Jim Root Was Too Depressed to Contribute Much to New Slipknot Album | Revolver

Jim Root Was Too Depressed to Contribute Much to New Slipknot Album

"Guitars were depressing me. Everything was depressing me."
slipknot jim root AZU knotfest 2022, Azu Rodriguez
photograph by Azu Rodriguez

Jim Root has a complicated relationship with Slipknot's new album, THE END, SO FAR. The band's co-guitarist previously said that he wasn't fully satisfied with the way the record came out due to the unconventional recording process that resulted from the band being separated from one another in COVID times. Now, he's revealed that he wasn't able to contribute very many ideas during the album's conception because he was battling a serious bout of depression that drained his artistic hunger. 

In a new interview with Guitar World, Root, who's historically very involved with the songwriting process, credited his bandmates, bassist Alessandro Venturella and percussionist Shawn "Clown" Crahan, for filling his shoes in the writing stages when he was dealing with some severe mental health issues that caused him to re-evaulate his role as a musician. Fortunately, it sounds like he's also made progress in pulling himself out of that dark place, but things weren't looking good during THE END, SO FAR's creation.

"Guitars were depressing me. Everything was depressing me," Root said. "It's weird how the wires in your brain will cross up and whereas previously the guitar was an outlet for me to escape stuff, this time when I looked at it, it just reminded me of all the things that I wasn't able to do because of COVID. So, this positive force in my life turned into this negative thing, which would've been absolutely fucking horrifying if I hadn't been able to pull myself out of it.

"Now I pick up a guitar and I'm like, 'What would I do without this?' But back then, I was so far from that place. I was losing any sense of positivity. I had zero purpose at all. And I thought, 'What difference does it make if I'm here or if I'm not here? What good is my existence? I've pretty much accomplished everything in life that I've set out to accomplish. How do I set new goals and why should I bother?' That's what was going through my head and it was scary."

"I tried to do some stuff," he added. "If I had felt a little more confident and positive, I would've said, 'Oh, this is great. I've got all this downtime to sit and write and be creative.' I normally write in my house, but I had a bad leak and there was water damage so I had to try to find someplace different to set up my computer and write.

"It just didn't feel right and gave me anxiety to try to work that way, which made me give up trying. I wasn't in my comfort zone even being by myself. I was trapped in my head and I overthought everything.

"I was thinking about a bad relationship I was dealing with and trying to figure out the problem. 'Am I the problem? Do I need to try harder?' I was questioning everything and coming up with no answers and getting more depressed. I got to the point where I was really struggling to even want to see the next day."