PureVolume.com recently conducted an interview with SLIPKNOT co-founder/conceptualist/percussionist Shawn M. Crahan (a.k.a. Clown). A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
PureVolume.com: Knotfest, your first festival ever, will launch in Iowa in August. Talk a little bit about that. I read it was going to be a "dark festival experience."
Crahan: It's something we've wanted to do forever. In the early days of the band, we did Ozzfest and one tour and that was that. We couldn't get on any bills. [Organizers] could never make it work because there were nine of us, so we just started headlining our own shows. Then METALLICA took us out, and we started get on some festivals. We've headlined every single European festival — you name it — and we always thought they were great because their festivals would last four days, and one night it would be metal, another hip-hop, another pop . . . We thought it would be great if we could make our own festival with our own thought process. We just want to do what we want to do with things that we think should be brought to rock n' roll. [At Knotfest] you're going to get assaulted. You're going to walk in and smell like SLIPKNOT all weekend long. We've had a tragedy with Paul [Gray, SLIPKNOT's bassist who passed away in 2010] and we've been trying to figure that out . . . it's just bringing more than just the band. We're bringing the band's ideas.
PureVolume.com: What pushed you forward after Paul's death?
Crahan: What drove us … I think just the fact that our fans are so important to us. When it first happened, we didn't know what to think or feel. I started the band with Paul and it's hard to think of going on without him; I still have a lot of goals. But there's always just going to be nine members. He's #2, that was his number, and he'll never not be with us. We'll always be nine forever. If we ever decide to get another bass player, we'll worry about it then, but he won't have a number. There's only nine.
PureVolume.com: Do you wish Paul could've seen Knotfest?
Crahan: He was a big contributor to that thought process. That's why we're doing it in Iowa first. He's from Venice [Beach, California] so he got to see all those bands growing up like SLAYER. In Iowa, if a big band skips Des Moines or another big city, we'd have to drive to Chicago or Minneapolis to watch them. So now, it's not revenge or anything but hey, we're doing Knotfest and you can only see it in Iowa for the first one. We checked ticket sales and a lot of them are from Chicago so that's cool. If you love music, you're driven to go where you need to go to see what you need to see. If you want to go see Knotfest, you have to get in your car and drive, and that's what we did growing up.
PureVolume.com: What about the new album?
Crahan: We've been gone for a while; by this time we would've already had another album out, but because of Paul we're taking our time. I was happy to convince the label to do the upcoming album which is not really a "best-of," I hate that term. Maybe the closest I'll get as a description is it's kind of a compilation album. I needed time to work on the artwork . . . but it's the sort of album you gotta ponder and conceptualize with your friends. It's four albums over 12 years and you're hearing it all together — it's a different listening experience.
Read the entire interview from PureVolume.com.