SLIPKNOT are in talks with Rick Rubin (RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS, SYSTEM OF A DOWN, SLAYER) to produce the band's next studio album, tentatively due in late 2003.It is not presently clear if Rubin has officially agreed to helm the project, which would mark the group's first studio collaboration with someone other than Ross Robinson — the eccentric über-producer who signed the group to his I Am Recordings label imprint and was widely credited for the band's early success. Although SLIPKNOT had previously hoped to commence pre-production for the as-yet-untitled album in January, it now appears that the Des Moines-based nine-piece will not re-group until early spring to begin the final preparations for the follow-up to the platinum-selling 2001 release, Iowa. The extra time will give frontman Corey Taylor and guitarist James Root a chance to extend their current promotional and touring activities with their other band, STONE SOUR, whose self-titled debut has sold over 100,000 copies in the U.S. and is continuing to shift nearly 15,000 units per week on the back of the phenomenal radio success of its second single, "Bother". "We were going to stop [touring with STONE SOUR] around January to start getting ready for the next [SLIPKNOT] album, but I think we might go ahead and extend this out through March," Root told The Underground Scene at STONE SOUR's gig in Hartford, Connecticut last Friday. "SLIPKNOT, we talked about going in around March to do another record. We've been talking with Rick Rubin about having him produce the next third SLIPKNOT record, too, so it's possible that we'll go in around March, maybe a little later, but right now that's kind of what we're shooting for." Reiterating his previous statements about wanting to take a slightly different approach with the group's next album, Root made it clear that he is looking forward to commencing the songwriting process for the upcoming SLIPKNOT CD after taking a year-long break to focus on STONE SOUR. "Yeah absolutely, because we needed this break," Root said. "Iowa, that record was kind of rushed, I thought, and I think we've got a better album in us, so this would be a chance for us to kind of expand our minds and really experiment with music a little more rather then just banging out a bunch of songs." In other news, SLIPKNOT bassist Paul Gray recently rejected rumors of a possible break-up, vowing to return to action "with some shit that will melt your fucking mind." "Breaking up isn't an option, and those of you that think that are fucking stupid," Gray reportedly said via his close friend and associate, Dizzy Draztik of BOMB POP MAFIA, according to Slipknot News. "The new album will be out next summer, and we will hit the road around that time. For people who think that any unmasked projects will dictate or take away from what is the core of these nine peoples hearts is totally fucking retarded. Masks don't make music, people with integrity make music — no more no less. How stupid would it be for MURDERDOLLS or STONE SOUR to parade around doing their own thing with masks on. That's SLIPKNOT territory, the other bands are simply an outlet for creative people to do shit that's been brewing in them for quite some time. Rest assured, SLIPKNOT will be back with some shit that will melt your fucking mind." Also on the SLIPKNOT front, band percussionist Shawn Crahan recently promised Kerrang! magazine that "there is nothing on the market today that looks, tastes and smells like" the group's upcoming DVD, Disasterpieces, a double-disc, 30 camera recording of the group's early 2002 performance at the London Arena. "Until now no one has ever caught the real SLIPKNOT, so this DVD is really to put a focus on what the band is, and where the band goes musically," Crahan said. "It is a constant motion. There's no cheating: what you see is what happened. Now you'll be able to study it in your own home, as a piece of biblical scripture. "I am so proud to say that I am number 6, the Clown in this band. I watch this and I want to cry every time, and I'm completely fine with my life and what we have created. We are the way. Everyone else bow, I don't care. We back what we are to the end, always. It's piss, shit, vomit, and pure fuckin' mayhem and pure love. And pure hate. No less, no more." Disasterpieces is due in late November through Roadrunner.