1995: Shawn Crahan, Paul Gray, Kun Nong, Donnie Steele and Anders Colsefini, 5 well-known musicians from Des Moines, Iowa, decided to start a new band. But this band was not going to be a common band; it must be the band, the one that will **** everything up! Anders Colsefini was, at the very beginning of Slipknot, the singer, Shawn Crahan was the drummer, Paul Gray was playing the bass, Kun Nong was playing the guitar and Donnie Steele was also playing the guitar. Wanting it to be perfect, they tried to recruit the best musicians from Des Moines to complete the band.
One of the musicians, Shawn, decided to try something new, something original with the band: masks. We decided to wear masks so that people will only concentrate themselves on our music, not on what we look like, he said. Also, instead of just playing with one drum set, the band decided to add two percussion sets to make their music as aggressive as possible. Kun Nong, who played the guitar, left the group in February. Shawn, bored, decided to try percussion so that he could be at the front of the stage, and left his place to Paul's friend, Joey Jordison. At first hesitant, Joey finally joined the band in May. The band then recruited Josh Brainard as a second guitarist. He had already played with them and immediately accepted the job.
They performed together a few times under the names Meld, The Pale Ones, PyGSYSTEM They finally chose the perfect name for their project, taking the name of one of their songs, Slipknot (later remixed to give birth to the incredible song (Sic)). In December, the band arrived in the studios of SR Audio, where they worked for the six next months. The final result of all their efforts is their EP, Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat.
Slipknot then decided to try to perform their first CD live and entered a competition named Battle Of Bands, where all the top bands from Des Moines played. At this time, the band from Des Moines was a band named Stone Sour, fronted by the young and exciting Corey Taylor. Slipknot just completely ATE them and immediately won first prize in the Battle of Bands.
1996: Donnie Steele decided to leave the band because he didn't appreciate Slipknot's trash metal-oriented music. A friend of Joey's, Craig Jones, took his place. In April, Craig, a real computer freak, chose to work on the samples while Mick Thompson, a guitar instructor, played the guitar. The band became more and more popular every day, so Shawn and Joey spent most of their nights talking about their projects in the garage where Joey works. They decided to hire a manager, so they recruit a young journalist, Sophia Jones, who supported them from the beginning. When people asked her why she decided to be the manager of a crazy band, she answered: Because if you ask me, Slipknot will be playing at Ozzfest, will sell over a million albums and be on the cover front cover of Rolling Stone!!. Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat. was immediately an enormous success in Des Moines.
1997: While Slipknot performed at Dodfest, another festival, a young DJ named Sid Wilson, alias DJ Starscream, saw them and loved their music. Unfortunately, the quality of the sound that day was so bad that Joey decided to leave the band after he messed up with Shawn because of what just happened during the show with that ourful sound. However, he rejoined the band just a month later. Then Slipknot and Stone Sour met again at the Runaway, Shawn's club. Slipknot are just hypnotized by Corey's voice and asked him to join the band because he plays with a band of losers. He accepted. Soon after, Corey wrote the framework of a song that will later become Me Inside.
The band then re-entered the SR Audio studios to record a new version of Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat. Corey's arrival in the band, however, caused some problems. Anders, not accepting the fact that he has been left behind, announced to his fans and to the rest of the band that he was leaving them at the end of a concert. Absolutely shocked, the rest of the band had to find a new percussionist and finally recruited Greg Cuddles Welts, a guy who will never hesitate to do the stupidest things when he's on stage. Sid also joined the band after an incredible coincidence: he was in the moshpit of one of their concerts when Shawn went down in the pit to fight with the other ones. There he met Sid who recognized him, and subsequently sent him to the hospital! Shawn immediately accepted him in the band when the little DJ asked him if he could join the Slipknot adventure, thinking that he was crazy enough for that.
