Jim Root Initially Turned Down the Offer to Join Slipknot TWICE


When opportunity knocks… how does the saying go? It’s not even 9am yet and my coffee hasn’t kicked in. I apologize.

Last week we learned that bassist Justin Chancellor turned down the initial offer to join Tool, and today we find out that the only other band anyone here cares about, Slipknot, had a similar story with guitarist Jim Root.

In an interview with Philadelphia radio station 93.3 WMMR [transcribed by Ultimate Guitar], Root explained that he turned down offers to join Slipknot twice, at first because he hadn’t been playing guitar lately and didn’t feel his chops were up to it, and the second time because he was committed to his band at the time (the same reason Chancellor gave, incidentally):

“Yeah. It was weird because I had given up playing guitar when I was like 24 or something like that, maybe 25. I haven’t made it yet, I didn’t even have a band, like, the thrash/speed metal band I was in [Atomic Opera] split up, and I just kind of was down on myself about it. I didn’t even own a guitar, I had to borrow one.

“And a couple of friends of mine asked me to join, like, this project, a funk-rock kind of a weird thing. And that kind of got me back to playing guitar after being out of it for a couple of years, and back into the music scene.

“At that time, Anders [Colsefni, the original Slipknot singer] had called me about replacing [original Slipknot guitarist] Donnie Steele, and I said no at that time because I haven’t been playing guitar and I knew that those guys were players. My chops were bad, I hadn’t even touched a guitar in years, so I was just kind of, like, ‘Nah, I’m just going to be a regular dildo, work and do all that.’ So I said no, but I got back into music with [the funk-rock project] and then shortly after that, I joined Stone Sour [in 1996].

“And then after Corey joined Stone Sour, Slipknot had a record deal at that point, and when I told my band at that time that I was in a different band with my drummer Andrew. I told those dudes – I was living with the singer – I was, like, ‘If Slipknot ever called me, I won’t join, I don’t want to feel like it’s handed to me, I got to feel like I worked for it, like something I’ve achieved.’ And sure enough, they did. I never thought they would, so I said no.

“And then finally, I got to the point where I just realized, my buddy Zack, who borrowed me a guitar, said, ‘What, are you stupid? Very few times in life do you get a chance to take a great step forward. Even if you fall flat on your face, you can always come back.’ So I called Clown, and the rest is history.”

What would Slipknot sound like today had Root never joined the band? Would they have achieved the same level of success? What would Corey Taylor think? Ponder all that as you listen to “Spiders” from their latest record.

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