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CLOWN ON 9.0:LIVE

Posted on February 12, 2008

The Clown spoke to MTV.com about the band’s forthcoming double live album. “Studio albums are cool because they span the tables of time and you can work on the music until you’re ready to put it out – but when you play those songs live, they take on a whole different life,” revealed percussionist Shawn “Clown” Crahan. “Suddenly, it’s of the moment and there’s this raging human pulse that’s full of anger, love, hate and pain, and you spit that out to people and they taste that album differently.” In Slipknot’s case, it’s the taste of gasping desperation. As urgent and turbulent as Slipknot sound on CD, the nine band members create a whole different realm of cacophony onstage. Members collide, fans clamber up and knock over equipment, masks suffocate and choke the musicians. It’s a state of anarchy that few bands can create, let alone harness into concrete, discernable songs. “While we’re playing, we’re dying under our masks and exploding with the adrenaline of achieving our goal, which is to be as completely uncomfortable as humanly possible for our art,” Crahan said. “We’re slamming our heads and screaming at each other. There’s real pain there. For me, it’s the pain of mortality and the pain of being away from my wife and her being ill. And when the show ends, we look at each other’s eyes, and we know we’ve pushed ourselves as far as we can at that point on that day in this life of ours.” To make sure the songs on ‘9.0 – Live’ were as tight as possible, Slipknot recorded dozens of shows over the past year from their tours for The Subliminal Verses. Then, they listened back to the hundreds of hours of tape to locate the best performances, which were strung together with very few overdubs. While recording so many shows made it easier to find performances that were up to the band’s standards, having every riff and beat recorded gave the musicians extra incentive not to screw up. It’s a lesson they learned back in 2002 when they were recording shows for their DVD “Disasterpieces.” “When we got the audio back from ‘Disasterpieces,’ we realized we all gave a really, really good performance in part because we knew we were being taped,” Crahan said. “And we knew then that there was a lot of potential for a live album, so we decided to tape lots of shows and make sure we were on point the whole time. We are very anal-retentive when it comes to playing anyways, so we are very hard on ourselves and no one comes up half-assed or they get beaten down. But when you’ve got a microphone hanging onto your every note, you tend to give maybe 115 percent instead of 110 percent.” The visceral quality of the recordings Slipknot sifted through brought back many painful memories: bassist Paul Grey collapsing from exhaustion, percussionist Chris Fehn jumping the wrong way and tearing a ligament in his knee, and Crahan grappling with DJ Sid Wilson 10 feet off the ground and taking a dive headfirst into the concrete. “I had no time to think or react,” Crahan recalled. “I just remember hitting and seeing a white light, and then thinking it was like I was in a car wreck and I’m going, ‘Am I gonna make it?’ I felt it hard and was very sore for about two weeks afterwards. We laughed about it because it emphasized the extent of my reality. If I didn’t have music, I’d be no good here [on this planet], so I’ll gladly fall like a bag of flesh to the ground.” Back in the safety of his home in Des Moines, Iowa, Crahan is currently working on a video for the 9.0: Live recording of “The Nameless,” which he will direct, using a combination of live shots and backstage footage. Around the same time the clip is distributed to video outlets, the version of the song that’s on Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses will be sent to metal radio as the group’s next single. By Jon Wiederhorn The MTV.com Site REMEMBER: SLIPKNOT – 9.0:LIVE – OUT OCTOBER 31st

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