Mick Thomson Explains The Complicated Origin Story Of Slipknot


For numerous years, the Wikipedia page of Iowa’s most infamous metal band Slipknot led many a maggot to believe that the group’s late drummer Joey Jordison was a founding member of the masked metal phenomenon. With secrecy persisting regarding the individual identities of the outfit amid their meteoric rise to fame, as well an admittedly convoluted early few years, it’s certainly understandable how this confusion persisted for so long.

The initial incarnation of Slipknot released an album titled “Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat.” in 1996. Recorded as a six-piece, three of the members featured on that record (vocalist Anders Colsefni and guitarists Josh Brainard and Donnie Steele) would all be out of the lineup by 1999.

The remaining three members from those sessions, drummer Joey Jordison, percussionist M. Shawn “Clown” Crahan and bassist/vocalist Paul Gray, would go on to expand the roster with an additional six members, forming the classic lineup often referred to as the nine.

It was that lineup that laid down the band’s highly influential 1999 self-titled album, which is now largely considered to be their debut outing. Given the contentious ousting of Jordison from the group back in 2013, and the ongoing legal tension between the band and the late musician’s estate, some may have seen it as sour grapes when Crahan recently claimed Jordison wasn’t actually a founding member.

Crahan said in an interview conducted earlier this year that it was himself, vocalist Anders Colsefni , and late bassist Paul Gray, who served as the core of what would eventually evolve into the Slipknot that left an indelible mark on the world of metal.

Now guitarist Mick Thomson, who joined the fold roughly a year into the group’s existence back in 1996, has offered his side of the band’s origin story. In a recent video shared by Fishman Music, Thomson weighed in on the inception of Slipknot as follows:

“Before Slipknot, Paul and Andy and I — Andy was our original singer of Slipknot — were in a band called Body Pit, a death metal band. And they just lost their drummer. They got me in the band, and the drummer and other guitar player left, so we were looking for a drummer.

So we were writing songs — me, Paul and Donnie, we were working on stuff, and I actually got some things on a four-track that never really ended up going anywhere. But we’d written them. So we were doing that stuff, and we were looking for a drummer. Well, at the same time, our gear is there where we were practicing, which was our singer’s house, Andy.

So, Clown would come over. He knew Andy. Clown comes over and starts playing with Paul and Andy, jamming stuff in the basement on the Body Pit stuff, really — it was where Body Pit practiced. We didn’t have a drummer, so there was some down time when they started doing that stuff. And then that’s kind of how that started.

Paul and Andy were doing it with Clown. I didn’t know Clown, really; I’d met him before. And Paul and Andy and I were in this thing. So it was them just dicking around with a friend of theirs. It was separate; [they were doing] different music. And then we never really… How are we gonna find a technical death metal drummer in Des Moines? Joey. But Joey didn’t wanna do it.

But Joey did wanna do the Slipknot stuff with Andy and Paul and Clown. So, that’s kind of how that went. Our band died. See, Joey was in a band with our other guitar player on the first record, Josh, and Craig [Jones, now ex-Slipknot sampler/keyboardist, etc.], who did our sampling stuff.

They were both the guitar players in Joey‘s band. So it’s kind of like you took me, Paul, Andy, Joey, Josh and Craig, and threw those bands together and then added Clown. Clown was kind of the — he was the pivotal thing on that, because basically you had two bands that sort of broke up around him, and reformed around that idea.

So I guess, in a way, it’s like two different bands sort of dissolved and turned into the other thing. We never really looked at it like that, because just the chronology and the way it happened and it wasn’t the intent.

What’s funny, though, is we went around and broke up another band — we broke up Corey‘s [Taylor, Slipknot vocalist] band [Stone Sour] by stealing him. And then we eventually needed another guitar player, so we got Jim [Root, Slipknot guitarist] from Corey‘s band to come in.

So, yeah, it was a very incestuous kind of thing. We basically just went around and screwed up people’s bands and shit.”


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