After 21 years, Slipknot's self-titled debut remains one of heavy music's most groundbreaking releases. Catapulting the band into ranks of the genre's elite, the songs, the aesthetic, and the angst remain an enduring example of Slipknot's impact and evolution.
The recent broadcast of the band's collection of home video footage from the era, Welcome to Our Neighborhood, prompted a discussion with the band's frontman Corey Taylor. He revisited those formative years, the inspiration at the core of the music, and the cultural shift prompted by the record.
TAYLOR - There are too many stories to tell from that first run, but it was certainly amazing. One time, after our first show in Japan, the fans chased out into our waiting van to take us back to the hotel. Mind you, we were STILL in our masks and coveralls- it was the only way we were going to get out of there in a timely fashion. The fans surrounded the van and were trying to get to us so hard that they were rocking the van itself. It almost tipped over. Being full of adrenaline, we thought it was awesome. It wasn't until we got back to our rooms that we realized we could've been seriously injured. Still, a great memory.
TAYLOR - My favorite by far is "Scissors." To this day it's my favorite Slipknot song. I love it because every time we would play it, the whole second half was improvised. We played at each other, free form, free prose, everything. It was violent and gorgeous. Nothing will ever replace it for me- when we stopped playing it live, I had a hard time enjoying our sets for a very long time.
BANDS THAT DIRECTLY INFLUENCED THE RECORD
TAYLOR - I can't speak for the rest of the band, but I know to me some of our influences on that album were bands like Faith No More, Neurosis, Korn, Obituary, Acid Bath, Public Enemy, Anthrax, NWA, etc.
HIDDEN LYRICAL REFERENCES
TAYLOR - I've always loved the lyrics for "Eyeless." I'd never written anything as raw and open before. It was all about the absence of my father, being a teenage addict and also being forced to enter NA and Alateen when I was still fucked up. In treatment, they kept telling me 'it's all in your head'. That line resonates with me to this day.