1998: Sophia Jones, the manager, used her contacts to introduce the band to Ross Robinson, who's absolutely not interested in hearing them, but who, after all, traveled to Iowa to hear them practice. During the session, everyone was over-stressed and everything went wrong. Joey even made a mistake and accidentally threw one of his drumsticks in Ross' face! But, the impossible happens: Ross Robinson absolutely appreciates what he's hearing and decides to give them a chance. He went to one of their concerts at the Runaway and was totally hypnotized by the show. He immediately asked the band to record a CD for him! But 6 months later, Slipknot still haven't got any news from him, so Joey gives him a phone call and 48 hours later, the 'Knots are in the Roadrunner studios to record their first album! In June, Cuddles is fired for some obscure reasons that will not be exposed. He was replaced by Chris Fehn, the percussionist that became famous with his long-nose masks. During the recording, the band meet a lot of other artists like Kiss, Robert Flynn from Machine Head and Casey Chaos from Amen. Josh left just before the end of the recording, leaving his place to James Root, a guitarist that was desperately trying to make it out with his previous band, Atomic Opera. Here is the final line up of the band:
#8 / Vocals - Corey Taylor
#7 / Guitar 1 - Mick Thompson
#6 / Percussions - Shawn Crahan
#5 / Samples - Craig Jones
#4 / Guitar 2 - James Root
#3 / Percussions - Chris Fehn
#2 / Bass - Paul Gray
#1 / Drums - Joey Jordison
#0 / DJ - Sid Wilson
1999: Sophia Jones again used her relations to make them perform on the Ozzfest. The show was a complete success. The 29th of May, after some shy debuts, Slipknot immediately reached the top of the World charts with more then 2 million copies sold within a year. Their first video, Welcome to our neighbourhood also reached the top and beat other DVD's, even from Madonna and Shania Twain. The album tour was also a complete success, the band made the craziest things ever seen live, like a drum kit on fire, 3-meters-high stage divings from Sid, and a huge pentagram painted on the wall in the back of the scene.
2000: Slipknot participated during this year to a lot of other festivals like the Rock Am Ring and the Dynamo Open Air, where they received a huge public coming especially for them. At the end of the year, the Knots entered the studio again to produce their 2nd album, again helped by Ross Robinson.
2001: Crazier then ever, the 9 masked metal stars played again in the Ozzfest, and released their 2nd album: Iowa. It is certainly one of the heaviest cds you will ever hear from them. With Iowa, the band really showed what they were capable of and immediately started touring again, this time for the Pledge of Allegiance tour, with Mudvayne, Rammstein and SOAD.
2002: A huge concert (15.000 fans) has entirely been filmed and put into their 2nd DVD, Disasterpieces. Slipknot also wrote a new version of My Plague, which has been selected for the Resident Evil movie as the official theme. Corey also appeared in the Spiderman soundtrack with his other band, Stone Sour, while Joey started another band called Murderdolls. Stone Sour had a huge success in the USA while the Dolls exploded everything in Europe.
2003: The year started with a lot of problems: Corey, too occupied with Stone Sour forgot a little bit the knots just like Joey who was busy touring with the Murderdolls. No one will hear anything from Slipknot until September, when Shawn will also tried to start his own solo project: To My Surprise, which remained absolutely unknown for a very long time. When the band re-enters the Roadrunner studios at the end of the year, some members of the band became angry with Joey because he wrote 7 of the songs on his own: he oriented the band to a darker style while Corey would like to try something more rock-like. The band finally announced that the new album would probably be out in spring 2004.
2004: During 6 long months, the band recorded the new album with Rick Rubin (SOAD, Slayer). A few times, Rick asked them to re-write some of the new songs, which was not a good sign at all. But the 24th of May, just a day before the new album, Slipknot gave a secret concert at London. European fans were the first to hear the new songs of the new album: Vol.3: The Subliminal Verses. Duality is the first of single of the album, and the least we can say is that the 2004 version of Slipknot is a lot different than what we heard of them before: the band left apart all the rage from Iowa and made this album more rock-like, but still influenced by the trash and extreme metal scene. The group headed for Europe, where they took part to a lot of festivals, the Ozzfest again with Hatebreed, the Fury Fest and the Unholy Alliance Tour. The 2nd single, Vermillion pt.1 went out with a strange video showing the bandwith new masks representing their real faces!! Vermillion pt.2 also went out, but the video has quickly been censured because of its insanity. After a huge show in Paris and a tour in India, the band returned to the USA just for the winter holidays.
2005: The year started just like 2004 ended: on the road! Slipknot travelled all around the world for the Vol.3 Subliminal Verses tour. Announcing that the recording of the next album will be at the end of 2006, the band released 9.0: Live, their first live double-album. It is a huge success in the whole world: 350000 copies have been sold just in the USA!! Stone Sour are now recording their 2nd album and Murderdolls just split up, so they are trying to decide what is going to happen to them next. Slipknot is at this moment certainly the most amazing band ever seen on a stage and the band with the most fans all around the world: The Maggots who will always support them until the end.
Note: I would like to thank Dirk Gently, who kindly accepted to help me to re-write this article, and gave me a lot of good advise and comments. I would also like to thank SilentDeftone for his help and patience!!