Back before Slipknot were tearing up the charts and reigning supreme as one of metal's greatest success stories, the Nine were just like any other local act grinding it out and catching gigs wherever they could. In a recent interview with BBC Radio 1's Daniel P Carter, singer Corey Taylor told the story of a particularly bizarre show from the band's salad days, where they opened for an unnamed jazz act and shocked the entire audience with their rambunctious, surreal performance.
"It was a gig-trade because Clown owned a bar in Des Moines," he explained, referencing Slipknot's founding percussionist Shawn "Clown" Crahan. "They all, like, stared at us like we had shit in our hands and had thrown it at them. They were so stunned with the madness."
A less-than-stellar crowd response wasn't the only hardship they suffered that evening, as the band ended up stranded on a work night after the disastrous gig. "And then driving home, both vans broke down in the middle of nowhere, in the middle of winter," Taylor recalled. "So some of us stayed, some of us walked to call a tow truck. That's what you did ... I can remember constructing cardboard ventilation for the heater just to get some back. We all huddled our gear as close as we can to this weird cardboard ventilation system — it was brutal. And then having to get up the next day and go to work ... I mean, dude ..."
Of course, things are very different today for Slipknot. The band is riding high on their triumphant 2019 LP, We Are Not Your Kind, one of Revolver's 25 best albums of the year, and gearing up for a major European tour in 2020 — where concertgoers should be just a little more open to their "madness."