Wed 30th Nov, 2011 in Features
Slipknot are due to tour Australia as part of the Soundwave Festival in 2012, how has the dynamic of the live performances changed as a result of not having Paul there on stage with you, and having Slipknot’s original guitarist Donnie Steel filling in for live duties?
It’s definitely changed you know. It’s a subtle change, but it’s a subtle change that’s almost deafening. Paul’s style was so distinctive, and his sound was so distinctive, that not hearing it took me a while to get used to, and still don’t think I’m fully used to it. But it’s about soldiering on, is really what it comes down to.
It’s seeing the audience and being in front of the audience that definitely helps, especially in countries that we haven’t played in a while, and if it’s their first time in seeing us without Paul, there’s such a huge explosion. It’s almost like they’ve been holding their breath for too long, and it comes out in a rush and it hits us. It reinvigorates us to just give it even more, for him, for the audience, for ourselves.
I’m just really happy that we have Donnie to do that, he’s one of the most selfless people I’ve ever met. He was like “You know what, I’m only going to do this if it feels right”, and we all got together and it felt good. It felt right. We were all so close that there was only really only one person who was going to be able to fit those shoes.
How important was it then to have someone close to the band to perform that duty?
It was a weird discussion, let’s put it that way. There were a handful of names that were thrown about, but we all mentioned Donnie’s name, and once we realised we were all on the same page, we were like, “Right – he’s the one. He’s the guy”. He’s the type of person that we were able to kind of put our emotions in his hands, and he kind of just walked with it. It’s been really good to know that we still have the backbone of this band, because Paul’s spirit is still with us, in so many different ways. I mean, there’s not a day that goes by that at least once every hour that I don’t think about him, so it’s just knowing that someone who had Paul’s back has ours now. It makes it infinitely easier.
You’ve played Download Festival, Rock am Ring and Ozzfest, just to name a few, how does the Soundwave line-up compare to some of the bigger festivals you’ve played, and what makes it so enjoyable?
It’s great in a lot of ways, because; a) You know you’re going to get a fantastic audience, and b) You know that nine times out of ten, every other band on the bill are going to be friends of yours. So it makes it just that much more exciting to get together with everybody, and to see people and catch up. I know that when we did Soundwave this year with Stone Sour that I got to see my guys in Sevendust, I got to see my guys in 36 Crazyfists, I mean there were just all these bands that I hadn’t seen in a while, and it was really great. It was a good time, and that’s what it really comes down to.
There can be times when you’re out on the road where it’s just really hard work, and you’re really grinding it out, and you haven’t been home in a while. But then you look over and you see your buddies watching on, and it just kind of re-folds the steel, if that makes any sense. It really gives you a little bit more strength to get through it and do your best for the audience.
Where are Slipknot at with writing new material, and how do you feel about continuing on the writing process? Will Soundwave audience’s hear any new material?
You know, I’m not even thinking about writing another (Slipknot) album right now. I’m just not there yet you know. But I mean, we’re going to put together a really good set, but right now, it just makes more sense to trample together with the band, and not run into a studio, and do things for the wrong reasons, let’s put it that way.
There are rumours that the next Stone Sour album is going to be a double concept album, can you shed some light on that, and what your influences were in writing it?
I’ve been writing almost non-stop. The idea that I have is very grand, and if we do it right, it will probably be the biggest thing of our careers. There are influences from stuff like Alice in Chains, old school thrash like Anthrax and Megadeth, with some really cool acoustic passages.
It’s going to hit on every cylinder and packed into the biggest engine ever, let’s put it that way. It’s a pretty serious story that I’m trying to weave in and out of all these riffs and stuff, so it’s really exciting. It’s basically the story of a man who’s trying to figure it out. He can’t figure out if he’s happier when he’s miserable, or if he’s miserable about not being happy. It’s almost like a mid-life crisis in a way. He’s young enough that he knows that there’s still alot of life to live, but he’s old enough to realise that he can’t be hung up on the romance of teenage depression and youthful aggression. Stuff like that. So he’s really standing at the crossroads of his life, trying to figure out where he wants to go. There are stories about the people around him, stories about his romantic life, and there’s really this internal struggle where he’s going to burn forever or figure it out. Let’s put it that way.
Corey Taylor’s Seven Deadly Sins: Settling The Argument Between Born Bad and Damaged Goods is out now through Random House Publishing.
Soundwave tour dates:
Saturday 25th February – RNA Showgrounds, Brisbane Sold Out
Sunday 26th February – Olympic Park, Sydney
Friday 2nd March – Showgrounds, Melbourne Sold Out
Saturday 3rd March – Bonython Park, Adelaide
Monday 5th March – Claremont Showgrounds, Perth
Monday 27th February – Entertainment Centre, Sydney
Thursday 1st March – Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne