SLIPKNOT percussionist M. Shawn Crahan (a.k.a. Clown) has told Kerrang! magazine that he has "never" gone into an album and touring cycle feeling as refreshed and ready as he is right now. "Not even the first time," he said. "It's always been a mess. I'm not gonna say it's not gonna be a mess now, but shit's happening. It's on. We're all ready to go. Everybody is so excited. It's even better that Corey Taylor [SLIPKNOT singer] is really excited, because he does a lot of work, goes out with STONE SOUR, does solo gigs and solo things — from books, to award shows. Whatever he's doing, he does a lot. And it's always awesome to feel his excitement. Most people in his situation would be like, 'I'm gonna take a year off,' but he's got a certain demeanour right now for SLIPKNOT. And that feels awesome. And that's how it feels now with all the guys. We have a schedule, and it's fucking hardcore, and there's a lot of things going on inside that schedule."
Crahan went on to say that he is having the best time of his life in SLIPKNOT. "I really am," he said. "I'm blessed to be here, and I still have a band and art form that I love more than anything. They're my friends. We've lost some, we've gained some, but we're all still here and we've learned a lot. The music is on fire, the art, I feel, means something to people — and it hasn't always felt that way for me. A lot of that is just me slowing down: relaxing, and trying to have a better time, and having a little fun. But I'm still me and I'm still Clown, and I'm getting older. I don't see the worst in a lot of the things I used to fight for. I'm just in a good place, and I want to come out on top for myself."
This past October, SLIPKNOT released a new song called "All Out Life". The track will appear on SLIPKNOT's upcoming follow-up to 2014's ".5: The Gray Chapter" album, due later this year via Roadrunner.
Taylor told "Zane Lowe's World Record" that SLIPKNOT's new album is "one of the darkest chapters in [the band's] history — it's that good. It's complicated, it's dark, it's heavy, it's melodic, it's fierce, it's angry and it's real, it's raw as hell and it's gonna be talking about a lot of things that people are going to need in their life right now."
SLIPKNOT's video for "All Out Life" was directed by Crahan.
".5: The Gray Chapter" was released following a six-year hiatus during which founding SLIPKNOT bassist Paul Gray died and drummer Joey Jordison was dismissed.
".5: The Gray Chapter" sold around 132,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 1 on The Billboard 200 chart. The CD arrived in stores in October 2014 via Roadrunner.
Gray died in 2010 from a drug overdose, while Jordison was let go in December 2013, just before SLIPKNOT began recording the last album.