Masked headbangers Slipknot have released a video of the first live performance of “The Devil in I,” a song off this year’s .5: The Gray Chapter that they debuted at their own Knotfest in San Bernardino, California this past October. The clip shows the nine-piece band convulsing about the stage in red light as flames spew forth from the stage and line the walkways leading up to their drum riser.
Although “The Negative One” was the first song and video that the group released from the album, the band has called “The Devil in I” the album’s first real single. Its video was also the first time fans got a glimpse at the band’s latest versions of their masks, as well as the band’s new bassist and drummer, who have yet to be identified officially, following the death of founding bassist Paul Gray and departure of drummer Joey Jordison.
Gray’s absence weighed heavily on the band during the making of the album, which it named in honor of the bassist who died of a drug overdose in 2010. “Paul taught me so much, he’s the bottom line,” percussionist Shawn “Clown” Crahan told Rolling Stone in October. “I lost both my parents and it wasn’t as hard as losing Paul, because you’ve got your whole life with them – you know it’s going to happen. With Paul being my best friend, I just didn’t see it coming.”
To work through the pain, Crahan constructed an effigy in the recording studio, using a taxidermy boar’s head that resembled Gray’s pig-faced mask, and placing his bass in the tracking room. Crahan even took the group’s new drummer to the cemetery where Gray is buried and had him “pay his respects and say hello” before recording.
When the album came out, it topped the Billboard chart and sold approximately 132,000 copies in its first week. The band toured North America heavily through December, and now has dates lined up in January in the U.K.
Currently the only U.S. tour dates the band has booked for next year are appearances at the Fort Rock Festival in Fort Myers, Florida and the Welcome to Rockville festival in Jacksonville, Florida on April 25th and 26th.