Slipknot's Clown On His Secret Obsession With Fashion And Alexander McQueen

M. Shawn 'Clown' Crahan explains the influence of Alexander McQueen on Slipknot.

Slipknot's Clown On His Secret Obsession With Fashion And Alexander McQueen
Jonathan Weiner

M. Shawn 'Clown' Crahan has long been known as the artistic mastermind behind all things Slipknot, but in a new interview with our friends at The Face, the percussionist has revealed a perhaps surprising influence on his work: fashion, and, in particular, Alexander McQueen.

Calling him his "gateway into fashion", Clown refers to several runaway shows by the late designer – the AW98 show, 2001’s What A Merry-Go Round and 2009’s Horn Of Plenty – as an influence on his performances with the Iowa titans, explaining that there are similarities between the two.

“What I do and the energy I bring to Slipknot is very similar to what he did,” Clown considers. “I understand those shows and the risks he took – it felt perfectly natural when I stumbled across it. It really made me feel like I belong.”

Read this: The 20 greatest Slipknot songs – ranked

Having lost 80lbs over the past few years – “I didn’t like who I was physically…” – Clown continues that he now feels ready to put this fashion-loving side of himself out there more than ever before, lifting the lid on his newfound confidence (which is surprising to hear, actually, given the force of nature that he's been for Slipknot for the past two decades).

“I’ve started coming out of my shell,” he says. “This may sound arrogant but at this point, Clown is iconic. It’s never been about my face – it’s always been about this person. But now he’s at the top of his game and worked so hard to get on with life.”

Clown's comments follow a similar interview Kerrang! had with him in late 2018, when we asked him if he saw himself as an icon. Clearly, his self-belief has grown since then…

“I think the people that are closest to me would tell you that I don’t want to take credit, and I’m really embarrassed by attention – well, the wrong attention,” he admitted. “I have a hard time being recognised, I guess, for my abilities. When you watch someone get to, like, Michael Jordan’s level, you’re just like, ‘Wow.’ I’m not saying I’m Michael Jordan by any stretch (laughs), but what I’m saying is some of the things I do are natural. Like, when you watch him, you see that it’s natural that he can just jump that high. Some of the things that Clown does just come really easy to me, so the attention feels weird.

“I was just born for this, and I want to share art. I know what the definition of iconic is, but I don’t know if I am. I mean… when I see myself in a Clown mask next to all those other iconic guys, I can say, ‘Yeah, I’m iconic.’ Because I see Corey Taylor and go, ‘That motherfucker is iconic! Look at him!’ I guess if I’m standing next to him and I see myself in that OG Clown mask in those red coveralls (laughs), then yeah, it’s pretty iconic. I try my best to do things for all of us that are relevant and pertinent to today. And I feel like that’s where the most euphoria is – it’s like sex to me. I love watching people feel the art and be moved by it.”

For even more Clown goodness, earlier in the week the musician launched a new interview series, The Electric Theater, "a weekly, laid back hang featuring discourse with the world’s most interesting people".

Check out the first episode – featuring Code Orange's Jami Morgan – below.

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