U.K.’s Terrorizer magazine recently conducted an interview with SLIPKNOT percussionist Shawn “Clown” Crahan about the upcoming 10th-anniversary reissue of his band’s “Iowa” album. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Terrorizer: Can you tell us what were some of the biggest external influences that went into the writing process behind “Iowa”?
Crahan: Basically being on the road for a long, long time for the first record [1999’s self-titled debut], not knowing if we were ever going to stop, taking all that knowledge, not making a fucking dollar that whole time, the drugs, the alcohol, the isolation, the sadness of being alone for some. Those are just a few things that went into making “Iowa”. And lest not forget where the world was at that time the world was a very scary place at that time, things that happened in 2001, that changed the world forever.
Terrorizer: How’s your mood right now?
Crahan: My mood? I am going to be honest I have never been as angry as I am right now. There is a lot of reasons for it. My wife struggles with a disease [Crohn’s Disease], I hurt for her, it rips me apart. My kids are all older and they are going through crap that life throws at you at those ages and I really never saw it coming; and to be honest losing my brother — I’m just not going to let go of that. [Late SLIPKNOT bassist] Paul Gray is the number one reason I was able to be the artist I am because he believed in me. I loved his ability to write songs and the songs that he wrote made me feel and together we pushed each other to be the best and to make it happen and now he’s gone and that songwriting has gone. It doesn’t matter if people like to hear that or not, it’s the truth.
Terrorizer: What does Paul mean to you?
Crahan: Paul was a musical fucking genius. In the studio I used to get frustrated with him cos he would take so long but now I understand it, He was looking for that one note that took it [a song] over the edge; it could just be one fucking note. He was a genius, he was the real deal from the streets of Los Angeles; [a] hard-assed life. He and I were exactly the same person from different sides of the tracks: I was a spoiled-rotten only child, went to a private school and he had a hard life. When we met and we were exactly the same person in the head, we were exactly one of the same thing. I am who I am these days ’cause of his belief in me and it’s really hard to just want to do it without him.
Read the entire interview from Terrorizer magazine.