Producer Ross Robinson revisits the lightning in a bottle captured on Slipknot's legendary Self-Titled album - Knotfest

Producer Ross Robinson revisits the lightning in a bottle captured on Slipknot’s legendary Self-Titled album

Posted by Ramon Gonzales in News on September 21, 2022

On a recent episode of the Peer Pressure Podcast, the veteran producer explained how Slipknot’s iconic album was “the fucking heaviest thing probably I’ve ever done”.

On a recent episode of The Peer Pressure Podcast, accomplished producer Ross Robinson spoke at great length about his time with the band Slipknot and his tenure as the producer of the band’s iconic Self-Titled release debut on Roadrunner Records.

Revisiting the golden era of Indigo Ranch Studios, Robinson recalled what it was like working on a project with the masked nine from Des Moines and how skepticism surrounding the success of the venture was heavy and a source of motivation for everyone involved.

Robinson also spoke candidly about being known for is success with bands like Korn and Limp Bizkit, and how the arrival of Slipknot was especially important for him, functioning creatively as his next chapter after becoming distanced from the two mega bands.

Robinson shared, “It was a time where Korn was doing ‘Got The Life‘ and Limp Bizkit was doing the ‘Nookie‘ and they totally abandoned me – not abandoned me – but they went off to do their own things. Different situations. We’ll always be connected. But I felt like being  ‘Ross from Korn‘ was just over. I didn’t know who the fuck I was because I was that identity for so long and believed it.”

Robinson elaborated on the creative climate with Slipknot going into making the album. “…the intention wasn’t to ever think about the release. Like somehow it wasn’t going to be and we were just there together. The feeling was like ‘this is only happening here and we’re the only ones that know.’ And it was to create something so hungry and so hype to make the mountain glow. Like to give back to breath, to air, to love.

That’s what it feels like to me thinking about it. Fuck man, if that thing didn’t go platinum right off the bat, they wouldn’t be a band. So I knew that if can blast the mind shut, like blank, and the heart just goes [mimics explosion] and the tears come down, for me, as a listener [exhales], ya know, [I’m] just fed.

Robinson spoke to the emotional weight and the rawness of the record, how he envisioned it resonating with fans, and where he ranks it in among his career accomplishments. “Then one person that might hear it may not kill [themselves], or feel listened to, or feel loved with all our hearts, everything. No toughness, no ego, no… all that bullshit. It’s just ‘hard is lame’ and it’s the fucking heaviest thing probably I’ve ever done – that first album.”

Robinson shared how the band incorporated their various influences, took creative risks and operated with a complete disregard for the trends. Robinson provided practical examples of how Slipknot were trailblazers long before they became household names. “And that to me was like double bass – which nobody was doing double bass (drums) at the time, like nobody. I think Slayer even quit doing double bass at that time. It’s crazy. It was considered like old 80s kind of lame or something in music at that moment. And there it is like ‘Let’s fucking go double bass. Let’s get it on. Let’s go super metal. Eat it alive, bring it back and show the power of it.’”

The famed producer also spoke of the longevity of the record, the enduring quality of the songs and how the intention was never about hitting it big, it was always about making something that would stand the test of time. “Anybody can just live off that first record and watch them play that first record today and be happy. It’s that powerful. So, the intention wasn’t that ‘oh, this is gonna be platinum’. It was just us, on an island.”

Reiterating how skeptical everyone outside of the studio seemed about the project, Robinson explained how that only amplified the volatility of the finished product. “It didn’t feel like we were supported or cared about. It’s like we were completely alone on our own island and that’s what it sounded like: furious.”

Stream Episode 303 of The Peer Pressure Podcast with special guest Ross Robinson below.

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