Slipknot, the Iowa-based nine-piece masked metal band entering its tenth year on the national stage, has just been announced as one of the headliners of Columbus, Ohio’s Rock on the Range Festival. The third annual fest — which also features Motley Crue, Alice in Chains and Korn — goes down May 17th and 18th. But right now, Slipknot are in the midst of their biggest American tour to date, including a massive gig at New York’s Madison Square Garden. The arena tour — with Coheed and Cambria and Trivium in tow — comes on the heels of last year’s All Hope is Gone, the band’s first Number One album, a victory that almost didn’t happen.
Initial reports from SoundScan put rapper the Game’s LAX in the top spot by a margin of 13 albums, but after a recount the positions were reversed, with Slipknot taking it by over 1,100 units. And it’s a near-slight that still drives the band nuts, even six months later.
“Any time we get something, it’s almost like we had to steal the fucking thing,” frontman Corey Taylor tells Rolling Stone. “We had to fight for that, in true Slipknot fashion. They didn’t want to just fucking respect us and wait until all the fucking numbers were in. They were like, ‘No, you didn’t have it — you got beat by 13 CDs.’ We’ve come so fucking close so many goddamn times, and this was our time.”
Percussionist and band mastermind Shawn “Clown” Crahan is still plenty hacked off that the band he created came so close to having its moment in the sun taken away. “This is no disrespect to the Game, we don’t know him, and it could have been anyone, but they’re upset that they lost?” he said. “You want to talk about upset, you want to talk about disrespect for sacrifice? Everyone has tried to keep our ideas, our dreams, our art, down, and there was no reason for that, because our art is love, too.”
For Taylor, taking the top spot is the ultimate middle finger to an industry he feels holds his band in disdain, and the victory and continued success is only made sweeter by the odds his band has overcome.
“I truly believe that every time we win, it just makes so many people angry,” he said. “Right out of the gate, we should not have been successful. We were a nine-piece metal band from Iowa wearing masks and doing this insane shit, but we were talented and we were lucky, and we went out and built this following. For us, this is a legacy.”