When Slipknot met with producer Rick Rubin to begin work on a follow-up to 2001’s Iowa, they’d had two years to write new material. Instead of arriving with notebooks full of songs, however, the nine members brought with them little more than the coveralls on their backs.
“The cool thing about [working on this record] was that there was no floor plan,” drummer Joey Jordison said. “We got a new keyboard, xylophone, timpani drums … stuff we’ve never used before.” Wait, did Jordison just say his band — known for vomiting on each other and throwing metal trash cans around onstage — is employing the cool tones of a xylophone and, worse yet, a keyboard? Slipknot’s next album is still a far cry from soft rock, though they claim to have traded some heavy sounds for weightier moods. “There are more mellow pieces on it,” Jordison said. “I don’t want to scare anybody, but it’s a dark, dark record. The melodies have been taken to a realm where we’ve never gone before. We’ve always been good at the heavy stuff, and that’s definitely apparent — that’s always going to be there. But we’ve really taken it to a different extreme this time. I think it’s going to surprise a lot of people.” Expected in May or June, Slipknot’s new album is still without a title, though it’s in its final stages of production. The band has been has been holed up in Rubin’s studio in the Hollywood hills since August. If Slipknot are intent on veering from the path hammered out by Iowa and their eponymous 1999 LP, Rubin is just the man to keep their new direction from going south. From Johnny Cash’s American Recordings series to Jay-Z’s latest, The Black Album, Rubin has made a career out of taking artists where they’ve never been before.”He just seems like the one for the purpose of what we have to do right now,” percussionist Shawn “Clown” Crahan said. “I’m not saying we couldn’t have done it without him, but he has certainly made it be the right path for our future, and it’s been exceptional and it’s going to continue to be exceptional.” Slipknot’s sound may change, but the vision will remain constant. “It’s always gonna be the masks,” Jordison said, squashing speculation that may have arisen after post-Iowa side projects Stone Sour, Murderdolls and To My Surprise featured singer Corey Taylor, guitarist Jim Root, Jordison and Crahan without their disturbing disguises. “I don’t want anyone to think that that’s not going to be there. That’s Slipknot’s thing. But as far as the outfits, it’s going to be a whole new realm. It’s a whole new time, it’s a whole new rebirth and the bible is coming soon. You have a lot to look forward to.” News submitted by R1’s new’s scout Maxim