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Where are Slipknot from?

Des Moines, Iowa

When did Slipknot form?

The original Slipknot group was that of Anders, Shawn and Paul, they had the idea of making a group and played around with the idea, they even wrote some songs as early as 1992. However Shawn became busy and project “Slipknot” fell through. Fortunately the idea was revived in 1995 by Shawn and Anders and thus Slipknot was officially formed in the September of 1995.

Where does the name ‘Slipknot’ originate from?

Slipknot was a song by Painface (Basement sessions).Once Anders left Slipknot, he took the name ‘Painface’ with him and started a new band with that name in 1998. Anders came up with the name ‘Slipknot’. At first, it was a song but later it became a bandname. So ‘Slipknot’ was actually a Painface song.

Anders explains – “The name of the band came from Slipknot, the song. The song title was meant to be Noose, because I felt like strangling people back then, but Noose sounded goofy, so I went the opposite direction. Slipknot is a knot that comes loose when pressure is applied. Much different than one that continues to get tighter as it is pulled.”

What are these Basement sessions from 1993 all about?

The Basement sessions were 5 songs recorded by Anders Colsefni, Patrick Neuwirth, Paul Gray and Shawn Crahan in Paul’s basement in 1993 under the name “Painface” (A band name Anders Colsefni later re-used) . Songs that were recorded include “Slipknot, “Gently”, “Idiot”, “What’s wrong” and “Wise up(unreleased)”.

When did slipknot play their first show?

Josh Says “Our first show was actually under a different name, MELD. It was at a club that I believe was called the Crobar at that time. We did it without masks, about a month or two after I got into the band (I’m thinking it was mid to late Nov. 95′). That was the only show we ever did with Donnie. The first show with masks we had Craig on guitar.” They later got in touch with Mick so Craig could concentrate on sampling.

Who was this Sophia John person?

Sophia John was Slipknot’s first manager and played a big role in the band’s rise to fame.

Who is Sophia John?
Sappy compliments ensue: Sophia is the brain behind the music here. Her knowledge of Modern Rock and Alternative music (among many other types as well) have unquestionably brought KKDM the successes and popularity it’s received in Iowa, and literally around the world! I doubt there’s anyone in the midwest who’s more connected to the music industry than Sophia! Hence, more promotional CDs & concert tickets to give away, more big-name acts and promotional events (ie: Lollapalooza & Bush Bowl ’96). So, join Sophia John every weekday afternoon. Enjoy the music!

Sophia John, Music Director, Assistant Program Director, Afternoons 3-7PM.

I’m 100% Greek, a Cleveland native, I have an attitude problem, and I love music. My mother wanted me to be a banker, and my father wanted me to be a chiropractor, and all I knew was that I loved music. I was in my third year in college at UNL, Nebraska. Major: Undeclared. Daydreaming in class that I was 40 years old, married with four kids. Sitting on the couch with a flower-print fringe cover, sewing dingy white socks with holes, and this hairy, horny bastard of a husband came home from work and said, “What’s for dinner honey?”.

And that’s all I would have to show for my life at the age of 40. So, I took a class in broadcasting and fell in love with the music, and radio, and decided I could get up every morning for the rest of my life and go to work, and be happy about it. I’m a freak for Elvis Costello, NIN and Body Count, and at the same time, Cat Stevens, Luka Bloom, Live. 7 Mary 3 and Sister Soleil appeal to me too.

Music Trivia is my game, so if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call me, or leave email (I need to learn that). Don’t be a stranger, and remember, Dee Jays go to the bathroom just like everyone else does.

Rock On…,

Sophia John.

What are the Rules and AIMS of Slipknots?

Shawn says “Well, I started the band in 1995, and there were two rules. We had to play what we wanted to play, and doesn’t matter what we play, how we play, how much it cost to see us play… And the second rule was that I wanted to have three drummers”. basically, all of us are form different bands that had opened up for each other with the common philosophy of, we were just sick of the way that everything was going in our hometown. There was no music scene, it was hard to get bands CDs in that we liked and it was just frustrating and so Slipknot was born and they were on a mission to clean up the industry The band’s initial aims (and what it still is) were to create something that the world has never seen, and probably will never again. We really sensed that people were ready for a show, not just guys playing some music.

