Slipknot Open Up about New Studio Album and the Loss of Fallen Bandmate

Slipknot Open Up about New Studio Album and the Loss of Fallen Bandmate
It's been two years since Slipknot bassist Paul Gray's untimely death, resulting in the Des Moines, IA nu-metallers taking some much-needed time off. The band have recently played a string of shows, with more on the horizon, including the fast-approaching Heavy T.O. and Heavy MTL, and they have also just released their new compilation album, Antennas to Hell.

In an interview with Exclaim!, percussionist and founding member Shawn Crahan (aka Clown) of the masked nine-member outfit discussed the loss of his fellow founding member, as well as Slipknot's plans to write a new album.

"I think we're going to take less time than people really think, and then we're going to get together and we're going to write a record," Crahan says. "We're going to record a record, we're going to pre-pro a tour, we're going to go out on tour, we're going to drop a record, and we're going to continuing touring supporting that album.

"At this time, if Paul wouldn't have passed, we'd probably almost be done with our fifth album cycle. But things change and things happen and this is where we are and we're not going to force ourselves to go make a piece of shit. We've never done that."

Crahan explains that despite the band moving on, something will always be missing without Gray, who was found dead in May 2010 in an Iowa hotel room after overdosing on morphine and fentanyl.

"We don't forget, we're not ending an era and beginning a new era, we're just acknowledging the time and trying our best to accept it so we can move on," he says. "But there will always be nine [members], no matter what, we don't need to think about a new bass player because there will always be nine, there will always be Paul Gray as number '2' in nine members."

Having released their last full-length, All Hope Is Gone in 2008, prior to Gray's death, Crahan explains that there was some uneasiness towards the title.

"I've always hated that title [All Hope Is Gone], and it's a long story of how that title got to be. But it seemed so natural, it seemed so Slipknot to take on that title. At the end of the [album] cycle when Paul died, I understood what it meant. It meant exactly what it meant and I knew why I didn't like it. It was so profound to me that we could be so in touch with our own reality without even knowing it. It scared the shit out of me because I don't know what's next. I don't want something I don't like again and knowing there's a meaning behind it without us even knowing there's a meaning behind it."

At this point, Crahan is eager for Slipknot to continue playing shows and only write a new record when the band are ready.

"[By performing], we get to share the mindset that we're in right now, which is celebrating my brother's life, his love for his music, his love for his band, his love for his fans, his love for life," he explains. "I think most importantly, since he is gone, for the rest of us, the eight of us sharing in the grief and the loss not by ourselves, but sharing it with our fans. We don't see him on stage, you don't see him on stage, we get through it together and we move on."

Slipknot's Antennas to Hell compilation is out now via Roadrunner. The band are playing Heavy T.O. on August 11 in Toronto at Downsview Park, and Heavy MTL on August 12 in Montreal at Parc Jean-Drapeau. They also have lined up several more U.S. shows, which you can see here.