Woohoo. This is too good to be true.
From Today Papers:
SLIPKNOT is accustomed to disgusting its audiences. Judging by its morbid, creepy image, it's even safe to say that the heavy metal band revels in doing that. The nine-piece outfit from Iowa, one of America's most conservative states, is probably unlike any other band lurking in the realm of popular music today. While their sound may be uncompromising and even offensive to some, many agree that they also possess one of the most distinctive sounds in metal, a rarity in a genre that is too often overloaded with manufactured angst and predictability. But perhaps the most striking thing about Slipknot is their grotesque image — the band's nine members have never appeared in public without their facial masks and oversized industrial boiler suits, each marked with its own identifying number. Not unlike that of Marilyn Manson, this is Slipknot's signature attention-grabbing gimmick, an image that mirrors the angst-ridden sentiment of their music. It is a move that has attracted equal amounts of ridicule and awe from fans and detractors alike. Controversies aside, however, the band's record sales have been staggering despite the lack of radio support — its 2004 album Vol 3: (The Subliminal Verses) debuted at No 2 on the Billboard charts and chalked up a Grammy nomination for Best Heavy Metal Performance earlier this year. But it is its performances that Slipknot is most well-known for. Live, their music — stories of alienation, obsession and dementia — reaches fans on a level too deep to ignore, sending crowds into a state of euphoria, where self-loathing and shared negative energy is cleansed by a volley of gargantuan riffs and thunderous drum beats. It is an experience that devotees in Singapore can soon participate in as the band will perform at Fort Canning Park on Aug 16. Concert promoter Lauretta Alabons of LAMC Productions said: "Slipknot is the biggest metal act to play Singapore since Metallica first came here in 1993. It's a real milestone to bring them here." Slipknot's history is a genuine small-town-to-bright-lights success story. But despite all they have achieved since they appeared in 1996, critics would still rather demonise them, just because they wear masks and don't sing love songs. Speaking to Today from his hotel room in Zurich where the band had just played to a sellout audience, Slipknot bassist Paul Gray said: "It is mind-boggling that people still focus on image after all these years. When we (came up with our image), we thought it would be a cool way to get honest reactions from people at our shows. People didn't know what we looked like, so we could get truthful opinions about our music!" Gray is soft-spoken and surprisingly affable, something you wouldn't expect from a man who wears a bloodied pig mask during his performances. "People get us wrong all the time. We got banned from playing in Greece and Ireland, which was funny. We do get all these moral groups calling us evil and Satanic but I suppose that happens when you form a band and play heavy metal," he sighed. However, there is an upside. "This may be cynical, but the way I see it, negativity brings us fans. People get curious and we win some new fans along the way. The truth is, I'm not worried too much about what people say about us," Gray said. Calling himself an outsider, the bassist added that, rather than being influenced by Satanic scriptures, Slipknot is actually a product of the band members' surroundings. "Slipknot is the result of growing up in Iowa," he said. "It's a very bitter, bleak place, basically the worst part of America. There's nothing for young people to do, so they end up messing up their lives." "Growing up in a place like we did, I think we can safely say that we know about isolation. Maybe that's why kids take solace in our music. They can tell that we know exactly what they're feeling — that reality is tough." Gray also puts paid to claims that a typical Slipknot show, while being an intense sonic and visual experience, is also incredibly violent. "Our shows may be brutal but they are also therapeutic. That's what we do — the kids come to our shows and go crazy. Then they walk out, cleansed of all the bad stuff that has built up in them." If nothing else, he added, Slipknot is about being unpretentious. "We have always wanted Slipknot to be totally and just about the music," he said. "Why should anybody see our faces? What have our clothes got to do with anything? All we care about is developing the most insane live shows and making our fans happy. When people tell us we're intense musicians, we take that as a huge compliment." what: Baron's Strong Brew presents Slipknot — "The Subliminal Verses" World Tour 2005 where: Fort Canning Park when: Aug 16, 8pm. Tickets from Sistic.
The human destiny is forever limited by the idiocy of bureaucracy and the excesses of social expectations. - LingNemesis, 2007 C.E.