SLIPKNOT's SID WILSON says 'Iowa' literally melted PAPA ROACH drummer's face | Revolver

SLIPKNOT's SID WILSON says 'Iowa' literally melted PAPA ROACH drummer's face

"His face collapsed like a seizure"
slipknot iowa press 2001, Roadrunner Records
courtesy of Roadrunner Records

For many headbangers, Slipknot's Iowa was either their gateway into even more extreme music, or the one that made them back off because the thing was just too damn brutal. The 'Knot's 2001 sophomore LP represents a very rare instance of a popular metal band actually getting heavier after their breakthrough debut, and before it was unleashed into the world, there was nothing else quite like it.

In fact, the album's unparalleled aggression — particularly for a nu-metal band — and nightmarish lyrical themes made it such a powerful force that it could literally melt faces, according to Sid Wilson. The Slipknot DJ recalls in vivid detail, there was one instance when he and his bandmates played Iowa for then-Papa Roach drummer Dave Buckner, and his face reportedly started collapsing from the sheer horror of the music coming out of the speakers.

During a recent conversation with Revolver, Wilson recalled that producer Ross Robinson had handed Slipknot the final Iowa mixes while they were out on tour prior to the album's release. "Be careful with this," Robinson warned when Wilson and his bandmates got the recordings. Naturally, the masked maniacs didn't heed Robinson's ominous advice, and when they decided to play Buckner the album in their bus during a tour with Papa Roach, Wilson quickly realized the full powers of the music they were about to unleash onto the world.

"We had the Iowa album when we were on tour with Papa Roach," Wilson explains. "And to Dave, the original drummer, we were like, 'Hey man, you want to listen to the new album?' I don't think it was out yet. And he was like, 'Yeah.'

"He comes up on the bus and I think we were into maybe the third track. And I just watched his face and he started getting uneasy, and he's looking around at the ground and stuff. And then he looks up and I'm looking at him, and his face collapses. One whole side of his face. And it drooped out like when you have a seizure.

"His whole face collapsed and it just stayed down there," Wilson describes while demonstrating the facial disfigurement by pulling down his cheeks. "His eye, everything. The music collapsed his face. It destroyed his whole world right in front of me. I was like, 'Are you OK?' And he's like, 'I got to go.' And he stood up and [we were like], 'What the fuck?'

"And I'm not lying. It wasn't just him making a face. This thing [pointing to his face] lost all will to live. One whole side of his face. He left, I looked at the guys, I'm like, 'Oh my God, did we just fuck him up? I hope he's OK.' I don't even really know what happened that day. He was still out there the rest of the tour and stuff ... I guess he saw a doctor or something. But that's how dangerous that shit was."


After this story was published, Buckner himself reached out to Revolver with a slightly different, though equally badass, recollection of the event. In both versions of the story, the crux remains the same: Slipknot's Iowa melts faces.

"The real story is that me, Jacoby [Shaddix, Papa Roach singer], and Tobin [Esperance, bassist] went up to Houdini Mansion [Robinson's studio] with the Slipknot guys while they were there recording Iowa," Buckner remembers. "They played us the album in the mixing room with the volume cranked to 11. I left the room with my ears ringing, and when I woke up the next day and the left side of my face was hanging off my skull, totally paralyzed!

"I thought I had a stroke during the night! I immediately saw a doctor, and turns out I had Bells Palsey, which is triggered by trauma to the facial nerve that runs through the ear canal in the skull. Causes can include blunt force trauma, extremely loud noise, and, apparently, Slipknot! Slipknot music literally melts faces."