Where did they practice?

When Slipknot first started practicing, they played in Anders basement. To soundproof the walls, they took carpet samples and scraps from a nearby Pet Grooming center… according to Mick, “The animals that were there had bladder problems, because the carpet smelled like animal piss… thereby making our practice space smell the same way.” The basement Slipknot practiced in was so small that not all the guys could fit in the main area, so Craig, as cheesy as it may sound, had to set his equipment up and jam from the laundry room.

Later however in 1998 they often rehearsed at Sid’s parents house.

Explain the percussion methods in the band.

At the beginning, when I started the band with the bass player, I was the drummer, but I didn’t want to play drums anymore. And then we got Joey in the band. Joey plays the main set which is all acoustic drums, and he is the main drummer; he sits in the back and is the glue that holds the band together. The Clown is a total power drummer, he is all aggression. Now, they have acquired using electronic drums to work with the samples for a different element to the music. The third drummer (Anders/Chris) takes care of a tribal, auxiliary sound while Anders would also do vocals. They wanted three perspectives for an almost auditory overkill. They are a very percussion heavy band. Shawn started the band and decided that he wanted to have three drummers because I am very into tribal, power stuff and also wanted the basics of all instruments which he believes is the drums. Shawn wanted one guy to stand on the left side of the stage and one on the right and to have a really kick ass drummer in the back and then you just have this wall of power that would be the fist layer. . .

I’ve heard of a place called ‘The Safari’, what place was that and who owned it?

The Safari Night club was a club within Des Moines that was the only place that new up and coming acts in the whole rock and punk scene can be found.People who have played there include Slipknot, Amen and At the Drive in.Originally the bar was a blues club named Baggs and then turned into a reggaee/african music club for a short while.When Tony (the owner at the time) was ready to sell the bar Shawn stepped in and bought the bar. That lasted for about a year until he had to put his full attention into Slipknot. He sublet the place to a guy named Jake for awhile until Hairy Mary’s bought the place. After Hairy Mary’s closed the place became a college hangout called ‘The Dublin’ for about ten years. Currently the building is home to “Lefty’s Live Music”.


Here Slipknot played several shows and became well known within Des Moines. It is here which Battle of the Bands show took place. “The battle of bands was important because it really brought the full scope of the Des Moines scene into focus. Not only did it establish Slipknot as the band to see but it showcased the talent of Des Moines and help a lot of musicians to realise that they were not alone. Many contacts & friendships were started there.”

Paul Gray used to work at the door back in the day.


Anders “Shawn didn’t share ownership of Safari – he owned the whole thing. He ran it for about a year, remodelled some of it (such as a bigger a stage and whatnot), and then the band became way too busy, so he sold it to a young guy named Jake. He ran it for about a year or so, then sold it to the guys who owned the ORIGINAL Hairy Mary’s (different location), as well as GT’s (small import bar), and Big Tomato Pizza. That’s about it. It’s your typical smelly, dirty, underground club that holds about 500 people sack-to-back. ”

DaVo “Shawn owned the club from Feb 1st, 1997 until Nov 15th, 1997 and Slipknot practised on and off there, even while Jake owned the place.”


Did the members always wear the same masks on stage?

Actually back in the day Shawn and Paul were known to switch to other clown and pig masks during sets and then switch back after a couple of tracks. Craig was also known to wear a white hairless clown mask on stage during an old Safari Club gig.

Was there obvious pressure in competing in the 1996 Battle of the Bands?

We were definitely psyched. I’ve never seen us come together as much as we did at that time. Recording is one thing but when it came to the pressure we were all really competitive. I think that’s the only way a band needs to be. There is competition and we like it that way. That night we went up against Stone Sour they were really on it that night, but we pulled together and ended up winning. It was probably one of the highlights I’ve had in being in a band. Right now with the line up we have and the style of music we play we have the best musicians coming out of Des Moines and I couldn’t be playing with a better bunch of people

How do I know if my copy of “MFKR” is real OR fake?

Easiest way to begin is to see whether you have the correct tracklisting, MFKR never came with Bonus tracks from the self-titled album. Secondly i recommend you visit Mate Feed Kill, They have a series of tips to let you know whether you have a legitimate copy or not.

What is “Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat.”? and where do I get it?

Shawn explains “In 96 we made our first album called, “MATE. FEED. KILL. REPEAT.” And that album was, basically, a kind of soul searching musical experience. We decided that we were going to experiment with a whole bunch of different musical styles to which we would assemble under the name SLIPKNOT”. This RARE ass album is now out of print. Only 1,000 copies were ever made. By the time the record was released officially through Distributor -ISMIST, their were only about half left, most were given away as promo’s during gigs.

Will “MFKR” be re-released anytime soon by the band OR roadrunner records?

Due to the popularity of the album, began a Petition to the “Slipknot” to RE-RELEASE the album Online via The Petition has well over 3,000 signatures and the band are aware of the campaign so please sign the petition by following this link HERE

How did the funk/ disco component enter into Slipknot’s genre of music?

Pretty much from different influences. It first appeared in “Do Nothing/Bitch Slap” which is this song that goes through funk, to industrial, to jazz, then to all out heaviness, with disco in the middle. It worked itself out magically. But we are always going to be a heavy band. All our diverse elements are going to be based around heavy riffs because for us there is nothing like playing all out pissed aggressive music, that’s what really gets us off. Throwing in [the funk, the disco, the rap] just adds so much spice. I don’t like going to see bands who just wear flannel and stand up there and play their three chords, there’s more to life than that and more to music.

Anders explains – The Funk and Disco elements heard in various songs off MFKR were due to Paul, he came up with that goofy idea, since he was all funk-oriented. He had a good mind for what disco should sound like. ick. lol

Why the masks?

Josh says” One of the fist questions they asked me was whether I was willing to wear a mask or not. My favorite band being Kiss, of course I said ‘FUCK YEAH!!!’. We actually had a bunch of different masks around our rehearsal place, we would often trade and wear different masks. I think mine started when I wore a ski mask stocking cap to practice one night. We were playing and I just pulled it down”. Mick says “Shawn, the clown, had his mask for years. Shawn put it on one day while the band was just fucking around and it was fun. Shawn put on the mask, next thing you know… all the band members started bringing in their own masks. Masks change you, allow you to be someone other than yourself. Took a chance, went fucking nuts and it worked. Wasn’t a big contrived thing.” Joey says “We never put on the shit we wear to try and get people into us. We did it because, after being degraded constantly for trying to play music or do something in Des Moines, it just came to be like we were an anonymous entity. No one gave a fuck, no one cared, so we were never about our names or our faces; we’re just about music. So we just put it on and it started getting’ people, and it just started to turn into this big thing. The music’s the most important, though.

What does Mate Feed Kill Repeat mean?

Anders says that it represents the circle of life – Reproduce , Feed to survive and Kill to overcome the opposition then the cycle repeats itself. Josh says “MFKR is the cycle of life in it’s most basic form. Cover art consists of Joey sitting in a huge metal Death Cage that Shawn welded.” Shawn: I’m a welder, and I’m really into steel and the theory behind metal and everything. I’ve made things that the band likes. The MFKR album cover had this cage on it called “Patiently Awaiting the Jigsaw Flesh.” It was a sculpture that three of us made. Every time we carry it, someone gets brutally cut.

Who are those guys in the inside tray of MFKR?

Many of you guys out their think that those guys are Slipknot, while technically you are correct because the guy with the steel frame around his face is actually Cuddles, the ex-percussionist well before he was in the band. His name is Greg and he was the bands tattooist at the time. The other guys name is Dav-O and he also was the bands tattooist and good friend at AXIOM PIERCING.

What was it like Back in the day?

