Slipknot's Jim Root

Slipknot’s Jim Root: “When I Hear A Band That’s Saying ‘F*ck You, I Won’t Do What You Tell Me’ Telling Me To Do What The Government Tells Me To Do, That Seems Backwards To Me”


In a lengthy new interview with Music Radar, Slipknot guitarist Jim Root shared his thoughts on his new signature Charvel guitar, the band’s impending new album “The End, So Far” (due out this Friday, September 30th) and the masked metal phenomenon’s need for constant evolution. Towards the end of the chat he also seemingly took at shot at the political firebrands in Rage Against The Machine.

Speaking on the need to continue to grow musically, Root spoke of the fine line he and his bandmates tread:

“…We are still trying to evolve as a band. I mean, we have to evolve. There is no way around it. We are not the same band that put out the ‘Iowa‘ record. We are not the same band that put out ‘The Subliminal Verses‘. We are just not those people anymore.

That is why I say that I am still trying to learn how to write, ‘cos you want to evolve. If you look at certain bands, like Radiohead or even The Beatles, look at the way they evolved over time.

Like, I do not want to get away from this, from the ‘Iowa‘ record, the self-titled record; those are a huge part of our career and we still play those songs to this day, and it is a huge part of what we are. So, how do you maintain that and then also get to express yourself and evolve musically?

It is a weird teeter. It’s a weird balance. I could get on this keyboard here and use a bass synthesizer and not even touch a guitar to write some arrangements and then, all of a sudden, you’ve got some kind of weird The Voidz stuff coming out or something, and a Slipknot fan might hear that and think, ‘What the fuck is this trash?’

And I could be listening to it going, ‘I’ve never done anything like this before. I am so proud of this!’ We can’t just go put a dubstep record out; we’re fucking Slipknot, there’s a wheelhouse. There’s something to work from. But how do we take that and let that evolve? And what does that sound like? Who knows?”

Speaking later of the current state of the world and if there was a unifying theme to Slipknot‘s impending new album “The End, So Far“, Root went on a bit of a tangent, offering:

“Everything is so bizarre and so bananas I don’t even know what’s going on with the world right now. I couldn’t even tell you what is going on with the culture, because, being locked up for two years, and then you come out and everything’s upside down, it’s really… I don’t get it.

I thought rock ’n’ roll, and punk and metal, and all that stuff was meant to be anti-establishment and against the man, and now it seems more and more like, ‘Obey!’ and do as you’re told sorta shit, and that seems backwards to me. I don’t know if I am the only one that feels that way. I haven’t really talked to anyone in the band about it, ‘cos we’re just trying to get through these tours, through the protocol and the COVID shit, and all that.

We haven’t really checked in with one another to see how we’re doing, how we’re feeling about the state of the world and all that, but when I hear a band that’s saying ‘Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me’ telling me to do what the government tells me to do, that seems backwards to me.”

That last line would appear to be a thinly veiled allusion to criticism that has cropped up against Rage Against The Machine on their reunion tour amid the COVID years. That Live Nation-backed trek, which finally commenced earlier this year, saw the band forced to adhere to the blanket COVID-19 policy standards implemented by Live Nation for their shows and at their venues.

Rage Against The Machine of course also have the lyric “Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me” featured throughout the outro of their 1992 protest anthem “Killing In The Name“. While Rage Against The Machine didn’t actually play a show under the height of those rules (their first show since 2011 took place on July 11th of this year when standards had been far more relaxed), it still became a meme popular among the right-wing circles to dunk on the group.

It’s also an allegation the group’s guitarist Tom Morello has publicly pushed back on, replying the following to a commenter earlier this month:

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