August 4, 2008
Givin’ ‘Em the Slipknot: Maniacal Metal Band to Make Mayhem in Mansfield
By Dave Wedge, Boston Herald
Aug. 4--While many rock stars spend their downtime pondering when to order room service, Slipknot percussionist Shawn "Clown" Crahan spends his days working feverishly to make sure his hydraulic drum riser won't snap in mid-air and plunge him to yet another near-death injury.
Such is life when you're in a maniacal mob that currently has one member in a wheelchair because he broke both heels leaping off a riser.
"One wrong move and uh-oh, Slipknot fashion," said Crahan, who's also known as #6 of the nine masked metal masters. "Nothing in Slipknot is safe."
The agonizing injury to Sid "#0" Wilson occurred in Washington during the first show of the Iowa-based band's run on the Rockstar Mayhem Fest, which pulls into Mansfield's Comcast Center tomorrow.
The injury hasn't slowed either Sid or the band. In fact, when the Herald caught up with Crahan by phone from St. Louis, the keg-slamming percussionist was desperately working with his crew to reinforce the welding on his drum lift. The reason? The previous night, Sid hung from it and it nearly broke off, which would have likely plummeted both musicians to further injuries.
"Sid was crawling on it and it bent forward, and I could feel it. If we had been on it anymore, I think we would have been done," Crahan said.
Live, Slipknot is a seizure-inducing spectacle. But perhaps even more impressive is the fact that the Grammy-winning band has retained the same nine members for almost a decade.
"We have an unwritten oath that would never be understood by anybody about what we do and what we are," Crahan explained. "It's like this giant self-experiment on tolerance."
Rumors of the band's demise are constantly swirling, largely fueled by the success of singer Corey Taylor's other platinum-selling band, Stone Sour, and other members' side projects. But every couple of years they come back stronger than ever, and with redesigned versions of their horror-flick-inspired masks. The band's latest album, "All Hope Is Gone" (Roadrunner), comes out later this month and if the blistering first single "Psychosocial" is any indication, it'll be one of metal's best this year.
"It's an ongoing journey. It's just another constellation in the nine-point star of Slipknot," Crahan said of the new record.
As for the grueling -- and frequently painful -- life on the road, he added: "If it wasn't for the god of music, I wouldn't be able to get out there. I love it. As much as I hate it sometimes, I love it."
Rockstar Mayhem Fest featuring Slipknot, Disturbed, Mastodon, Machine Head, The Red Chord and more at Comcast Center, Mansfield, tomorrow. Tickets: $25.25-$49.75; livenation.com.
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