SLIPKNOT: THE BEST OF THE REST
When reading senior writer Jon Wiederhorn’s insane album-by-album oral history of the Nine in the current issue of Revolver, you might have noticed that there was one album missing: Slipknot’s 2005 live album, 9.0: Live. Well, that shit ain’t missing no longer…
9.0: LIVE (Roadrunner, 2005)
For a band like Slipknot, who have always thrived onstage more so than recording in the studio, making a live album was nothing short of a neccessity. The opportunity came during the group’s 2004–2005 world tour in support of Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses. Slipknot had noticed, when they taped their 2002 live DVD, Disasterpieces, how well they performed when they knew they were being recorded for posterity, and they delivered with similar intensity and precision for 9.0. Assembled from shows in Tokyo, Osaka, Singapore, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Dallas, and New York City, the double-disc set features songs from all of the band’s first three albums, including seldom-played tracks like B-sides “Get This” and “Purity,” which was removed from Slipknot for copyright reasons, as well as the first-ever performance of Iowa’s “Skin Ticket.” Sharp and savage sounding, and reaching into the Billboard top 20 on the way to being certified gold, 9.0 was both a creative and commercial success—which doesn’t mean that it wasn’t surrounded with the sort of inter-band tension that seems to plague everything that Slipknot does.
JIM ROOT I’m not a huge fan of live records. There have been a few great ones in the past. I was a little nervous about it because when we’re onstage, I don’t really think about guitar playing. And when you put out a live record, you’re under a microscope. You hear every little flaw. You miss a note or fall behind the beat or there’s a clam here or a clam there, that’s it. That’s forever. Our sound engineer recorded over 100 shows and then he came to Iowa to do some editing, and once he got done with editing for all these songs, which is a shitbucket of work, he brought a stack of CDs to my house and they were all labeled. So after listening back to all that, it just became a matter of us all agreeing what the good shows were.
PAUL GRAY The live album was awesome. I think we put out one of the best live albums of all time. Live After Death [by Iron Maiden] is great. But I would say Live After Death and then fuckin’ 9.0. While we were recording, we had a DAT machine. We were gonna do one show, but we thought people from Detroit would be stoked if they had a song on the album and people from L.A. would be happy ‘cause there was a song from there. It was a pain in the ass to put together, though, because you had to listen to all the same songs from 50 fucking cities. You’d say, “I really like the way fuckin’ Detroit, Chicago, and Houston sounded.” And someone else would go, “Fuck you, that was the worst show!” So there was definitely a lot of figuring shit out. And that thing sold a lot of records for a live fucking album and there’s no overdubs. That’s the thing, too. All these bands do a “live” album and it’s a live recording with extra guitars and backup vocals. But when you get our live album, it really is us live.
COREY TAYLOR I think the live album is good. It’s just hard for me to listen to because of the way my mask makes my vocals sound. My old mask was very thick and it wasn’t very good to perform in because it would come off a little and I would literally be jamming the mic into my fucking mask to sing. To me, it always sounded like I was in a tunnel. It thinned out the sound and didn’t have that natural, good, husky feel to it. And that’s one of the reasons my new mask is very flush to my face. It sounds like I’m singing. But I remember the shows that we used to do, and I stand behind it as a live album. I think it’s one of the best ones out there.
SHAWN CRAHAN I still haven’t heard the record. It was done on my Pro-Tools. I did all the art. We did every show and I lived that shit. I heard that stuff every night. I think I listened to a couple songs after it came out. But it was all the songs we played and it’s all the emotions. “Skin Ticket”’s on there. Big, big, big success, “Skin Ticket,” so I’m happy about that. Love the color of it. We had a big blowout because there’s a maggot’s hand reaching over the top [in the album cover photo] and you can just see the wonderful motion of the music. The kid needs to come over the top. And if you look real hard you’ll see [DJ] Sid [Wilson]’s hand and he’s trying to make that connection. That was the whole metaphor behind the live record. Band meets fan. And there was such a war over that. People thought I took the fuckin’ photo and that’s why I wanted to use it. You know, like I got some secret agenda or something. I’m like, “Ahhhh, I’m onstage.” But that’s so cool because they know, “Don’t keep anything from Clown.” He might be walking around with a fucking camera for all we know. I really like that art and it got everyone turned fucking upside-down, man. And the [black-and-white] inside art is by this guy named Eddie Sung from Singapore and he got in my face and was rude. I didn’t know him and I was doing this interview and he got in my face [with his camera] and I gave it to him, man. If you look at Clown’s picture, I just gave him everything. Later he kept talking and talking and I was like, “What’s up, dude? Why are you on my grill?” And he said, “Do you know what my inspiration to life is for my photography?” I’m like, “What?” He’s like, “Rick Rubin.” He said, “You wanna see that picture of you now?” I’m like, “Give it to me.” He showed it to me. I’m like, “That will be on the live record.” We got to be friends. He said, “You really gave it to me.” I said, “Dude, you don’t even know. I gave you the ultimate hatred of what I hate about what I do. You got it.”