Slipknot (1995-present): a Nu-Metal band from Des Moines, Iowa, USA.
ounded in 1995, the first successful line-up featured Anders Colsefni (vocals), Donnie Steele (guitar), Josh Brainard (guitar), Paul Gray (bass), Joey Jordison (drums) and Shawn Crahan (percussion), Slipknot would ride the wave cast by Korn and Limp Bizkit for the teen driven punk-metal/hardcore metal/hip hop crossover market. Ripping out a page from Alice Cooper and his shock-rock tactics bible, these heavily costumed and face painted lot eventually only known only by numbers, released the now rare Mate, Feed, Kill, RepeatCD in 1996. Earlier in 1995, Jordison suggested the band name Slipknot after their song of the same name.
Called Rock's answer to the 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre' Slipknot's music was raw, heavy, venomous; the album gained widespread attention by record labels, eventually signing to 'Roadrunner' to release the successful self-titled debut proper Slipknot in 1999 that gained a 51 in the US and 37 UK. The album was followed by a set of singles to back it up. This album also saw a change in the band membership with Corey Taylor (vocals/screams), James Root (ex-Stone Sour; guitar), Mic Thompson (guitar), Sid Wilson (DJ), Craig Jones (samples) and Chris Fehn (percussion) joining Jordison, Brainard,Crahan and Gray for their self-titled second outing.
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It was on their third effort that their membership (or digits) changed to only be exclusively known by numbers, 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 (Real Names: Sid Wilson (DJ), Joey Jordison (drums), Paul Gray (bass), Chris Fehn (percussion), James Root (guitar), Craig Jones (samples), Shawn Crahan (percussion), Mic Thompson (guitar) and Corey Taylor (screams/vocals) respectively) for Iowa (2001), an album that came across as less original but nonetheless managed massive initial sales; its originality handicap may not be due to their own doing for the market they were playing to was simply becoming over saturated with clone acts.
By mid-2002, Slipknot was on hiatus due to internal conflicts, so the band members focused on side projects. Taylor and Root revived their Stone Sour band, Jordison would start Murderdolls with vocalist Wednesday 13, Crahan founded To My Surprise, while Wilson went solo as DJ Starscream.
Slipknots's return would be marked by their 2004 set, Vol.3: The Subliminal Verses debuting at 2 on the Billboard Top 200 Album Chart. The album also offered up six hit singles, Duality, Vermilion, Vermilion (Pt. 2), Before I Forget, The Nameless, and The Blister Exists. Their first live set, 2005's 9:0:Live fared equally as well.
Also in 2005, several members of Slipknot got involved with the Roadrunner United: The All-Star Sessions, an collaborative album recorded by artists signed to 'Roadrunner Records' for the label's 25th anniversary.
It seems 2005 was a busy year for the band for they filed suit against fast food giant Burger King claiming the company created the advertising-based band 'Coq Roq' to capitalize on Slipknot's image. Burger King responded with a countersuit, saying many other bands, such as Mr. Bungle, Mushroomhead, Mudvayne, Kiss, Insane Clown Posse, and GWAR have used masks as part of their images. After negotiations, the advertising campaign and lawsuit were withdrawn.
2006 saw Slipknot win their first Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance for the single Before I Forget; the single going on to be featured on the set list of guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock video game.
All Hope Is Gone (2008) debuted at 1 on the Billboard Albums Chart and also produced five singles in the form of, All Hope Is Gone, Psychosocial, Dead Memories, Sulfur and Snuff. The album was followed by another (now third) band hiatus with the band members working on their respective side projects. But when the band would return, it would be without Gray, for he would be found dead in a Urbandale, Iowa hotel room. Information surrounding his death was not immediately known, but would soon later be revealed as an accidental overdose of morphine and synthetic morphine substitute fentanyl. The day after his death, the remaining members of the band held a live, unmasked, press conference alongside Gray's widow and brother; this press conference was also the first time Jones was ever seen unmasked.
2013 would see the departure of Jordison under conflicting reasons. His role would go unfilled for a period of time.
The act also did not replace Gray right away. After conflicting statements, the act would eventually continue on to perform live shows. Their fifth album would eventually arrive in the form of .5: The Gray Chapter (2014) with a title clearly showing homage to their departed colleague.
2014 would finally see the empty positions filled with Alessandro Venturella (bass) and Jay Weinberg (drums).
On March 14, 2019, Fehn filed a lawsuit against the band citing withheld payments, specifically accusing Taylor and Crahan of setting up several band-related business entities, in different states, that collect money from the band. Fehn demanded a full forensic accounting to be done on all of the band's companies and assets in order to collect any profits and damages he may be owed. Not surprisingly this didn't go over well with the accused members, specifically Taylor who let his opinion be known on Twitter. However, a few days later, the message was removed; according to Fehn's lawyer, the percussionist's employment status with the band had not changed. But, by May 2019, that legal handicap had been corrected when Fehn's name went missing on the band's Instagram posts for their new masks. He was replaced by a yet to be revealed percussionist, who the fans have dubbed him as "Tortilla Man".
We Are Not Your Kind, their sixth album, would arrive in August 2019.
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