According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the word “slipknot” means “a knot which slips along the cord or line around which it is made.
“Above all: one done by tying an overhand knot around the fixed part of a rope.
But what that has to do with the famous heavy metal band from Des Moines, Iowa is the subject of our investigation here. Let’s dive into it.
Origins of the group
Formed in 1995 by percussionist Shawn Crahan, drummer Joey Jordison and bassist Paul Gray, the Iowa-born band currently has nine members. Led by vocalist Corey Taylor, the band became known for their visceral visuals, aggressive music, and raucous live shows.
The group became popular after their self-titled album in 1999. The record, All hope is lostdebuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200 chart. To date, the group has sold over 30 million albums worldwide.
Recent Machine Gun Kelly Controversy (and Various Name Callings)
Before we get to the origins of the band’s name, let’s recall a recent war of words between Slipknot frontman Corey Taylor and rapper-turned-pop-punk artist Machine Gun Kelly.
Last summer, the two launched into a failed song on one of MGK’s albums.
MGK said, “Corey did a verse for a song on [Tickets]. It was fucking terrible, so I didn’t use it. He got angry and said shit to a magazine about the same album he was almost on. all the stories are all extinguished. Just admit it’s bitter.
Later, Taylor posted messages and screenshots between himself and drummer Travis Barker, who worked on Tickets with MGK, which showed a different story. MGK had wanted Taylor to do a part again, Taylor refused saying, “I don’t think I’m the right guy for the track. Nothing personal, I just think if that’s what MGK is looking for, someone else is the guy to do it.
Then it got personal. But as summer turned into fall and later into a whole new year, some had thought the feud was dead. Not anymore. Taylor said MGK is like a “substitute teacher” in the rock world and said MGK could “suck every inch of my dick”.
Taylor said in full, via Revolver“For those of you who don’t know, MGK doesn’t like me very much. And let me go on to say I don’t care. I’m not gonna tell you the whole fucking story because you can go online and get it all. However, I will say this: he maintains that I started him. The truth is that it started. Now I will tell you why.
“If you don’t know, they asked me to do a song with him. They sent it to me. I didn’t dig. And I tried to make something out of it ’cause of my respect for Travis [Barker], because he and I have worked together before. They sent me these really weird notes and they wanted me to sing his lyrics. And I just said, ‘I’m not going to do it.’ And I sent an email. I posted this email. And I haven’t heard from him. And I thought it was done.
“Fast forward about eight months, and Machine Gun Kelly does this weird Instagram Live interview with Spotify’s Allie. And he goes on this fucking rant about rock stars and comfy shoes. Sounds as smart as you think… I mean, saliva was coming out of his face.
“And I look at it and I’m going, ‘You’re fucking. You’ve been there five minutes, basically, and you’re going to talk about bands that’ve been doing this for 20 fucking years, like in the mud, in the dust. They’re gonna Wear what they want You gonna come in here with your fucking black tongue and try to say shit about groups that might surround you? something, I did.
Taylor continued, “But he, to this day, maintains that I started it. It’s like the only reason I said what I said is because he said what he said.
“You can’t get into a genre with the story, with the work… The fact that this genre really doesn’t get the fucking respect it deserves. You have no right to pose as a weird substitute teacher and pretend you can tell us what to wear – boots, shoes, fucking house shoes, slippers. Why don’t you suck every inch of my dick? You can not do this. And these are bands that I may not even know, but guess what? Fuck, I respect them because they get on stage and they give it their all.
Read more about the feud HERE.
First names dropped
Alright, enough beef. Let’s come to the name of the group.
Back in the band’s salad days, as the members reunited in the heavy metal scene of Des Moines, Iowa in the early 1990s, Slipknot was just a twinkle in the eyes of its founder. .
By March 1993, Crahan was playing with Gray and other musicians, writing and performing songs in Gray’s basement, and trying to come up with possible names for the band.
Pull My Fingers was one of the names that would have been considered, but it didn’t make it (thank goodness!). At the time, one of the songs the musicians recorded was called “Slipknot”. Another was “Painface”, which later became the name of another metal band.
Crahan had a band called Crahan’s Heads on the Wall band. Gray had a death metal band called Body Pit. Another influential group, Modifidious, was on the scene.
Then in September 1995, Crahan and Gray founded a new group, Pale Ones. This group was made up of friends who met at the scene. But on December 4, this group made their live debut, playing a benefit show under the name Meld.
Slipknot, the name
According to band lore, much of the band’s early development occurred during late-night planning sessions at a Sinclair gas station where one of the members worked night shifts. This is where the name Slipknot was suggested, after the song of the same title.
The collection of musicians began recording material under the name SR Audio, a studio in the members’ hometown.
In February 1996, Donnie Steele, who played guitar for the band and identified as Christian, left the band after discussions regarding the band’s lyrics. Said Steele, “I left for several reasons… I had a lot on my mind spiritually.”
At that time, singer Corey Taylor was playing in the band Stone Sour.
Crahan and other members of Slipknot approached him and asked him to join their band, as the band needed more melodic vocalist. Taylor agreed to go to one of their practices and ended up singing in front of them.
Taylor was then the sixth member to join the band, although he was known as “Number Eight” in the band member numbering system. According to Crahan, Taylor wanted the “number eight” because it symbolized infinity.
Taylor then left Stone Sour, even though he was recording an album with them. His first concert with Slipknot was on August 24, 1997. For this concert he performed with Facepaint. Later, he began donning the mask that features on the band’s debut album.
He’s been with the band ever since.