SLIPKNOT guitarist Mick Thomson recently answered several questions for the readers of UK's Kerrang! magazine. A couple of excerpts from the question-and-answer session follow below.
Q: What inspired your mask design?
Mick: Nothing. I had my original latex hockey mask way back and then my leather one and I was using those designs and it morphed into what it is now. There isn't something crazy creative about it.
Q: I just want to let you know that you are a huge inspiration to me. You were one of the reasons I picked up a guitar, B.C Rich 7 string Warlock as my own first purchase, and got serious about it. My question is, how do you get new ideas for riffs and solos. I've made a couple of my own songs, but I always get stuck trying to make cool catchy riffs or solos. Got any advice?
Mick: Yes. Don't over-think it. Just let it happen. Things come out. If you try and plan or force it will sound forced or dishonest. I never try and over-think a direction whatever comes out 1st time I play it comes out. I never spend a ton of time thinking because it sounds forced. If you spend too much time thinking about it, it won't sound like you. Don't try and sound like someone else.
Q: How does it feel to be getting back to work with the rest of SLIPKNOT after a three-year hiatus? Did it feel great knowing you were going to be back behind the mask and in a recording studio once again or was it just the same as it was three years ago?
Mick: Things are always different when doing a new record. You are a different person than you were years ago. I don't think in those terms. I just do what I do! But yes it felt good getting back to work.
Q: Mick, what advice would u give to young metal musicians trying to get our band noticed without reverting to the typical main stream sound?
Mick: Music should be honest, it should be an extension if you. You shouldn't try and achieve a sound. It should just be you and not what you are trying to manufacture. We didn't pay attention to the trends at the time when we wrote. We did what we felt and that is what you should do. You should play music for you and not to be noticed.
Check out the entire question-and-answer session from Kerrang!.