Shawn ‘Clown’ Crahan: Slipknot ‘Hated Each Other’ While Making ‘Iowa’
Slipknot percussionist Shawn "Clown" Crahan revealed that he and his bandmates "hated each other" while making their highly anticipated sophomore album Iowa, which turns 20 next month.
In a retrospective Metal Hammer cover story about Iowa, Clown detailed how the success of Slipknot’s 1999 self-titled debut and the pressure to craft a formidable follow-up eroded intra-band relationships. "When we did Iowa, we hated each other," the percussionist said. "We hated the world. The world hated us."
Slipknot's struggle to complete their sophomore album is a classic music industry tale of getting too much, too soon, too fast. The nine masked metallurgists were burnt out from touring relentlessly in support of their debut, having logged over 100 shows in both 1999 and 2000.
Their efforts paid off, as Slipknot was certified platinum in 2000, becoming the first album released by Roadrunner Records to reach the milestone. But the newfound fame, fortune and notoriety amplified the band members' depression and anxiety. They tried to nurse these feelings with booze and drugs, which they could now afford in greater quantities due to their rising stardom.
The members of Slipknot also took this pressure out on each other. "We were just all at odds with each other," frontman Corey Taylor told Metal Hammer. "I don’t know if it was jealousy or if it was just insecurity; 'Am I pulling my weight? Is this person getting more attention than me?' It was just dark, and it really spit in the face of everything the band tried to accomplish on the first album."
The band's struggles were not in vain. Iowa debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200, marking the group's first Top 10 album. It went on to sell over a million copies in the United States, earning Slipknot their second platinum certification and turning the iconoclastic metal group into a household name. With Iowa, Slipknot stuck to their guns and defied the expectations of the music industry and their own team.
"By the time we got to the second album, people needed to be curbed and understand their place and that their opinion didn’t matter as much as they thought it did," Clown told Metal Hammer. "Just because we were the first platinum band on Roadrunner doesn’t give everyone the ability to start advising. When we were home to take a breath, it was clear that [the second album] was gonna be disturbing and force fed to the world."
Slipknot released their last album, the chart-topping We Are Not Your Kind, in 2019. They will embark on the Knotfest Roadshow with support from Killswitch Engage, FEVER 333 and Code Orange in September.