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Slipknot (band)

Several members of Slipknot performing on stage, spotlit
Slipknot at the Download Festival in 2009
Background information
Origin Des Moines, Iowa
Years active 1995 (1995)—present
Labels Roadrunner
Associated acts
Website .com.slipknot1www
Past members

Slipknot is an American heavy metal band from Des Moines, Iowa. Formed in September 1995, the group was founded by percussionist Shawn Crahan and bassist Paul Gray. After several line-up changes in their early years, the band settled on nine members for more than a decade: Corey Taylor, Mick Thomson, Jim Root, Paul Gray, Craig Jones, Sid Wilson, Shawn Crahan, Chris Fehn and Joey Jordison. Gray died on May 24, 2010, and was replaced from 2011 to 2014 by former guitarist Donnie Steele. Jordison departed from the band on December 12, 2013. The reason for this is still debated. Steele left during the recording sessions for .5: The Gray Chapter as he wanted to focus on getting married. The band is now touring with replacement musicians Alessandro Venturella on bass and Jay Weinberg on drums. After the departure of Jordison, the only founding member left in the current lineup is percussionist Shawn Crahan, however, all of the other remaining members in the band have been a part of it since their 1999 eponymous debut.

Slipknot is well known for its attention-grabbing image, aggressive style of music and energetic and chaotic live shows.[2][3] The band enjoyed a somewhat meteoric rise to success following the release of their eponymous debut album in 1999. The 2001 follow-up album, Iowa, further increased the band's popularity. After a brief hiatus, Slipknot returned in 2004 with Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses), before going on another hiatus and returning in 2008 with their fourth album, All Hope Is Gone, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. After a longer hiatus, Slipknot released their fifth studio album, .5: The Gray Chapter, in 2014. Additionally, the band has released a live album, 9.0: Live, a compilation album, Antennas to Hell, and four live DVDs. In 2015, the band headlined the UK's biggest hard rock and metal festival, Download Festival, for the third time.


  • History 1
    • Early days 1.1
    • Slipknot and emergence (1998–2000) 1.2
    • Iowa and hiatus (2001–03) 1.3
    • Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses) and second hiatus (2003–2007) 1.4
    • All Hope Is Gone, third hiatus and Gray's death (2008–2010) 1.5
    • Return to the stage, Antennas to Hell and Knotfest (2010–2012) 1.6
    • Jordison's departure, .5: The Gray Chapter and new members (2013–present) 1.7
  • Style and lyrical themes 2
  • Image and identities 3
  • Controversies 4
  • Band members 5
  • Discography 6
  • Awards 7
    • RIAA certifications 7.1
    • Grammy Awards and nominations 7.2
  • Tours 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10


Early days

In the years before Slipknot formed, a state of shifting band membership existed throughout the metal scene in Des Moines, Iowa. In 1991, the biggest metal band in Des Moines was Atomic Opera, with Jim Root on guitar.[4] Drummer Joey Jordison founded a thrash metal band called Modifidious, playing at a club called Runway. Modifidious opened for Atomic Opera on December 1, 1991, at the Runway, after which their guitarist left for the more successful Atomic Opera. Jordison replaced him with local guitarist Craig Jones.[5] Drummer Shawn Crahan formed another Des Moines band called Heads on the Wall, playing funk metal cover songs at clubs and releasing a demo tape in July 1992. A fourth Des Moines band called Vexx played death metal with Anders Colsefni on drums, Paul Gray on bass, and Josh Brainard on guitar and vocals. Colsefni later took over vocal duties, but Vexx never recorded. During this time, Crahan often went to the Runway on Sundays when the club opened to all ages, where he met other young musicians with whom he could jam. By March 1993, Crahan was jamming with vocalist Colsefni, bassist Gray and guitarist Pat Neuwirth, writing and playing songs in Gray's basement, discussing possible band names such as Pull My Finger, but never making a final decision. One of the songs they recorded was titled "Slipknot"; another was titled "Painface", which Colsefni later used to name his band Painface.[6]

