Interview Outtake: Slipknot’s Clown on Playing with Original Guitarist Donnie Steele Again
With the release of our new Slipknot special collector’s issue, we’re celebrating Slipknot month on RevolverMag.com, unleashing new interviews, photos, favorite Slipknot song picks from a host of celeb columnists, and much more. So check back right here often. In the issue, we talk to Slipknot percussionist Shawn “Clown” Crahan about the passing of bassist Paul Gray and the band’s future. In this exclusive outtake from our interview, Crahan speaks about playing again with original Slipknot guitarist Donnie Steele, who filled in on bass for Gray during the band’s “Memorial World Tour” this summer and at Rock in Rio this past weekend.
“No. 1, Donnie coming back felt completely comfortable for us. It wasn’t even a thought. It just fell into place. We’re not gonna have some jackass from another band come into our world. That’s just bullshit. I won’t allow it. Donnie’s family. Donnie’s from the stone of the ’Knot. He’s knitted right in. He wins an award, because we’d be in Turkey, and I’d be outside the hotel at 4:30 in the morning, having a big, fat Cuban cigar, and here comes Donnie. I’m like, ‘What the hell are you doing?’ He’s like, ‘I’m just walking out, taking it all in. I went to this church. I saw this place. I took pictures, and it’s just so beautiful.’ And I’m just like, ‘Wow.’ And the next day, we’d be in Russia. And we’d get there at about 5, have a big stogie, and here comes Donnie. And I’m like, ‘What in the fuck is up with you, man?’ And he’s just taking it all in. beautiful person. Had a blast with him.
“I grew close to Donnie. We shared a lot of great times. It was a pleasure having him back. It was like yesterday. We talked about all the stories from yesterday. He remembers everything like it was yesterday. He remembers it all. He remembers when I first wanted to wear a mask. He remembers all that shit. It was just cool to hang out with him and have him go, ‘Yeah, I remember when you pulled out your clown mask and was talking about it, that you wanted to do this.’ It was like, ‘Wow. Not only are you a blast from the past but you fit perfectly.’ And that’s the ’Knot-ian way, man. That’s who we are. Everything is for a reason. It’s not contrived. It’s not too thought-out, because it doesn’t need to be. It just needs to be real. When it’s real, someone like me…I’ve been told from my peers that one of my largest gifts is I know how to commit. I don’t need to spend a lot of time debating who, what, where, when, why. If it feels right, right from the get-go, let’s do it.
“The last thing I wanted was some jackass from another band kicking my fuckin’ door in thinking he needs to belong to something because of the caliber of what we were. This is a fucking dream that God fulfilled.”