Slipknot are currently building up toward this year's release of their highly anticipated as-yet-untitled new album, and in anticipation — and perhaps tipping his hand regarding some influences on the songwriting — guitarist Mick Thomson talked to Metal Hammer about some of the albums that had the biggest impact on him as a fan and player.
Citing KISS's classic Destroyer as the first album he ever purchased, Thomson recalls, "It was the first LP I didn't have to share with my brother and I got it for 25 cents at a garage sale ... I left dents all over it from where I traced the artwork so many times." He may have loved Destroyer's cover art, but the image of the makeup and platform-clad shock rockers on the front of their 1977 live album was even more impactful. "It's not necessarily the greatest, but the artwork on Alive II with Gene's sweat running, the blood coming from his face and the make-up running had a profound influence on me," he says. "You only have to look at my own band to see how much so."
Thomson shares a similar reverence for albums by artists such as the Rolling Stones, Deicide and Malevolent Creation, noting the time the last band got him in trouble with their 2000 effort Envenomed: "I was in a vehicle with Malevolent Creation's Phil and other friends in Florida and they were playing it for me before it was released," the guitarist recalls. "We were speeding to it and we ended up crashing into the back of a car in front and totaled it!"
While he also has respect for Flotsam & Jetsam's Doomsday for the Deceiver (his favorite workout album) and Electric Six's Fire (which he wants played at his funeral), Thompson had harsh words for Metallica's enormously successful eponymous record. "I understand now that I'm in a band that you have to stop repeating yourself or you'll be bored, but I loved those first four albums so much and I was horrified when I heard the Black Album," he reveals. "I felt insulted and didn't listen to them for years, but that's over now."
The guitarist holds a completely different view on his own band's own self-titled release, 1999's Slipknot. Describing it as the album he'd like to be remembered by, Thomson admits, "It's impossible 'cos every album is different and they all make us the band we are, but this album launched us. We had years to make that album and with all the time in the world and no pressure, we just played with total freedom. It's very honest and we felt that shit. We took the time to make it as nasty as we wanted and I think it stands the test of time."