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Producer Ross Robinson Speaks On Slipknot’s Self-Titled Album “It’s The F*cking Heaviest Thing Probably I’ve Ever Done”


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While technically not the first album to arrive from Slipknot, the band’s explosive 1999 self-titled affair was certainly the nine’s proper introduction to the mainstream. Having already experienced success with Korn and Limp Bizkit, producer Ross Robinson played a big part in helping the band capture the viciousness of their sound at the time, while also signing them to his eventual Roadrunner Records imprint label, I Am Recordings.

Appearing recently on the The Peer Pleasure Podcast, Robinson spoke of the volatility and unhindered passion that went into creating that game-changing album, which served as the launching pad for the massive success the masked Iowan natives continue to enjoy to this day.

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Speaking on how he had become a ‘conduit’ of sorts to help deliver the visions of artists to the people, Robinson brought up Slipknot‘s self-titled album as an example. Reminiscing on the recording sessions, which took place at the since burned down Indigo Ranch Studios, he offered [transcribed by theprp.com]:

“…The first Slipknot record; the intention wasn’t to ever think about the release. Like somehow it wasn’t going to be [released], and we were just there together. The feeling was like ‘this is only happening here and we’re the only ones that know.’ And it was to create something so hungry and so hype to make the mountain glow. Like to give back to breath, to air, to love.

That’s what it feels like to me thinking about it. Fuck man, if that thing didn’t go platinum right off the bat, they wouldn’t be a band. So I knew that if can blast the mind shut, like blank, and the heart just goes [makes exploding sound] and the tears come down, for me, as a listener [makes deep breath sounds], ya know, [I’m] just fed.

Then one person that might hear it may not kill themself. Or [they may] feel listened to. Or feel loved with all our hearts, everything. No toughness, no ego, no… all that bullshit. It’s just ‘hard is lame’ and it’s the fucking heaviest thing probably I’ve ever done—that first album.

It was a time where Korn was doing ‘Got The Life‘ and Limp Bizkit was doing the ‘Nookie‘ and they totally abandoned me—not abandoned me—but they went off to do their own things. Different situations, we’ll always be connected. But I felt like being  ‘Ross from Korn‘ was just over. I didn’t know who the fuck I was, because I was that identity for so long and [I] believed it.

And that to me was like double bass [drums]—which nobody was doing double bass at the time, like nobody—I think Slayer even quit doing double bass at that time. It’s crazy. It was considered like old ’80s kind of lame or something in music at that moment. And there it is like ‘Let’s fucking go double bass. Let’s get it on, Let’s go super metal. Eat it alive, bring it back and show the power of it.’

I was so into it and everything about it was just food. And I was so hungry and so ready to start something new. And that album was me, Ross, being reborn, starting all over again. And the fury inside my heart to capture and push, it was beyond words. The inspiration inside was just exploding, just ‘raaahhhh’. And it made the foundation, it’s like the core foundation of their whole career.

Anybody can just live off that first record and watch them play that first record today and be happy. It’s that powerful. So, the intention wasn’t that ‘oh, this is gonna be platinum’. It was just us, on an island. I had a label deal with Roadrunner and signed them, so they were my babies as well, as far label goes.

And Roadrunner was really just not helping the situation at the time. I fronted all the studio time. I put a deposit on the studio myself. I sent Mick [Thomson, Slipknot guitarist] to the dentist and paid for it all [laughs.] Like whatever it was, rehearsals, the rehearsal place, whatever it was, I fronted everything until almost till we started mixing. We were in the process that long after pre-production.

It didn’t feel like we were supported or cared about. It’s like we were completely alone on our own island and that’s what it sounded like: furious.”

You can listen to the complete podcast episode at peerpleasurepodcast.com and below:

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