Back then we had very, very wacky shows instead of like, now we have all the same masks and stuff but in the old days, I would rent a Barney suit or a nuns suit or someone would wear a ballroom dress. . . and one of the guitar players would dress up like Little Bo Peep. Our shows, even though they were really dark and scary and underground, there was a humor to what we did and that went along with some of the music that we created like at the beginning of the shows the Strobe lights would kick in and Craig would play a sample loop of a maniacal laugh and ice cream man chimes which added to the anticipation. The Clown dropped his power saw, sending sparks across the already charged crowd, We also had this one song called “Do Nothing Bitch Slap” and it went from grindcore to death metal to punk and reggae and then ending in disco. It went through all of these different variations of musical styles but all under the name SLIPKNOT and we were able to make that work

Has Slipknot always been Nine people?

No. When the band started in 1995 there were only 6.( Anders , Shawn , Josh , Joey , Paul , Donnie ) next member to join was Craig Jones to replace Donnie who quit , the band then grew to seven because Craig wanted to work on sampling and so got Mick to take over guitars, The band then grew to eight with the addition of Corey , soon after Anders left and so they got in touch with Cuddles , the band then grew to 18 legs with the addition of Sid Wilson , Later on Josh quit and the band got in touch with James Root. Cuddles was then fired in the summer of 1998 and replaced by Brandon Darner who played only one gig with the band. Eventually they brought on Chris Fehn to handle the percussion and backup vocals with Clown.

Do all members play on every song?

No. Mick says “Things never get cluttered. We only use shit that fits. If there’s a song in which Shawn and Anders’ percussion has no place, then it’s not in there.” you will usually see Shawn pumping up the crowd whilst Anders Sings.

What does “Slipknot” mean?

Mick says “No real deep meaning.. just one of those things.” ” Joey says “The first track off Mate.Feed.Kill.Repeat is titled “Slipknot”, and that is the song that we always opened with. It was just simple and sounded cool and it was pretty easier to remember. Like there is no actual meaning to the name and we don’t even consider what an actual “Slipknot” is.

What does 742617000027 mean?

This number is the barcode number on the Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat album, The band purchased the rights to this barcode and is used and abused only by Slipknot

What is that sound at the start of the song Slipknot and the end of Dogfish Rising?

The sound at the start of Slipknot is Shawn recording a power saw in the studio, overlapped and sampled against the noise of Anders ripping all the electrical tape off his face and beard, all of the samples heard including the Famous “Black and Decker dildo’s” verse were put together by Shawn Anders and Producer Sean Mcmahon, the secret track Dogfish rising is actually a song filled with samples and loops including the voices of many friends of the band .

Which members were present when recording Mate Feed Kill Repeat?
MFKR WAS Slipknot, but isn’t anymore. Original members for the recording:

Anders Colsefni: Vocals
Donnie Steele: Guitars
Josh Brainard: Guitars/b. vocals
Paul Gray: Bass/b. vocals
Shawn Crahan: Percussion/b. vocals
Joe Jordison: Drums

Who is Corn Wallace?

“C. Wallace is Me (Anders). Sometimes it was Joey. He came up with the name. When recording MFKR, he scribbled this funny, childlike picture of a monster with big, long claws and crazy hair. He wrote Corn Wallace under it. We all laughed our asses off. So, we played with the name. I used it to sign biographical writings I did for the band, so people would think we had some poor guy chained up in our practice place (my basement) writing stuff for us. Joey drew pictures and signed them C. Wallace. That’s about it.”

