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Genre: Heavy Metal
Hometown: Des Moines, Iowa
Albums: Slipknot (1999), Iowa (2001), Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses) (2004), Hope Is Gone (2008), .5: The Gray Chapter (2014)
Awards: 1 Grammy
Hits: Duality, Before I Forget, People=Shit, Wait and Bleed, Left Behind
Other: Sold over 20 million albums worldwide
Most people have heard of heavy metal band Slipknot in some capacity, during a period in the late 90as and early 2000s they were one of the most infamous bands worldwide. Known for their homemade boiler suit outfits and Halloween inspired masks along with their trademark ferocious lyrics matched by their blistering heavy metal sound.
Over the years Slipknot have matured and evolved their sound, but will be fondly remembered for their original nine members, all of who were numbered from 0-8. They rose to fame with their headline grabbing antics and controversial lyrics, yet remain one of the most successful bands of the last 15 years.
Formed in Des, Moines Iowa, the bands most famous and long lasting line up consisted of Des Moines locals DJ Sid Wilson, drummer Joey Jordison, bassist Paul Gray, percussionist Chris Fehn, guitarist James Root, sampler/programmer Craig Jones, percussionist Shawn "Clown" Crahan, guitarist Mick Thompson, and lead vocalist Corey Taylor.
Slipknot was relatively large in size compared to other acts at the time, with nine members, who all were named and carried their own onstage personas. They released their debut self-titled album in 1999 on the appropriate date of Halloween; the band would go on to tour extensively in their early days, gaining a reputation for not only their distinct heavy sound, but their chaotic live performances. ‘Slipknot’ would eventually go platinum in 2000, being the first ever Roadrunner produced album to do so.
The anticipation for their follow up record reached fever pitch, and when released in 2001, Iowa was an instant success. It debuted in the top ten charts in nine different countries, and featured some of the bands most iconic songs, two of which were Grammy nominated. They would strengthen their reputation as one of the top nu-metal/heavy metal acts of the time period, touring extensively across the world, and drawing the attention of mainstream media. Due to the nature of their lyrics, the heavy sounds and overall character of the band, Slipknot became notorious in their own right, and was a massive attraction for the younger generations of the time.
The band then took a break after their meteoric rise to fame, with each member pursuing their own solo activities, before returning to the studio to produce their third album Vol.3 The Subliminal Verses. Released in 2004, it saw more experimentation from the band. The lyrics featured had much less profanity and overall dark subject matter. It was a critical and commercial success, and earned the band a Grammy for the song Before I Forget, which won Best Metal Performance.
They would again tour extensively to promote the album, including producing their first live record. It would take until 2008 for the band to release their fourth album, with All Hope Is Gone. It was a notably more mature album from Slipknot, covering tops such as politics and a dissatisfaction with the music industry.
It proved to be the last album featuring the traditional 9 members. Bassist Paul Gray was found in 2010 form a suspected accidental overdose. Despite the tragedy the band insisted they would continue, saying it was what Gray would have wanted. The band face further changes when long time drummer and song writer Joey Jordinson left under mysterious and somewhat acrimonious circumstances in late 2013.
Despite the change in line up, the band went on to release their fifth and most recent album .5: The Gray Chapter, name in honour of their deceased band mate. The record saw a return to the heavy metal sound they helped pioneer during the 2000s, and was well received by critics.
One of the most iconic bands of a generation, Slipknot helped define a genre, and eclipsed the success even they could imagine. Still performing and touring, their live shows show no signs of easing up, as fans continue to show up in anticipation of one of the finest heavy metal bands ever.