Revolver magazine recently spoke to SLIPKNOT percussionist M. Shawn "Clown" Crahan about his hopes for the band's next album, how all the side projects will influence the disc, integrating new instruments into the mix, the death of rock's former spirit, the dissipation of hope, and the pervasive sadness that has infected our once-exuberant nation. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:
Revolver: How far into the creative process are you?
Crahan: We're going to be entering the studio in the first part of the year. But we write all the time. Joey Jordison [drums] writes 365 days a year. These breaks that we take, they get our appetites going. They let our brains slow down and then speed up again. We gotta decompress for a little bit just to feel human if we're going to be forced to be here in this reality.
Revolver: Do you think the side projects you guys have been involved with will affect the sound of the next record?
Crahan: For sure. Every time we're away, we grab life and learn things. I'm constantly writing songs in different genres. I'll work with metal, alternative, and blues in my studio, and then I'll go play some jazz with friends. We all do that, and that gives us a fresh perspective.
Revolver: What new elements do you plan to bring into the picture this time?
Crahan: Corey Taylor [vocals] brings the whole beginning, and I can't wait to read his murder bible. What’s on his mind? Self-destruction? Self-healing? I don't know. But I'm on my own trip playing drum seets, working to challenge myself. I'm a primal drummer, man, and I want to harness that. In the past, I would dictate parts. Now I'm interested in being involved in the whole process. I've learned a lot in 10 years, and now I think it would be really cool if [co-percussionist] Chris Fehn and I could utilize high-hats and cymbals, SLIPKNOT-style.
Revolver: What else will be different?
Crahan: I can't stress enough that we're going into this from a different place. When we did "Iowa", we hated each other. We hated the world; the world hated us. The next record was like rehabilitation. We had all this healing that needed to happen. Now, everything feels good because we feel good.
For more of Revolver's conversation with M. Shawn "Clown" Crahan, pick up the February 2008 issue of the magazine, available on newsstands now. More information is available at www.revolvermag.com.