Rigged: Slipknot Percussionist Shawn “Clown” Crahan
To preview their upcoming U.K. tour with Korn and King 810, we asked Slipknot percussionist Shawn “Clown” Crahan to put together a rundown of his live setup for our Rigged series… and he was kind enough to oblige! Get dates for the tour right here. Here’s Clown:
I’ve had a lot of Maggots come up to me and say they can’t figure out how to duplicate my keg tone, so let me let you in on a little secret: you can’t just hit any keg with any baseball bat and expect it to sound like the culture-changing event that is Slipknot. I exclusively use Geemacher 1/2 kegs. They’re stainless steel, which helps lend to that metallic sound when you hit it.
I also own a few Geemacher 10Ls that I use at home when I’m writing. They’re like practice amps — I wouldn’t use one in a live setting. But if you’re just a beginner still trying to develop your chops, they’re pretty high quality.For my bat: I used to use Demarinis but recently switched to the Easton Mako Torq. It’s well-balanced, and it’s got great pop. They’re a little pricier than your average bat, but the warmth of tone they supply really shows you where that extra money went. I use the BBCOR ones; the big barrels have larger sweet spots but, frankly, they’re a little unwieldy. Obviously the force of your hits are as important as anything else, so you need a bat that you can swing effectively without straining your rotator cuff too much.
Some Maggots have noticed that I always wrap tape around the bat. This obviously dampens the sound of metal-on-metal generated by hitting the keg with the bat, but that’s actually the whole point. Without the tape, your hits will sound too tinny, and the notes will be impossible to distinguish. With the tape, though, the sound will hit the audiences’ ear just the right way. I recommend Polyken 231 High Performance Military Grade Duct Tape because it’s the right mix of protective and durable.Finally: it should go without saying that grip is incredibly important. The last thing you want is for the bat to give you blisters or, worse, fly out of your sweaty hands as you’re swinging it and knock one of your bandmates in the head (trust me, I learned the hard way when I accidentally knocked out Craig Jones on our first Ozzfest… the injury he sustained as a result severely limited his mobility and speed, and is the reason he so rarely moves on stage). That’s why I use XPROTEX Krushr Batting Gloves… ain’t nothing slipping outta these bad boys. If you used them to rub one out, they’d rip your cock off. Now that’s quality!
Choose the right equipment and, of course, practice, practice, practice, and you, too, can sometime realize your dreams of being a world-class percussionist. Good luck, Maggots!