What is Crowz and what is the Shit video? all about

Crowz refers to a saying we (slipknot) started which started following a spooky incident when we where taking Paul home after a studio session, and the road his place was on was covered entirely with crowz, or blackbirds, or whatever. Thousands upon thousands of them. When the headlights flashed over them, they all took to the trees as one big, black mass. It was eerie. Then, they all sat in the trees and phone lines watching us. That’s where Crowz came from. Plus, Shawn found a dead one in his driveway, and kept it in a big, commercial pickle jar, and carried it around at shows until it turned to mush, During shows Shawn would open the jar, this would cause him to vomit all over the place and also cause fans to start vomiting all over the place. It was (sic), it was kept in the jar with all the bacteria and flesh eating creatures. It started secreting this brown liquid and became a fine sauce. [yum] Some kids broke the jar open and played catch with it for awhile and now it’s disposed. According to an Interview with Corey in 2009 “The Crow kind of turned to sauce and was kind of ceremoniously buried in the floor of the old bar that Clown used to own (Safari Club) ” —–The shit video was an actual pornographic scat film that everyone laughed at in the studio lounge. We made our producer watch it once, and he locked himself in the studio control room, and layed on the floor meditating for 1/2 an hour. For more info on Crowz go checkout the crowz section

I’ve seen the Bootleg “SLIPKNOT – Live Rare and Unreleased”, is that an official release?

The album “Live Rare and Unreleased”, is a bootleg released by featuring tracks that were not released officially.

What is ‘Wave Like the Pope?’ all about?

Wave Like The Pope was a song we recorded for MFKR, but we cut it because it was a “ska” song, and it wasn’t “US”.

I’ve heard a live recording from the MFKR days of an unknown track with an intro riff sounding strikingly similar to the one in ‘Eeyore’ (self titled album bonus track). What song was that?

“Idiot”. It was one of the first songs we wrote in our “Pre-Slipknot” jam session. It was me, Paul, Shawn on drums, and Pat Newirth on guitar. The original basement session version of ‘Idiot’ evolved into Interloper late on.

What is the story behind Do Nothing/Bitchslap? Were they two different songs in the beginning that got merged together or what?

“They were always “one” song, but since it was such a jump-around song, I slash-titled it. The words for the heavy parts came from a poem Shawn wrote called Do Nothing. Bitchslap just sounded right for the funk part. Together, the two parts make absolutely no sense with each other. lol. -Anders

What is the source of “You’re like school in summertime, No Class!” on Do Nothing/Bitchslap?

The source is a Bill Cosby cartoon from the 80’s called “Fat Albert”. It was a joke one of the guys said all the time. lol. – Anders

Anders, I read somewhere a while back that Slipknot did a cover of a Misfits song while you were in the band. Is there any truth to that? Do you remember what year?

Yeah-we did “Hybrid Moments” all slow and doomlike back around 1996. It was fun, and we played it once live.

What does Anders say in the beginning intro of the song ‘Slipknot’? It’s very unclear and sounds muffled. Is it a sample maybe?

Not a sample. That is Anders mimicing a line from the 1993 motion picture Tombstone and the line goes “Law don’t go’round here, savvi?”

On the back of the MFKR album it says Copyright 1996 Pale One music. What is that all about?

Anders: The “Pale Ones” refer to a particular creature from the “Vampire-Masquerade” and “Werewolf-Apocalypse” rpg’s. We had to put something there, so being creative as we are, we grabbed something from what had a lot to do with Shawn and I creating the band.

Craig used to close MFKR sets with the sample ‘That is one big pile of shit.” Where is that sample taken from?

That sample is taken out of the movie ‘Jurassic Park’

What is that strange noise in the beginning of the song ‘Windows’?

That’s actually a sample from Craig, and it’s a washing machine noise.

What was the whole thing with the ‘Beaver tail’?

I remember sitting at the club one night when Aaron K brought in this Beaver Tail and gave it to Shawn. I remember Shawn with one of his shit eating grins on his face accepting it. At their next show not only did it come out in the show but Shawn took a bite of it and then threw up. Corey not to be up staged also took a bite and threw up. – DaVo

Who were the Sleepy Clan? And how were they related to Slipknot back in the day?

Slipknot’s first fanclub. These kids are devoted wearing full cover alls, mask and all in the club when it was well over 110 degrees in there. I remember them dropping like flies being taken outside to be revived and then returning to the front again. – DaVo

I’ve heard of a festival called Dotfest, can you tell us a little bit about it?