In 1993, a new band called Inveigh Catharsis formed in Des Moines, with Gray on bass, Brainard on guitar and Colsefni on drums. Jordison jammed occasionally with this group. Brainard eventually left to join Jordison and Jones in Modifidious, participating in demo recordings at the end of '93 and early in '94. During 1994 Modifidious sometimes played the same shows as Crahan's Heads on the Wall band. Gray formed a death metal band called Body Pit, soon becoming popular in the local scene.[4] Modifidious stopped playing in the wake of death metal's increasing pull. Gray failed to get Jordison to join Body Pit, but soon after he recruited local guitar teacher Mick Thomson, the band broke up.[5]

In September 1995, Crahan and Gray started a band named the Pale Ones.[7] The lineup was made up of friends who met through the local music scene, including vocalist Colsefni and guitarist Donnie Steele.[7] Not long after their inception, Gray invited Jordison to a rehearsal because the band was interested in experimenting with additional drum elements. Jordison subsequently joined the band as their main drummer, moving Crahan to custom percussion.[7] Furthermore, Colsefni also took up custom percussion while remaining the band's vocalist. The band then decided to invite Brainard as their second guitarist, bringing their lineup to six members.[8] On December 4, the band made their live debut; playing a benefit show using the name Meld.[9]

Much of the band's early development was retrospectively attributed to late-night planning sessions between Gray, Crahan and Jordison at a Sinclair gas station where Jordison worked nights. It was there, in late 1995, that Jordison suggested changing the band name to Slipknot after their song of the same name.[8] In December, Slipknot began recording material at SR Audio, a studio in the band's hometown.[10] Without a recording budget, the band was forced to self-finance the project, the costs of which came to an estimated $40,000.[11] In February 1996, guitarist Donnie Steele decided to leave Slipknot due to his Christian beliefs. When questioned in 1999 about Steele's departure, Jordison explained: "We were prepared to keep him on, but he didn't want to stay." During the mixing stages of their project at SR Audio, Craig Jones was recruited as Steele's replacement on guitar.[12] However, throughout their time in the studio, the band were adding samples to their recordings but could not produce these sounds live. Subsequently, Jones became the band's sampler and Mick Thomson was brought in as the replacement guitarist.[13] After a complicated time with mixing and mastering, the band self-released Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat. on Halloween, October 31, 1996.[14]

29 second sample from the song "Slipknot" which the band was eventually named after. Slipknot's earlier music was slower than their later material and vocalist Colsefni had a much deeper vocal style than that of Taylor.[15]

Problems playing this file? See .

Distribution for the demo was initially left to the band and their producer Sean McMahon, before it was handed over to the distribution company Ismist in early 1997.[16] Slipknot received a small amount of airplay on local radio stations off the back of the demo. However, it did not lead to any kind of interest from record labels, so the band returned to the studio to develop new material.[16] It was at this time that the band sought more melodic vocals for their music. As a result, Corey Taylor was recruited from fellow Des Moines band Stone Sour; this moved Colsefni to backing vocals and percussion.[17] While working in the studio, Slipknot continued to do local shows, during one of which in September 1997, Colsefni announced on stage that he was leaving the band.[18] The gap on percussion was filled by Greg Welts, who was affectionately known as "Cuddles."[19] In early 1998, Slipknot produced a second demo featuring five tracks exclusively for record labels.[20] The band began to receive a lot of attention from record labels, and in February 1998, producer Ross Robinson offered to produce their debut album after attending rehearsals in Des Moines.[21] Soon after, DJ Sid Wilson was recruited as the band's ninth member after showing great interest and impressing band members.[22] In late June, Slipknot received a $500,000, seven-album deal, from Roadrunner Records; the band signed the deal publicly on July 8, 1998.[23] Two days prior to this, Welts was fired from the band, something which Slipknot refuse to comment on.[23] Welts was replaced by Brandon Darner, who departed from the band shortly after joining.

Slipknot and emergence (1998–2000)

16 second sample from Slipknot's "(sic)". Their debut album was much faster than their demo album Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat. and, with nine members, their sound had changed drastically.[24]

Problems playing this file? See .

Chris Fehn was brought in to replace Darner on percussion before Slipknot traveled to Malibu, California to work on their debut album in September 1998.[25] Partway through the recording process of the album, Slipknot returned to Des Moines, Iowa for the Christmas period. During that period, guitarist Brainard decided to leave the band.[26] Brainard explained his departure in that: "some decisions were made that I wasn't particularly happy with."[27] Slipknot later recruited Jim Root to complete their lineup and the band returned to Malibu to continue work on their debut album.[27] In early 1999, work on the album concluded, thus, allowing the band to go on their first tour as part of the Ozzfest lineup in 1999.[14] Ozzfest expanded Slipknot's audience greatly, furthering the band's success with their self-titled album which was released on June 29, 1999.[28] Slipknot went on to release their first home video Welcome to Our Neighborhood directed by Thomas Mignone and the two singles; "Wait and Bleed" and "Spit It Out".[14] also directed by Mignone. The singles received some airplay, but Slipknot developed a large following very quickly mainly from touring and word of mouth.[14] The band toured several countries throughout 1999 and 2000 in support of the album. In early 2000, Slipknot was certified platinum, a first for an album released by Roadrunner Records.[29]

Iowa and hiatus (2001–03)

Anticipation for Slipknot's sophomore effort was intense and in early 2001, the band began recording their second album at Sound City and Sound Image studios in Los Angeles.[14][30] It was about this time that conflicts began to arise between band members due to their extensive touring and recording schedules.[31] Despite this, recording on their second album came to a close in February 2001 and Slipknot embarked on their Iowa World Tour.[32] Iowa, the band's second album was released on August 28, 2001, peaking at number three on the Billboard album charts and at number one on the UK album chart.[33] The album produced three singles; "The Heretic Anthem" (promotional single) "Left Behind" and then "My Plague" which appeared on the soundtrack for the film Resident Evil.[34][35] In 2002, Slipknot made their first (and to-date only) appearance in a movie, performing the song "I Am Hated" in a scene in the remake of Rollerball.[36] The release of the album and the promotion in support of it resulted in sold out shows in large arenas in several countries.[37] However, in mid-2002, Slipknot went on hiatus for the first time due to internal conflicts, seeing several band members focus on side projects.[38] Vocalist Taylor and guitarist Root revived their band Stone Sour, drummer Jordison created the Murderdolls, percussionist Crahan founded To My Surprise and DJ Wilson went solo as DJ Starscream.[38] At this time, the future of Slipknot was unclear and there was speculation over whether the band had split and the possibility of a third album.[39] Despite this, on November 22, 2002 Slipknot released their second DVD Disasterpieces.[40]

Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses) and second hiatus (2003–2007)

It was the rebirth of Slipknot, [...] it was like us coming back together, pushing out the vibe that had gotten in there and kinda started pulling people away. But we figured out that you know, we do have to get space you know, we do need to let people be sometimes.

—Bassist Paul Gray, on Slipknot's third album[41]

After several delays, Slipknot moved into [46] On December 5, 2006, Slipknot released their third DVD Voliminal: Inside the Nine.[47] While Slipknot were on hiatus, several band members once again focused their attentions on side projects; vocalist Taylor and guitarist Root returned to Stone Sour, drummer Jordison toured with several bands and produced 3 Inches of Blood's third album Fire Up the Blades, Crahan founded Dirty Little Rabbits and Wilson returned as DJ Starscream once again.

