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, Underoath keyboardist/programmer Chris Dudley looks back on the first time Slipknot blew his mind and the enduring impact the album has had on him ever since.
TALK ABOUT THE FIRST TIME YOU HEARD SLIPKNOT'S SELF-TITLED ALBUM, AND HOW YOU DISCOVERED IT.
CHRIS DUDLEY I was in high school and a friend of mine brought the CD to school one day raving about it. At the time, I was super into European black metal, Southeastern hardcore and a smattering of what was on Victory Records at the time — so the self-titled album was pretty far out of my zone. I remember specifically being drawn to the rawness of the recording and the unique angry vibe of it. I hadn't heard anything like that before and it stuck with me.
HOW, IF AT ALL, DID SLIPKNOT INFLUENCE YOUR OWN CREATIVE DEVELOPMENT, OR THE WAY YOU THOUGHT ABOUT WRITING MUSIC?
I don't think it influenced my writing per se, but it did give me a first taste of that "go till you puke" energy that has definitely stayed with me ever since.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SLIPKNOT TRACK?
I'm gonna have a cop-out answer because I can't choose just one — it varies day by day. It's a three-way tie between "(sic)," "Eyeless" and "Surfacing." There's energy in those songs that has not been matched by anyone else since.
IS SLIPKNOT SOMETHING YOU REGULARLY GO BACK AND LISTEN TO? OR DOES IT REPRESENT A CERTAIN PERIOD OF TIME IN YOUR HISTORY?
It's a regular spin, for sure. I can't count the amount of pre-show bus mosh sessions we've had with rotating Slipknot albums blowing out the bus speakers. Slipknot will never go out of rotation. Slipknot will never go out of rotation.
Below, watch singer Spencer Chamberlain explain why Underoath no longer classify themselves as a Christian band.