When Slipknot dropped their self-titled debut album in 1999, it sent shock waves through the rock and metal world. It was so ferocious and yet so catchy, so maniacal and yet so meticulous — from the industrial menace of "742617000027" all the way through to the raw, spasmodic grind of "hidden" track "Eeyore." Then there was the band themselves: the masks, the jumpsuits, the "fuck you all" attitude of their interviews, the "fuck you all even harder" attitude of their live shows. Below, on the eve of the album's 20th anniversary, Cane Hill bassist Ryan Henriquez looks back on the first time Slipknot blew his mind and the impact the album — and late 'Knot bassist Paul Gray — has had on him ever since.
TALK ABOUT THE FIRST TIME YOU HEARD SLIPKNOT'S SELF-TITLED ALBUM, AND HOW YOU DISCOVERED IT.
RYAN HENRIQUEZ Although I can't remember how I got the record initially, I do remember burning out three Sony Walkmans on that one record. I had never heard something so fast and aggressive. The production and tones were unheard of.
WHAT DOES SLIPKNOT MEAN TO YOU?
It meant ferocity and aggression with no remorse.
HOW, IF AT ALL, DID THE BAND'S FIRST ALBUM INFLUENCE YOUR OWN CREATIVE DEVELOPMENT, OR THE WAY YOU THOUGHT ABOUT WRITING MUSIC?
I knew I wanted to play fast aggressive music and Paul Gray made that apparent to me.
DID YOU HAVE A FAVORITE MASK OR MEMBER OF THE BAND AT THE TIME? HAS THAT CHANGED OVER THE YEARS?
Paul Gray, hands down, but I've always thought Clown's image evolved the best.
WAS IT IMPORTANT TO YOU THAT THE BAND WORE MASKS AND JUMPSUITS LIKE THEY DID?
I hadn't seen anything like it so it resonated with me. I thought it was ultimately heavy.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SLIPKNOT TRACK, AND WHY?
"Spit It Out." Heavy, catchy and relentless. Would replay it over and over.
IS SLIPKNOT SOMETHING YOU REGULARLY GO BACK AND LISTEN TO? OR DOES IT REPRESENT A CERTAIN PERIOD OF TIME IN YOUR HISTORY?
More so it represents a time in my life when I was a true consumer of music — when I had no musical experience and it was only about listening to records. But if I go back to a record, it's mostly Iowa.