Slipknot’s new album: Everything we know so far

From “gnarly” masks to potentially “conceptual” music, the follow-up to Slipknot’s 2019 album We Are Not Your Kind is taking shape. Here’s what we know.

Slipknot’s new album: Everything we know so far
Emily Carter
Jenn Five

With Slipknot confirming their studio return in May and sharing plans to be finished with recording “by the end of July”, a follow-up to 2019’s incredible We Are Not Your Kind could well be on the cards much sooner than fans had expected (we did have to wait five years for WANYK after .5: The Gray Chapter, remember?).

Frontman Corey Taylor and percussionist/artistic mastermind Shawn ‘Clown’ Crahan (unsurprisingly) haven’t been shy when teasing what’s to come from LP number seven, using words like “brilliant”, “dark”, “melodic”, “heavy” and “weird” – all of which are pretty much par for the course when it comes to the ’Knot. But what else do we know? Well…

It’s “hopefully” coming out in 2021

Yep. When confirming Slipknot’s plans to be done in the studio “by the end of July”, Clown also said in an interview with U.S. radio station 93X that their new album will “hopefully” be released this year. “I believe that this album… It’s God music, man,” he suggested. “It’s the centre of the beast for me. This is a whole other element.

“We as a band have been trying to facilitate certain ideas in recording and songwriting. Songwriting isn’t always just giving our fans Psychosocials and Surfacings – without saying it, sometimes we can write those songs in our sleep; it’s so in us,” he continued. “It’s what we don’t know and what we don’t know how to pull out is what is the love for humanity. I wanna make a difference.”

The album could be Slipknot’s last on longtime label Roadrunner

In the same interview, Clown added that there’s “a lot of things going on” with Slipknot at the moment, stating, “One, we’re getting off our label [after the album]. And I feel free. It’s got nothing to do with what’s next. It’s just got to do with, ‘Get the hell away from me.’”

Corey also said in October of the reason for getting a new LP out sooner rather than later: “I know that we were talking about doing it, ’cause we only have one album left on our contract [with our record label].”

To date, Slipknot have released all six studio albums via Roadrunner Records – from 1999’s self-titled debut to 2019’s We Are Not Your Kind.

It all started in quarantine

“Clown hit me up, he was, like, ‘Hey, we’re gonna start working on some music. Are you down?’” Corey reflected in May of how the band began work on their new album, “I was like, ‘Absolutely. Start sending me some stuff, and we’ll start figuring it out.’

“So they started putting together some rad music, man – really cool stuff that made me start thinking outside my own box and challenging myself,” he continued. “And it was cool, ’cause I got excited again about exploring some different stuff and not just being so driven in my own thing, but thinking outside, trying to tell other people’s stories again. And that’s kind of where I’m going with this new Slipknot album – trying to tell other people’s stories and not just my own. And it’s feeling pretty rad, man. I can’t wait for people to hear it.”

Drummer Jay Weinberg had also pondered late last year that working on new music during the pandemic was pretty much an inevitability for such a creative band.

“It’s been said before, and I have no problem reiterating it, is that we’re all creative people, and when you have creative people like Slipknot has, downtime is not a thought; it doesn’t exist,” he explained to WSOU. “So when we need time to recharge, we recharge. And there’s a saying in Slipknot that ‘off is off’. So we kind of respect that — when off is off, off is off, and that means I’m not gonna answer your phone calls, I’m not gonna answer your text messages. Off is off.

“But there comes a certain point where that creative beast, I think, within all of us, it wakes up after a certain point,” he continued. “I’m like, ‘Okay, I’ve been off tour a certain amount of time. I’m really feeling the itch to get creative.’ And we all have that instinct. So it’s been noted. Things have occurred.

“…I think we’re all really excited with taking advantage of what we can with our downtime year,” Jay added.

And this extra, extended creative period could result in more of… well, everything

Corey told 955KLOS in March 2021 that The Nine were dabbling in “conceptual” waters with their new material.

“Me and Clown have talked about something really, really cool, if we can pull it off,” he enthused. “There’s a chance that it could be conceptual, if we can really do it right.

“I mean, the music is brilliant. It expands on what we did with We Are Not Your Kind – it kind of blossoms from there – but the great thing is, it’s got not only that, but it’s got everything that you would want from a Slipknot project; there’s the heavy stuff, there’s the dark stuff, there’s the melodic stuff, there’s the weird stuff. We have so many different flavours that we can play with that, now, at this point, it’s just us kind of mixing and matching and seeing what excites us.

“That’s all I can say for right now,” the frontman concluded. “But I can tell you that it’s really, really good, man. We’re entering a realm that we’ve never been, and that, to us, is exciting – especially after all of these years. We pride ourselves on always being able to try and top ourselves, and if we can pull this off, this may be the ultimate ‘top ourselves’.”

Corey’s really delivering on the vocal front

“I can just tell you that I’m really happy, and the guys are really happy,” Clown told Download Festival in May. “Corey is on some level of singing that I’ve never heard him, which makes me really emotional.

“Great music has been written, and because of that, my favourite singer on the planet has sang the songs. And this is the first time we can go into a studio with completed lyrics. When I say ‘completed’, I mean written, recorded, but he’s still gonna have his time in the studio to project what he wants to for each individual song. So they’re as done as they can be until he comes in.

“So, we’re in LA,” Clown continued. “That’s about all I can say. And we’re making God music, and we’re having a blast. And it’s just great to be around everybody, and everybody is in the best mood I’ve ever seen. It’s a lot of fun being around the band; it’s a lot of fun not being stressed or having anxiety, and just doing what we do, because we’ve done it for 20 years. And people are finally like, ‘Just do what you wanna do.’ And that’s unusual for us, because it’s usually me going, ‘No. This is what we’re gonna do, whether you like it or not.’ So now, it’s just, like, ‘Do what you want.’ And, man, what a pleasant thing to receive after all these years. It’s a beautiful thing.”

And the frontman’s mask is in the works

In fact, it’s seemingly already ready to go, with Corey proudly revealing in April that it freaked out his wife, and will “fucking scare kids”.

“It’s so gnarly, dude,” he told Steve-O. “It’s really uncomfortable; it freaked my wife out. She won’t look at it – and she loves crazy shit like that. She’s just like, ‘That’s really bothering me, you need to put that picture away!’”

Detailing the process behind making their masks, the frontman said: “Sometimes we have a vision in our head – Clown is really good at it, because he’s an artist, so he’ll go somewhere gnarly and be like, ‘Okay, I’ve got this image…’ and then we’ll have outside people create it. But then there’s some times where you’re just like, ‘I don’t have a real vision, but I have an idea,’ and you talk through it with a visual arts guy or a visual effects guy, and they will create it for you. And then you’ll look at it and go, ‘I like this, change this, blah blah blah.’ And you whittle it down until you get to something that’s really rad.”

We might get to hear Look Outside Your Window before this next era arrives

Slipknot’s much-talked-about 2008 unreleased project, Look Outside Your Window, is supposedly coming during the still-going We Are Not Your Kind cycle, with Clown telling NME early last year: “It was scheduled for Christmas but I just quit asking because I don’t want it to interfere with this – and mainly because of what it is. It needs its own space. We’re having a good time enjoying this album and we have no ego with that. It’s just beautiful art that we want to share in the right way. It’s going to come out on this album cycle. It’ll just be this thing that happens and people won’t even know.”

In an interview with Kerrang! in 2018, Clown discussed the process of writing these mysterious songs, saying, “The truth is: while we were making [All Hope Is Gone], Jim [Root, guitar] and I — who were the only two out of all nine original members who came to the studio – were there every day, from the beginning to the end… And then Corey and Sid [Wilson, DJ] became a part of it, and all four of us became a part of it – it wasn’t just any one person’s. It became ours. And because of that, we played it for a lot of people, and we said, ‘What do you think?’ And these people would always say, ‘It’s not Slipknot.’

“They felt it was something different. So because of that, not to confuse Slipknot or All Hope Is Gone, or [late bassist] Paul Gray passing, or us separating with Joey [Jordison, former drummer], why push this down anybody?”

When asked if he thought the release of this album would be cathartic experience, Clown said, “Yes. We’ve been wanting to get this out since the first year [it was made], but finally the stars lined up. Everything has happened for a reason, and it just feels like a celebration. It doesn’t need a label – we own it. It’s not on Roadrunner, it’s not on a label. It’s ours.

“I don’t need tour dates from this,” he concluded, “I don’t need anything. It feels fantastic to be able to let it out, and I think everyone is gonna really enjoy it. My family loves it, and the people who have heard it love it.”

And possibly even new songs live?

With the new album timeline unknown but a lot of Slipknot live shows coming up, might we get previews of in-the-works material before the record comes out? Possibly. The band are set to hit the road as early as July 2021 on a European run, before heading back to the States with their huge Knotfest Roadshow in September, October and November (Killswitch Engage, FEVER 333 and Code Orange are supporting). C’mon, guys, how about some live teasers soon?

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