Despite what many say, Slipknot are a great band. I knew long before they became popular worldwide, and the case burst out in Italy with the following translation into Italian of the lyrics of their 2nd self-titled CD, to prove that most of the youth born in this loser Vatican-dominated country can't speak English or harldy do it ( tough shit ). At that time the intie was proposed me by a friend who assured me they really kicked asses, and the CD is definitely a milestone. I respect everyone's beliefs, but not the preachers' ones stating they are a bunch of buffoons playing pseudo-anti-trendy shit. They really are a trend now, no-one can deny it, notwithstanding they're not the first example and won't even be the last. But they deserve my respect; then the use and abuse of their image can be discussed, the band won't admit it and neither will Roadrunner, but I won't blame them for exploiting that; I'd do the same if I could live with music. Life has compromises for us all, some more, others less, but the less you have to accept, the freer ( and better ) you will feel. I don't think Slipknot have fallen so low because of this.

Phone intie with Shawn ( N.6) - custom percussionist

You come from Iowa, not an important State musically speaking. Did it create you any troubles?
S) Actually it's a State where no-one had become big from the 50's rock dawn till today; from Des Moines we succeeded in this impossible task, keeping in mind there was also a positive side: if we came from L.A. or N.Y. we'd've had more competitors, while our label worked their ass out to take us to the highest level. It's sad, but I don't think the situation in Iowa will change, most bands suck, so they won't see the highlights even now that we've opened a window on this asshole of the world, popular to foreigners for the corn fields and swine breeding only.

-Not many know you already recorded a self-financed Cd in 96, so this can be seen as your official debut?
S) Right, that's the way we consider it, cos we've been practicing hard since then to improve our live shows, recording techniques, songwriting, etc., just to build a long career. Our knowledge has been increasing gradually, and during these almost 3 years we recorded other 2 CD's which didn't satisfy us that much, so we've decided to set them aside, until we found out what we really wanted to appear in a record.

-Your songs are very direct, and some already start with the refrain. Was it done to sell more?
S) It was all spontaneuous, no tricks like that. Now we own a trademark, something special that affords us to intensify our songs, enrich them with vibes to convey to the listener; this is the magic of music. We also spent weeks or months to change a song, cos we continuously modify their structures, that is we're perfectionists. But to build a song skeleton you just need 10 minutes. With this Cd we wanted to be direct, aggressive, and that's why there're no guitar solos; on the other hand there's a massive use of guitar effects so as to make the structures crazy and sick. Maybe these are the 2000 solos! Seriously, we don't plan our songs to be liked by kids or be the new radio sensation; we don't want the others to decide for us and dominate us.

-Your unusual line-up makes your songwriting different from other bands'?
S) No, cos we start form the rhythmic section, then we add the 2 guitarists' riffs, then all the others; it's not so hard as it can be imagined, cos we have pretty clear ideas when writing; sometimes there're brisk discussions, but it's normal, and all is solved in the end, as we never forget we fight for the same goal. We need months to finish songs, and to decide if a song's ok for the CD, we just play it live; once is enough, so the public often hear new songs just used on a night show, then cast away cos not good enough. We definitely write a lot!

-What about the live aspect and the look one?
S) Live none of us except Joey (drums) have a fixed place, so we're all intent upon giving an aggressive show, a kind of love/hate letter to the outside world. Rarely do we meet as equally violent as bands like ours when we play together. Even if it may sound strange we're a 9-member band, it's not for us, and indeed we've made us get on so well together that if one of us - even the DJ - is missing, we feel a void; small things also act to improve a song. The unreal 'Clockwork Orange'-styled masks are an extension of our distorted personalities, and we build them by ourselves; they're subject to changes in time, depending on our own temper changes; we care a lot about them; for instance I own 15 and began wearing them 12 years ago, and they fit our workmen's overalls so well; in the future our look and image are gonna change, so we won't wear our masks forever. However, our music shall always be more important than our look, we don't wear this shit to attract people ( really?/n.o.a. ), we just did because, after being derided cos we used to play or try to do something at Des Moines, we felt like an anonymous entity. None of us wanted to stress out one's name or face, we were just interested in our music; we started being followed more and more, the masks and the overalls were working, so we had to keep on using them. We grew fond of them, and I assure you you really feel well with them on for an hour, but when we take them off, the first thing we say is: "God, what a relief!" But then we wera them again after a show when we walk among the people. As to the numbers, they're lucky numbers and very meaningful for each member. When we chose them, each one received a numer at random, and nobody had anything to complain of; really strange!



-In "Surfacing" there's a sort of similarity with latest Sepultura in the vocals and guitars. How important were they and death metal in general to Slipknot?
S) Beside the percussions I don't find anything similar with them, and if there's an influence, that wasn't searched; we were fans of Sepultura, and death, too, but also HC, hip hop and other styles, so that some ex Slipknots played in Anal Blast and Bodypit. Some underline Korn's influence in our CD, but even if we respect them, we got nothing in common with them but the sound producer, Ross Robinson. We're faster and heavier, and our singer is more various, he can be melodic, rap-styled, or much more, while there're 60 popular bands in the US exactly playing like them. "Surfacing" matters to us a lot, cos it talks about how to reach your dreams. I don't write any lyrics, but I know they're personal and not religious or political; they're based on everyday facts, so that every kid can be in a way reflected in them. They're about our rage and frustration, even tho I can't explain their origin. We don't pretend, those feelings come from inside, and together we form something special that can't be duplicated; evn on stage it happens some kind of magic, it's as if we were brothers!

-Foresee any reissue of your debut-CD?
S) Our trip into the music is unrepeatable, so there're some elements in that CD that might confuse the people and not have them concentrated on our present record; we used to play a mix between death and disco music ( not so far from Mr Bungle/n.o.a. ), and secondly we used to have another vocalist. Therefore it's a product not representing us faithfully, and our label isn't gonna reissue it, either.

-Ross Robinson doesn't need any introduction. How did the collaboration with him start?
S) We'd already appreciated some of his previous recordings, and we wished to meet him; Roadrunner gave us the money and booked the studio with him; it had to happen! But it was fundemantal not to have a record planned by him only, we wanted an equipe work with a bunch of advices, and so it was; he didn't overcome our ideas, we didn't change the structures of the songs, he let us work, and it worked! Since the 28 of June, date in which we ended the recordings, a long while passed, cos we required the perfection in our songs, mixing and artwork; nothing was neglected.

-If you had to need a new member in the band, what characteristics should he/she have?
S) First of all, it's very unlikely, cos we feel complete like this, but maybe a sax player…or we could have to replace someone, which is unthinkable now, cos our union is very firm; however, not many human qualities would be necessary: he should believe in himself, his work, feel sure of what he does, and not give a fuck about the world. Moreover he should be ready to leave at any time and rehearse at least 3 times a week, and in certain periods everyday.

-By the way, how do you spend your free time?
S) The dead times on tour suck, we love to play, and we'd like to play all over the world, conquering market after market, but up to now we still didn't come to Europe; we wanna make ourselves known thru the "Spit it Out" clip. Our fav hobbies are Internet, movies, and videogames. When we're at home we meet sometimes, but we don't attend the strip bars anymore, which are the only entertainment in Des Moines.

-And to conclude?
S) Visit our 2 websites and get prepared for the truth!