Slipknot’s Shawn “Clown” Crahan Shares the Advice Rick Rubin Gave Him on Making a Double Album, Says He “Can’t Even Imagine Rock N’ Roll Without Every Color of Skin Being There”
Have you checked out the latest episode of The MetalSucks Podcast yet? If not, you should get on that — ’cause it’s a doozy.
This week’s very special guest is Slipknot percussionist and filmmaker Shawn “Clown” Crahan. As all Slipknot fans know, Clown ain’t exactly a wallflower, and he took this opportunity to share some good intel on Slipknot’s upcoming documentary about Knotfest Mexico, Day of the Gusano, as well as those rumors of the band making a double album.
First of all, if you’re wondering why Day of the Gusano — which means “Day of the Maggot” — isn’t called Day of the Gusanos — “Day of the Maggots,” plural — well, it turns out there’s a very good reason:
“I wanted to try and capture unity and oneness… because we get similar experiences in Japan, all over South America… Russian fans will freak you out. Because they’re so suppressed, they fucking go for it. They bring flares out. They bring flares! They’ll get beat, they’ll get thrown in prison, they don’t care. Rock n’ roll from the Western world? It’s on.
“So I wanted to show this. And in the world we live in today, with all the fucking hate and all the ignorant bigots, rock n’ roll is the farthest thing from that. We love every color of skin, every language barrier, we love it. That’s what rock n’ roll is. I can’t even imagine rock n’ roll without every color of skin being there.
“So I named the film ‘gusano,’ singular, to start with a single Maggot. That way, when you are watching the film and you see tens of thousands of people singing louder than our PA, you can understand the significance of unity… there’s ten of thousands [of fans in the crowd], but they’re operating as one gusano, one Maggot, one power, one voice, one reaction to our action… and the result is togetherness.”
Later in the interview, we asked Clown if, should Slipknot indeed release a double album, he’d like it to be two separate records, like Use Your Illusion I & II, or one big release, like Hardwired… to Self-Destruct. To this, Clown answered:
“If I did it… don’t hold me to this, but if I had my own way — which I don’t, but I got a big say — I would do two records that come out at the same time, but there would be no more than nine songs [on each half]. And the whole album would be under an hour, if not under fifty minutes… I was fortunate enough to work with Rick Rubin on ‘Vol 3.: The Subliminal Verses,’ and he and I got into an interesting conversation about what it takes to make a phenomenal double album, and the first thing he said was [you need] about seventy-five songs to whittle it down to the best. And iI never forgot that. And right now we have lot of material. A LOT…
“…so i’m hoping we’ll get a lot of material, whittle it down the best eighteen [songs] and keep it under an hour. I don’t want to make something arty farty where it just has the liberty to move around and you get all these segues and little art pieces. Fuck that. I wanna get busy. I wanna kick you in the face and in the nuts. On album A, nine songs, then you put on album B, nine songs, and it’s all over before you can even imagine.”
Listen to the entire interview below. Other topics of conversation include the importance of the visual artistry behind Slipknot, the difficulty of editing a live show with nine guys in the band, his experiences as a director with the movie Officer Down, and a little trip down memory lane with One Minute Silence.