All Hope Is Gone, third hiatus and Gray's death (2008–2010)

Preparation for Slipknot's fourth album began towards the end of 2007; however, work began when the band entered the Sound Farm Studio in Jamaica, Iowa with producer Dave Fortman in February 2008.[48][49] Work came to a close on the album in June, prior to the beginning of the All Hope Is Gone World Tour on July 9, 2008.[50] Slipknot's fourth album; All Hope Is Gone was released on August 20, 2008, debuting at number 1 on the Billboard albums chart.[51] The album produced five singles; "All Hope Is Gone", "Psychosocial", "Dead Memories", "Sulfur" and "Snuff". 2009 marked the 10-year anniversary of Slipknot's debut album; to commemorate the event, the band released a special edition version of Slipknot on September 9, 2009.[52] Touring in support of the album continued throughout 2008 and 2009, before coming to a close on October 31, 2009, resulting in Slipknot's third hiatus.[53]

He was everything that was wonderful about this band and about this group of people. The only way I can sum up Paul Gray is 'love'.

—Vocalist Corey Taylor, on the death of Paul Gray[54]

During the hiatus, several band members focused on respective side projects; vocalist Taylor founded Junk Beer Kidnap Band and returned to Stone Sour with guitarist Root, Crahan continued working with his band Dirty Little Rabbits, drummer Jordison returned with his band Murderdolls and became the new permanent drummer of Rob Zombie. Percussionist Fehn is now a full-time bassist with metalcore band Will Haven and Sid Wilson founded the eponymous band Sid.

In 2010, bassist Gray was planning to tour with the supergroup, Hail!. However, on May 24, 2010, he was found dead in a hotel room in Urbandale, Iowa.[55][56] Circumstances surrounding his death at the time were not immediately known; an autopsy suspected that his death was not caused by intention of anyone, but still did not reveal the cause of it.[57] The day after his death, the remaining eight members of the band held a live unmasked press conference alongside Gray's widow and brother, expressing their feelings about the incident.[58] On June 21, the cause of death was confirmed as an accidental overdose on morphine and fentanyl, the latter being a synthetic morphine substitute.[59]

The band was hesitant to comment on the future of Slipknot. The members made conflicting statements in interviews regarding the situation; drummer Jordison told The Pulse of Radio "there is another Slipknot record already kinda in the making".[60] Vocalist Taylor revealed to FMQB Productions' that he is "very conflicted about whether or not [he wants] to do anything with Slipknot".[61] The band released their fourth video album (sic)nesses on September 28,[62] where it debuted at No.1 on the Billboard Top Music Video Charts.[63] The DVD features Slipknot's complete live performance at the 2009 Download Festival and a 45 minute film documenting their tour in support of All Hope Is Gone,[64] and served as a tribute to Paul Gray.[65]

Return to the stage, Antennas to Hell and Knotfest (2010–2012)

Corey Taylor performing with Slipknot in 2011.

Regarding the continuation of Slipknot, Taylor later told NME that Paul Gray would want them to continue and in that spirit he feels that they should, although he feels "on the fence" about returning to the band.[66] Slipknot returned to touring in 2011 for a small run of shows in Europe. They headlined the Sonisphere Festival and Rock in Rio among the likes of Iron Maiden and Metallica and performed at Belgium's Graspop Metal Meeting.[67][68][69] Founding guitarist, Donnie Steele substituted for Gray in the concert shows, however was obscured from the audience's view, behind Jordison.[70][71]

If this tour doesn't work, this band might be over — straight up.
And I'm not gonna lie; I'm not the guy that's going to lie to the fans.

—Vocalist Corey Taylor, on the future of Slipknot[72]

Slipknot has also confirmed that they will complete and release their fifth studio album with no plans of replacing Gray.[73][74] Jordison confirmed that the writing process for the band's fifth studio album had already begun and that he had written 17 songs. Slipknot performed at Mayhem Festival 2012.[75]

On May 29, 2012, Roadrunner Records posted a teaser video on their website titled Antennas to Hell.[76] Later that day, Corey Taylor revealed on Twitter that Slipknot will release a greatest hits album on June 17, 2012.[76] He also tweeted saying the band are not recording new material yet but are putting together demos for a new album.[76]

