In a brand new interview with Dave Hanratty of Ireland's Joe, SLIPKNOT guitarist Jim Root reflected on his 2016 disc replacement surgery which he underwent just as the band was closing out its world tour in support of the ".5: The Gray Chapter" album. He said (see video below): "I had two crushed discs that was causing my left arm to go numb. I didn't know what was wrong. I was getting really weak on my left side and I couldn't lift my backpack off my shoulder. I didn't know what was going on. It didn't occur to me that it was connected to my neck. But I went and saw a doctor and he was, like, 'Yeah, you've got a fractured verterbrae in your neck and two crushed discs, and it's causing nerve damage.' So I had two discs replaced in my neck and then I had one replaced in my lower back. Twenty years of touring and headbanging and doing what we do on stage, after a while, it kind of wears you down. But I'm trying to do better. I'm trying to exercise more and change my diet."
Root also spoke about the difficulties of spending so much time on the road, especially when he is trying to take the necessary steps to improve his health.
"Touring is hard, man," he said. "It's hard to find good food to eat. It's hard to get out and actually do stuff and be active. 'Cause you're so worn out from all the traveling, it's, like, 'Do I really wanna try to go jogging today?' 'No.' 'I can just flip on my Xbox and play 'Call Of Duty' instead.'
"It's a lot of work," he admitted. "It's a lot of sacrifice. And recently, I've had to try to explain that to some people. It's, like, the real work starts when you get a record deal and you get out there and you start doing things and you start putting records out. You have to be thinking about your next record while you're working on the record you're working on. You always have to be a step ahead of yourself. And there's always something happening. And there's travel. It's hard on relationships — not just personal relationships, but with family, friends. Missing your home. It's almost like you have two alternate realities that you live in — you have your home world and then your touring world.
"I've put off having a family, 'cause I knew that I was gonna be gone on the road all the time, so when I go home, it's just, like, me. You know what I mean?" he added. "So that's a hard thing for me to wrap my brain around, and it's a little bit difficult sometimes. Some of the other guys — Clown [Shawn Crahan, percussion] and Corey [Taylor, vocals] — they have children and wives and things like that. And I'm sure for them, it's a weird transition to make. 'Cause when we tour, we don't just tour for a month or two and then we're done for the year. We tour six, eight, maybe sometimes nine or ten months a year, and that's a lot of time being away from home. And over twenty years, I'm starting to realize, at the age that I'm at now, that it's, like, wow, I kind of have given my entire life to this band — willingly. I don't regret it. And I wouldn't change a second of it. I've learned so much."
SLIPKNOT is continuing to tour in support of its latest album, "We Are Not Your Kind", which came out last August. The disc sold 118,000 equivalent album units in the U.S. in its first week of release to land at position No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart.