask as long as the band exists.
Livewire: How long does it take the band to ready themselves for a show?
Joey: There are two answers I can give you. First one is you're never ready for what we have to do. I mean, there's just no way to prepare yourself for going through what we fucking go through live. It just doesn't exist, uh but as far as actually getting dressed - it fucking takes about 10 - 15 minutes. It doesn't take too long.
Livewire: Tell me something REALLY crazy that's happened to you while on tour?
Joey: In Australia we had a group of fans, we had that song "People = Shit" so, there was a group of kids that came with their backs - like one guy had a "P" carved in his back and the next one had an "E" and the next one an "O" and on down the line. It spelled out "People = Shit" just dripping in fucking blood. They were outside the bus showing us their loyalty to the band. It was pretty fucking crazy, man.
Livewire: Is it all groupies and drugs after the show?
Joey: I've done drugs, but I don't condone it. It's definitely not healthy on the road, man. Slipknot is more of a focused band these days - we don't do the groupie thing. Most of the guys are older with serious girlfriends and stuff. Way in their younger years that might've tried stuff, but Slipknot is professional now.
Livewire: What's the average age of the band?
Joey: We're like around 26 - 27.
Livewire: How does such a creepy band spring forth from the cornfields of "middle-of-the-road-average-joe" Iowa?
Joey: I think you just answered your own question. Where we come from it's desolate and there's no music scene. And the result is pretty much what you hear on disc. We were rejected and told that we couldn't do it for fucking years.
Livewire: When did you know you hit it big?
Joey: Have we hit it big yet?
Livewire: Your first two albums went platinum and your current tour is completely sold-out. You tell me.
Joey: We don't worry about that stuff as long as you're true to yourself. As far as talkin' big as far as record sales wise - yeah. It's such a beautiful thing that we have such adoration from our fans and the fact that we were gone a little bit and they stuck with us. We have great fans and I've known that since we had only two people in the audience.
Livewire: Do you consider yourself a sex symbol for the damned?
Joey: I don't think so. (laughs) I don't know...I don't think so at all.
Livewire: What's your tombstone going to say?
Joey: Man, you do have some weird questions. Umm, It will probably say born in '75 and fucking died in the time we're living in right now with my name on it - it will be very basic. Just put me in the fucking ground and kick me down. He had time to and he played his fucking hardest while he could.
Livewire: Are you predicting an early demise for yourself?
Joey: I don't know man - the bands' killing me.
Livewire: If you were sent to Hell would you take the band along or Fiona Apple?
Joey: Oh, I would take Fionna Apple, man. I wouldn't subject my band to any of that shit, you know?
Livewire: Who's your muse right now?
Joey: You know I'm actually enjoying the new Norah Jones - believe it or not. Her records, like Fionna Apple's are really, really colorful. It's pretty fucking cool. Other than that I'm into Nordic/Scandinavian black metal.
Livewire: What's your favorite horror movie?
Joey: "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" the original. Other scary ones are "The Exorcist" and "The Omen." Those movies are fucked up, man.
Livewire: You're on death row. What would be your last meal?
Joey: If I knew I was going to die I would have no appetite - I would be like fuck-it I don't need no food - I'm out!
Livewire: Does Slipknot worship Satan or the money that the association brings?
Joey: No we don't worship Satan! It's not a gimmick either - I think it is the relation towards the band. When we say like "555" or "666" it's like like a higher number and it's more on the darkside. We want people to think as we shock. At the same time we we're being fucking lumped in with nu-metal and we're nothing like that shit.
Livewire: If Slipknot fans are, as you call them, "maggots" - then what do you call people that hate your music?
Joey: Man, good question. All I can say is they're outside the nine. They don't understand - that's all I could tell them. We're here to piss off just as many people as we are to please. As long as we have fucking people hate us - I'm a happy guy!
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