DaVo: DOTfest was a Radio Organized outdoor festival that was created and ran by former Slipknot manager and promotions director of 107 The DOT 5, Sophia John. It was the first festival of it’s kind held in the Des Moines. The DOT unlike a majority of the other radio stations 107.5, mainly due to Sophia’s influence, heavily promoted, supported and organized live Music in Des Moines.


The both festivals were held at the Ankeny Airfield which was located just East of I-80 and south of NE 78th Ave. The airfield was used mainly for smaller airplanes and a model aircraft club. They did WWII re-enactments.

dressmickjoey7m joeym
Mick and Joey at the first Dotfest in 1997 – click photos to enlarge

The festival was held for two years in June 1997 and June 1998. It was a mix of local, regional and national acts under the label of Alternative. There was everything from Ska to Metal. Slipknot played both of them.

I’m a little hazy on who played the first one because I spent most of the day piercing. I know House of Large Sizes, Billy Goat, Frogpound and Reel Big Fish played.

The second one in 1998 was more name bands on the main stage and a second stage with regional and local bands.

Dotfest II at Ankeny Airfield
Here’s a line up –

It would be the last year because the station closed and was sold later that year. Lazar fest started I believe in 1999 or maybe I just didn’t take note of it in 97. It was at the same location and it was there that one of the Wait and Bleed videos were filmed in 99. I’m in it for a minute and the guy stage diving is long time friend of the band and Paul, Frank Plumley. Also a number of the early people that surround the band were standing on the edges of the stage.

Oh and the line up in 1997 would have been Andy, Joey, Shawn, Paul, Josh, Craig and Mick. It was also the only appearance of the “gimps” played by Lanny MacCleary, Greg(Butch/Babyface) Welts, Frank Plumley and a friend of Greg’s from California named Slick Rick. They all had on fetish type items like ball gags, leather masks, liquid latex, etc… and pretty much jumped around the stage and made asses of themselves.

The original plan was to have Slick Rick, who was a licenced Stunt man, come out dressed as Shawn. Then Shawn would come out and set him on fire, The story was that they couldn’t get permits from Ankeny but I think Sophia just didn’t want to deal with it. The ignition gel would sit in the cooler at Safari for years.

Official Dotfest 2 t-shirt from ’98 – click photo to enlarge

Click here to view photos from Dotfest 2

The second one 1998, I believe the line-up would have been Paul, Shawn, Joey, Josh, Craig, Mick, Sid, Corey and Greg. Also, I believe this was the only time that Corey performed live the duet Liar with Sister Soleil. That seems to be a part of their history that seems lost. They flew Corey all the way to the UK to record it at Real World Studios in Box, Wiltshire. I know that Universal Records footed the bill but I can’t remember if it made the record or not. I think the record was one of the biggest losses in the history of the company, who spent millions on it only to sell less than a few thousand. She would pop up again in Slipknot history with Shawn’s Dirty Little Rabbit which I’m sure the name was taken from the movie Gummo. He was obsessed with that movie.

What was the whole ‘Sauce’ thing about?

I’m not sure where the whole sauce thing started but it was this really hot red sauce that they sealed into little plastic baggies. Then they would toss them into the crowd. Like the Crowz caught phrase, The word Sauce was repeated over and over. – DaVo

Do Slipknot consider Mate.Feed.Kill.Repeat as their first album?

According to an interview with Clown and Joey in mid 1999 MFKR was a Demo CD (Soul searching)

Slightly off-topic, but can you tell me the order that the names for Slipknot were used out of ‘Pull My Finger’, ‘Pull’, ‘Painface’, ‘Meld’, ‘The Pale Ones’, ‘PygSystem’ and obviously ‘Slipknot’ is last? (Taken from The Official Anders Colsefni Fansite)

Meld, Slipknot. The others were never used, except for song titles.

How did ‘PygSystem’ come about? What does it mean? Is that the correct way to present the word? (Taken from The Official Anders Colsefni Fansite)

That’s the correct spelling, and Paul came up with it, I believe. It just sounded cool, yet gross.