I have decided to start featuring acts/albums or significant musical events that have influenced myself and even how I see things in some cases. These will not always be deemed as ‘classic’ in the grand scale of musical history however they will all be, what I would consider a part of me. Although I am starting with one of the first bands I ever got into there will be no chronology or order to these articles I’m just going to see how they go to be honest.
It may be a surprise to some that the first band featured are Slipknot, hailing from Des Moines in Iowa, as metal is not a genre that often gets a mention on this sit but this is a band that really got me into music so I really have a lot to thank this band for. There’s a lot of factors that really made Slipknot the perfect band for me at the time so I’ll try to explain how this extreme band lit a fire inside an ordinary teenager from a small West Yorkshire city.
I joined the Slipknot bandwagon late having dismissed the masked nine piece as nothing more than a ridiculous gimmick, as well as being far heavier than anything I had listened to before. I first heard their debut, self-titled, album at college an instantly fell in love with the aural assault that was on display. I went on to record the cd onto a cassette and played it constantly in my bedroom until I purchased my own copy on CD, I ended up owning four copies of said record one of which was my first every vinyl purchase and my first import purchase as well, so you can see the obsession started well.
The brand of metal the band provided was insane at the time as the band had nine members including three drummers and a DJ providing jungle beats amongst a diverse range of others. Looking back at it I’d say it was Slipknot’s ability to splice genres and come up with something different that really got me into them. After playing the album to its absolute death and then some I was eager to hear more, however to my dismay I still had to wait several months till a new album was coming out, but there was some light at the end of the tunnel.
Upon hearing Slipknot, I decided I needed to find out when the next opportunity would be to see this bunch of misfits live would be. I was in luck as the band were due to appear at Ozzfest, headlined by Black Sabbath, at the Milton Keyes bowl. Also, whilst I was waiting for the new album to come out my thirst for music was growing and I started to devour new material, it started with metal bands in the most but has since developed to an eclectic range of genres and acts which has helped me be open minded and willing to give most things a chance. I won’t mention the bands as my teenage love of metal and hard rock could possibly be a theme for a future piece. Again, I won’t speak about the gig too much as it was my first ever and it deserves its own concentrated article, I will say it was one hell of an experience though. It was also the first of three times seeing the band within a 12-month period which is not too bad going for a big American act that doesn’t get to the UK too often.
I can honestly say I’ve never anticipated the release of an album as much even though it was the first time I’d really waited for a record to come out, I think this is probably why I was so excited. A few tracks had been previewed on various radio shows but I had not heard the album in full until I headed down to the local record shop and bought my copy of Slipknot’s, Iowa album. I can only say I wasn’t disappointed in the slightest this album was darker and moodier than their debut and was the perfect step away from the Nu-Metal movement that had begun in the times since their formation.
After releasing Iowa, the band took a hiatus and concentrated on various side projects that they all had, it was around this time that I stopped keeping up on all things Slipknot as I was a ta stage I my life where I just constantly wanted to hear new music. I still bought their records when they came out and kept an eye on the band but the obsession had waned. There was however two pieces of news in the years that followed that really struck a chord with me, the first of which was the unfortunate passing of bassist Paul Gray in 2010. The second of these was departure from the band of drummer Joey Jordison in 2013, a member of the band who I always felt I could really relate to but even so it came as a shock to me that I still had a tinge of sadness after having a distant relationship with Slipknot for several years.
It was with this news that made me return to the band and I must say I still really enjoy their records and the earlier ones resonate with me so much despite the changes in my life, but that’s the beauty of music and what hearing certain songs can do for you. The band have released five albums in total of which the latest was poignantly dedicated and named after the late Gray.
In conclusion, although Slipknot are not band I listen to the most anymore they are certainly one of the acts that has held the most influence over me and although I had listened to some stuff before they were really the ones that started my journey into music so I will be forever thankful to them. I also think that without them this blog may not exist as I don’t know if any other band could have gripped me quite in the way they did at that stage in my life.
I’ve added a five track Spotify playlist of Slipknot tracks, although all their stuff is well worth a listen with the first two albums standing out on a personal level.