Slipknot hosted their first annual music festival, called Knotfest, which was held on August 17, 2012, at Mid-America Motorplex near Pacific Junction, Iowa (in the Omaha – Council Bluffs metropolitan area) and August 18, 2012, in Somerset, Wisconsin. Other bands that played at the festival were Deftones, Lamb of God, Serj Tankian and more. Among the activities the festival offered as part of its "dark carnival experience" were circus big-top tents, pillars of fire, amusement park rides, burlesque performers, firebreathers, stilt walkers, drum circles made of junkyard cars and graffiti walls. The two shows also debuted a Slipknot museum.[77] On Friday 14, June 2013 Slipknot headlined the Download Festival for a second time. Performing to roughly 90,000 people, the band were twice forced to stop their set, once in the middle of a song, in order to allow repairs to be made to the front barricade, which had split open under crowd pressure.[78]

Jordison's departure, .5: The Gray Chapter and new members (2013–present)

Production of the band's fifth album began in late 2013. Taylor described the album as "very dark" and a cross between Iowa and Vol. 3 (The Subliminal Verses).[79] Guitarist Jim Root sat out Stone Sour's tour in January (and it was revealed later that he was fired from that band), to write material for Slipknot.[80]

I want to make it very clear that I DID NOT QUIT SLIPKNOT. This band has been my life for the last 18 years, and I would never abandon it, or my fans.

—Former drummer Joey Jordison via Facebook.[81]

On December 12, 2013, the band announced through their official website that long-time member and drummer, Joey Jordison had parted ways with the band after 18 years citing personal reasons.[82][83][84] Jordison later posted on his official Facebook page that he "did not quit Slipknot", and that he was both "shocked" and "blindsided" by the news. Both Jordison and Slipknot have independently promised to release further details about the split.[81] Taylor noted that Jordison would not be appearing on the new album as he did not partake in any songwriting sessions prior to his departure.[85]

In July 2014 the band began releasing teasers regarding the release of their fifth album on their website and social media using cryptic messages and gory imagery.[86][87] Their first song in six years entitled "The Negative One" was released on August 1[88] and was accompanied by a music video four days later directed by Crahan. The video did not feature any band members.[89] On August 24, Slipknot released an official radio single entitled "The Devil In I" and the name of the upcoming album was revealed to be .5: The Gray Chapter through iTunes, with an expected release date of October 28.[90][91] This was later revised to October 17 for the Netherlands and Australia, October 20 for the UK and October 21 worldwide.[92]

Slipknot began their North American tour in support of the album on October 25 at the second iteration of Knotfest.[93] The tour dubbed the "Prepare for Hell" was co-headlined by Korn with King 810 as support.[94][95] The band also performed at 2015's Soundwave festival in Australia.[96] A bassist and drummer were brought in to replace Gray and Jordison respectively with Crahan designing a mask for them to wear which would differentiate them from the band.[97] The official video for "The Devil In I" was released on September 12 featuring musicians wearing slightly modified versions of the band's older masks with the exception of Taylor who wore a brand new mask. The identities of the drummer and bassist shown in the video were the subject of speculation among fans, but their names were not officially released by the band.[98][99] Taylor later admitted that he was "upset" at the leak of the identity of the bassist, alleged to be Alessandro Venturella because of a unique tattoo on his hand.[100] Root told Guitar World that the identity of the drummer will not be released. Taylor said that that neither the bassist nor the drummer are permanent members of the band.[101] On December 3, a former Slipknot road crew drum tech posted a photograph he took of a touring band personnel list that confirmed bassist Alessandro Venturella and drummer Jay Weinberg as members of the tour.[102] The two new musicians themselves have been viewed unfavorably by some of the other members of Slipknot, with Shawn Crahan being quoted by Kerrang! magazine as saying: "This is Slipknot, fuck both of those guys. ... They'll never be in the band. Never."[103] Corey Taylor has also said that the two "got a crack at designing their own masks and they failed miserably", with the masks they now wear on-stage having been given to them by the band.[103]

"The Negative One" was nominated for the 2014 Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance at the 57th Grammy Awards.[104]

On March 11, 2015, while the band was not on tour, guitarist Mick Thomson was hospitalized, after a drunken knife fight with his brother at Thomson's home in Iowa. The pair had sustained serious, but non life-threatening injuries.[105]

On August 2, 2015, during a concert in Hartford, Connecticut, the band was forced to stop performing after touring bassist Alessandro Venturella was suddenly rushed to hospital, after having what, at the time, was an unknown medical emergency. After 20 minutes, singer Corey Taylor announced to the audience that the band would continue the concert, performing without Venturella.[106] It was later determined that Venturella had collapsed due to extreme dehydration.[107]

During the band's following three concerts, Venturella played bass from backstage. He rejoined the band onstage on August 8.[108][109][110] [111]

Style and lyrical themes

Slipknot are influenced by an array of styles and bands, most notably including hard rock and heavy metal bands such as Anthrax, Kiss, Black Sabbath, Mr. Bungle, Faith No More, Helmet, Slayer, Fear Factory, Godflesh, Skinny Puppy, Neurosis, Judas Priest, Metallica, White Zombie, Led Zeppelin and Beastie Boys.[14][112][113][114] Slipknot are seen as pioneers of the New Wave of American Heavy Metal and have been compared to groups such as Pantera, Machine Head, Hatebreed, Life of Agony, and Prong.[115] Slipknot are considered a nu metal band.[116][117][118][119] However, band members prefer to distance themselves musically from other nu metal bands such as Korn and Limp Bizkit. Slipknot describe their sound as simply "metal metal" and equate their link to nu metal solely as a coincidence in their time of emergence.[120] The band's sound typically features a heavily down-tuned guitar setup, a distinctly large percussive section, samples and turntables.[121] Utilizing a variety of vocal styles, their music typically features growled vocals, screaming, backing vocals, and occasional melodic singing.[121] However, the band have continually experimented with their sound – most notably developing tracks led by acoustic guitars and melodic singing first introduced on Vol. 3 (The Subliminal Verses).[122] Slipknot's lyrics generally follow a very aggressive tone, sometimes featuring profanity while exploring themes such as darkness, nihilism, anger, disaffection, love, misanthropy and psychosis.[14][122] Often drawing upon topics like the music industry, politics, personal strife and reflection, among others.[123] Rick Anderson of Allmusic described their lyrics as "discernible [and] not generally quotable on a family website".[28] However, on Vol. 3, Taylor has made a point of using no profanity in response to claims that he relied on the use of it.[124] Their All Hope is Gone album moved to a more standard metal style[117][125][126] that features elements of groove metal,[127] death metal[127] and thrash metal.[128] The band has also been considered alternative metal.[129][130][131][132]

Slipknot are known for their chaotic and energetic live shows, which contributed to their success.[14] These typically feature most band members headbanging, several members stage diving and even fighting.[120][133] Their early performances featured extreme acts such as stage dives from high balconies and band members setting each other on fire.[134] However, in recent years, they tend to refrain from acts this extreme. Ex-bassist Gray explained that this was due to receiving lawsuits and to prevent harming other people, adding that it was a "better move" for the longevity of the band.[134] Along with the band's energetic and unpredictable performance, Slipknot often incorporate elaborate stage setups, which have featured pyrotechnics, elevated stage areas, hydraulic drum risers and computer screens among other things.[133][135] While reviewing a Slipknot performance, Alistair Lawrence of Kerrang! enthused, "the choreographed chaos is too multi-faceted to fully describe,"[136] on a similar note, NME described one of their shows as "a scene of chaos".[137]

Image and identities

Shawn Crahan wearing a variation of his clown mask in 2009

The band is known for its attention-grabbing image; the members perform wearing unique individual facemasks and matching uniforms (typically jumpsuits), while each member was typically assigned and referred to by number based on their role in the band (#0 through #8), although this latter practice has diminished somewhat in recent years following the death of Paul Gray.[14]

