MUSHROOMHEAD drummer Steve "Skinny" Felton has expressed his regret over the group's feud with SLIPKNOT, saying that he and his bandmates "spent a lot of time complaining" about the Iowa masked metallers "for nothing."
MUSHROOMHEAD released its first album in spring 1995, more than four years prior to the arrival of SLIPKNOT's Roadrunner debut. But the latter band exploded on to the music scene, quickly dwarfing the commercial heights achieved by the Ohio act.
Although there had always been animosity between the two groups because they are both heavy bands who wear masks, the real hatred reportedly started in 1999 when SLIPKNOT was playing in Cleveland and fans threw things at the group while on stage. SLIPKNOT believed that MUSHROOMHEAD put the fans up to it. The feud ended in 2010 after the death of SLIPKNOT bassist Paul Gray.
In a new interview with the "Talk Toomey" podcast, Felton addressed the SLIPKNOT beef, calling it "a silly fan-fueled and, I guess, media-hyped thing." He explained: "This [was] the '90s, so any sort of news was cool. There wasn't a whole lot back then. And then you get a feud between bands — it's kind of an East Coast-West Coast type of thing. Oh, Lord, here we go. And for some of the entertainment value of it, sure — a lot of us in the band were at the time into it and played it up and had some fun. But I look back and I think I should have did it all when I knew it all. Like, how silly of us to even be...? Obviously, we didn't have any part of it, but to even just jump on the bandwagon of talking to the media about it and going, 'Well, we came first, the chicken and the egg,' and that whole stupid thing. We spent a lot of time complaining about them for nothing. So God bless 'em. They're one of the biggest bands out there. So, it proves that masked heavy metal and that style of entertainment is still relevant, and it's still very relevant."
Felton's comments echo those of MUSHROOMHEAD's J Mann, who told Live Metal in a 2014 interview: "As far as a feud goes, I really think that it was 99 percent media. I don't think we ever really had anything bad to say about them or vice versa. But media was all about trying to sell papers. This was back pre-Internet, in the early '90s when [SLIPKNOT] was taking off and we were signed and people were still trying to sell magazines. But it was really kind of invented, to be honest with you, because fortunately I had the opportunity to hang out with Paul [Gray] and he was a sweetheart of a man. It's sad that he passed away. He was a great guy, and we actually laughed about [the feud]. And then we had a side project and [SLIPKNOT's] Sid [Wilson] is on it. You know what I mean? So the whole basis of it was crazy because we've actually hung out with the guys and we've actually worked with one of the guys. It's just one of those things where gossip sells and creates interest or intrigue. I listen to the band and think they're kickass, and one day I'd like to play with them."
Back in 2011, SLIPKNOT singer Corey Taylor said that he was willing to put his issues with MUSHROOMHEAD to rest for a possible tour featuring the two bands. He said: "My problem has never been with that band, my problem was with their fans at the time. I would welcome it. I'd love to do something like that, you know. Especially now. I think it'd beautiful to put something like that together and just see what fucking happens. Because if it's one thing I've learned, you don't hold on to stupid shit, you let it go."
MUSHROOMHEAD's eighth album, "A Wonderful Life", will be released on June 19 via Napalm Records.