Slipknot’s Clown: “I Need to Take Some Time for Myself and Go Do Some Other Shit”


Being in any band can be exhausting, as anyone who’s ever been part of even a casual project on a local level can attest. But being in Slipknot, one of the biggest bands in the world, is life-consuming: at MetalSucks we’ve been covering the band’s latest album for over a year already (despite it just coming out in August), and press is just one part of the equation the band members are dealing with on a daily basis! It must be overwhelming.

So we can hardly fault percussionist M. Shawn Crahan, aka Clown, for wanting to work on some other shit for a little while now that the album is out. Clown recently spoke about his desire to get back to working on other creative endeavors in an interview with GQ (!), and in typical Clownian fashion he had quite a lot to say on the subject, some of which makes sense and some of which is pretty out there:

I bet that’s so surreal, being the artist who inspires other artists.

“Sometimes I don’t even like to admit that I’m ‘an artist,’ because then maybe I become a cliché, and then my hunger for it leaves. It’s taken me 20 years to convince people of what the word “art” truly means. I use the word very loosely, since to me it represents everything.

Art is everything: what does that mean?

“I tell people that I have ‘artistic schizophrenia.’ I used to ask my mom all the time what was wrong with me. She told me that I was a renaissance man, and that I was gonna do a little bit of everything. I do three things religiously every day: I either work with music, work with photographs, or with film. And then on top of all of that I draw, I paint, I collage, I write, I direct, I produce. I harness this core of myself that I expand out to all of that, so it’s all consistent. For example, if somebody wanted me to perform in their video, I would bring them my core. If they wanted me to write a poem for a zine, I would bring that same thing and it would feel like my art.

“I’ve really honed in on the art of living. Every morning I wake up, I walk outside, I look around and go: what the fuck is really going on? That’s my inspiration every day. I’m recognizing that we’re constantly living and working in other people’s art, even stuff like street curbs. That’s decades of learning and creating just to make that. My whole thing is to teach myself to appreciate anything and everything around me, and to recognize the artistic ability behind those creations. It makes my life so much more fun.”

That bit about living and walking outside… mwah! Never change, Clown.

After some chat about his artistic upbringing, his photo book (Apocalyptic Nightmare Journey) and his feelings on his past work (“I’ll tell you this: I love everything I’ve done”), Clown returns to the concept of artistic schizophrenia and concludes with his plans for the immediate future:

What is that next thing, then?

“Lately I’ve spent a lot of time asking myself that exact question. I’d love to make more books, have some gallery shows, and stuff like that. I love making our music, but now that the album’s out and it went Number One, I need to take some time for myself and go do some other shit. Above all else, I really want to push myself to make some fascinating art this year.

Clown will have the next month or so to pursue those endeavors before Slipknot hit the road again for a couple weeks’ worth of dates in South America, followed by some more down time around the holidays. Then it’s back to the grind: a full arena tour of Europe in the winter followed by a trip to Japan. And presumably more touring in the summer, I would have to imagine, likely back in the States.

You can get dates for all of those shows and find tickets here!

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