The band has claimed that the idea of wearing masks stemmed from a clown mask that percussionist Crahan would bring to rehearsals when the band first started (Crahan would later become well known for his various clown masks, adopting the pseudonym 'Shawn the Clown').[7] The concept developed, and by late 1997, the band decided that every member of the band would wear unique masks and matching jumpsuits.[138] Vocalist Taylor had this to say when questioned about the masks in 2002: "it's our way of becoming more intimate with the music. It's a way for us to become unconscious of who we are and what we do outside of music. It's a way for us to kind of crawl inside it and be able to use it."[139] The concept of wearing matching jumpsuits has been described as a response to commercialism in the music industry and led to the idea of assigning the band members numerical aliases. "Originally, we were just going to wear the jumpsuits [...] we figured we might as well take that further and number ourselves. [...] We were basically saying, 'Hey, we're a product!'" explained Taylor.[140]

Throughout their career Slipknot have developed their image, updating their uniforms and each member's mask accordingly with the release of each album.[141][142] The masks do not usually differ drastically in appearance or style between albums, and members typically maintain the established theme of their mask while adding new elements. Drummer Jordison addressed the issue in an interview in 2004, stating that the masks are updated to show growth within each individual.[143] Alongside their usual masks, Slipknot have incorporated special masks for specific occasions throughout their tenure. Most notably, for the music video and live performances of the song "

  • Official website

External links

  • Arnopp, Jason (2001). Slipknot: Inside the Sickness, Behind the Masks. UK: Ebury.  


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Slipknot has been nominated for eight Grammy Awards, resulting in one win.

Grammy Awards and nominations

These statistics were compiled from the RIAA certification online database.[159]

RIAA certifications


Studio albums


Band members

The band's image has also been subjected to several controversies. A longstanding feud came from the band Mushroomhead, who - along with their fans - claimed that Slipknot "stole their image."[154] While Slipknot acknowledged that their images had similarities, they never actively got involved in the feud, stating it was just a coincidence. Taylor explains: "we both started at the same time — neither one of us knowing anything about each other."[155] Taylor also claims that at a live show in Cleveland, Ohio several Mushroomhead fans threw objects including a padlock at the band and when Slipknot was finished they along with Machine Head, and Amen went into the crowd and "handled it right there". In 2009, Mushroomhead vocalist Waylon Reavis stated that they were no longer interested in feuding with Slipknot, saying: "they're not the first masked band, we're not, no one was."[156] The band's 2005 lawsuit against Burger King claimed that the company created the advertising-based band Coq Roq to capitalize on Slipknot's image.[157] Burger King responded with a countersuit, pointing out that many other bands, such as Mr. Bungle, Mushroomhead, Mudvayne, Kiss, Insane Clown Posse and Gwar have used masks as part of their image. However, after negotiations, the advertising campaign and lawsuit were both dropped.[157]

In 2008, vocalist Corey Taylor commented on a slashing incident at a South African school to which Slipknot was linked, saying that "obviously, I'm disturbed by the fact that people were hurt and someone died, as far as my responsibility for that goes, it stops there, because I know our message is actually very positive."[153] He continued to say that "there are always going to be mental disorders and people who cause violence for no other reason than the fact that they're fucked up and lost."[153]

Slipknot has been the subject of many controversies throughout their career, both for their music and their image. The lyrical content of some of Slipknot's songs has been linked to several violent and criminal incidents. One such case from 2003 involved a pair of young killers who blamed the lyrics from the song "Disasterpiece" for their vicious crime.[151] Another from 2006 involved the lyrics from the song "Surfacing" being found at the site of a grave robbing.[152]

Slipknot performing at 2008's Mayhem Festival


In 2012, Slipknot released an app for iOS and Android called "Slipknot: Wear the Mask." The app invites fans to construct their own masks, in the process defining what kind of Slipknot fans they are.[150]

The band's image has been the subject of much criticism and controversy, with critics generally accusing it of being a gimmick to try and sell more albums.[147] The band strongly objects to these claims, stating that the masks are used to draw the attention away from themselves as individuals and put it on the music.[148] Several band members have also noted that wearing the masks helps to maintain privacy in their personal lives. During an interview in 2005, percussionist Fehn went as far as saying that the masks were a "blessing", since they meant that the members do not get recognized in public.[149]


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