Under the magnifying glass, any art form can be considered an essence, or even indelible fingerprint left behind by the soul of its creator. Upon speaking to M. Shwan Crahan or Clown of Slipknot you’ll find that the percussionist completely embodies that principle. He is unpredictable, unapologetic, cerebral, raw and maintains a fervent course. Those qualities are at the core of Slipknot’s fourth release, All Hope Is Gone.
The nine piece band that put Iowa on the map have set themselves apart since their conception. Giving the world music and a visual the likes of which it has never experienced before. Refreshingly, Clown proudly owns that fact. Together with DJ Sid Wilson, drummer Joey Jordison, Paul Gray, Chris Fehn, James Root, Craig Jones, Mick Thomson and Corey Taylor, Slipknot continues to conjure inspired arrangements and lyrics that resonated with enough of the record buying population to propel them to the very top of the charts. Maybe it’s because they remain as ever morphing as society itself.
Before embarking on their headlining tour with Trivium and Coheed and Cambria, Clown spoke of what drives Slipknot’s brutal yet distinctive opuses, candidly revealed what sort of danger his soul faces on a daily basis and how he views Slipknot’s place in the world of music today.
What was it like when you heard All Hope Is Gone went No. 1?
Well for me, not to sound pessimistic or anything, but I really do feel in my heart, in my spirit, that ten years ago, when we set out into the world in search of our dreams, I had to leave my wife and my kids behind, we were No. 1 when we made that decision. We have been No. 1 every day since then. Every day since we have been kicking in the door and it’s just taken the world this long to catch up to our vision. I am not one of those guys who really needs that sort of recognition, because I have been working for so hard for so long, I just feel like we have been winners ever since we stood up for what we believe in, which is Slipknot. Does it make me happy? Sure! But it also has a double-sided sword to it, because now we get a weird thought process where it’s like next time are they going to set us up to be No.2? So they can talk about how we are not No. 1 anymore? That’s all the crap that I can’t stand about this business, I just work hard every single day, and the band works hard every single day, just to do what we do, and that’s our art. Yeah, it does feel good, but I think we have been No. 1 for 10 years.
I think that’s a big lesson for any artist to learn.
Yeah, I think they set us up for what they need fundamentally. We are big right now so people need us for their magazines, they need us for their videos, their radio, their TV programming, and it’s all based on money, well this has never been monetary for us. This has been my dream, and to sacrifice and go out and do what we want, our life is to live out what we do. It’s always been about sacrifice, it has never been money driven. So it’s funny to wait for the world to catch up us. They have deemed us No. 1, because of whatever… I have never subscribed into that nor will I ever, but it looks like I am going to have to work harder now. I know it could sound a little hypocritical, sure it makes me feel good, but at the same time, but at the same time, it makes me go, “Ahh…here we go, the stress!” I feel like we work hard enough already, but now, we have to go to the next level.