Morley Seaver of BellaOnline.com recently conducted an interview with SLIPKNOT percussionist M. Shawn Crahan. A few excerpts from the chat follow:
On how SLIPKNOT's new two-DVD set, entitled "Voliminal: Inside The Nine", came to be:
"I've had a lot of revelations in probably the last five years of my life starting with being a part of a really evil way of living with real corrupt biz, managers and this type of deal. Ending a cycle in the world in America with 9/11; the 'Iowa' record cycle being cut short and where the world was and where the people in the world's frustrations was. And then to not see a lot of people…these are my brothers …for two years and then going to the mansion and healing completely more or less. Taking chemo more or less to get rid of the cancer and get it in remission. And that's where we went and we worked so hard spiritually. I think we all knew in our hearts deep down that we were going to get it together. And that's why we all showed up. We didn't have any management…anybody helping us get to the mansion. We just all got there on our own because we believe in hope and we really wanted to believe we were the band against the world. So we made this record called 'Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses' and everything opened up again like the way it did in '98. But at a different level. We can't re-create anything we did. It's impossible. We ourselves are all insurgent. But there was a feeling, kind of like '98 where we're talking again and there's kind of a little hunger. Things are going on. People are getting on. And all of a sudden, boom, it just all happened again.
"So during this process, following the release of 'Disasterpieces', which definitely was a DVD that was made to capture the idea I had which was that time of us right there and the only way to do was not behind the scenes but the whole show. The idea of THIS one was about three weeks before I go to the mansion, I told the label I was going to be filming and what the idea was and what some of the scenes were going to be. And I needed a little help buying some video tape and maybe some camera cleaning type stuff. There would be a time that I would have to shift from the guy who was going to be filming to the guy who would have to be playing with his band. So I would have to hire someone and someone would have to pay for this guy. I had made a promise to myself in the very beginning that I was going to spend as many years as possible collecting as many different scenarios of SLIPKNOT as possible. Then when someone who had the authority to come up to us and say, 'I think we should release a DVD,' which I had all on film, then I would start importing, editing and getting it out. Well, during those three years, I made little tests along the way putting it together and showing the band. Letting them in on where I was going. So they were in on it from the beginning, seeing all these little ideas. They didn't know I was listening to them. If they would comment or laugh together, I'd know there was something good. But if they'd answer a phone or walk out of the room, I'd know that this whole section bored the crap out of them. So I was constantly testing them in a way, just making sure they were interested because this is their band. I'm only one ninth of the enigma. So it's all about representing what we are really."
On the involved editing process, requiring him to sift through 400 or so videotapes:
"I have tapes that I would import and it would take me a month to get my head around it. Like for instance, there's a shot of…we were in Australia and there's giant vampire bats or fruit bats. I don't remember what they are. But they're gigantic. We filmed that whole thing. They would be like 8 feet over our head sometimes. And I would have to go through that footage just to find that one and a half second bat edit that's in there. The reason why it took me a month to figure it out was the bat footage had to compete with something like 400 other video tapes. And the thing I wanted to convey was, 'Hey kiddies, you might be in another country where a big bat will fly over your freaking heads while you're playing.' Did you ever think that was going to happen from Des Moines, Iowa? So I go down to Australia and I go 'Jesus, there's bats in the air.' I'm going to film it and share it with you because it's part of our lives together. But most bands and people don't want to share that side of it and I think that's wrong. And I've been holding all that backstage stuff forever, waiting for the right way to do it. And here's the beautiful thing. We're going in reverse. So you'll get Iowa next. And you'll probably get live songs and behind the scenes…you'll probably get the best of both worlds. So we're going back in time and eventually you'll get that '98 footage when you're ready and you're good. And you'll get the real stuff. And personally as one of the guys who's been there from the beginning, I haven't felt the world come to '98 yet so you ain't getting that feeling yet. So we're starting in reverse. We're going backwards."
"It wasn't hard for me to go through them because I'm a magician, man. I'm looking for the concoction. The remedy. The antidote. I'm looking for the potion. It's not work. It's love. I cried so many times in this process. And when I say cried, I mean just like, I would just put something together and get an epiphany about how wonderful the people are who are in my band. And maybe I haven't seen it in a while. But I'm so attached to it and it's right in front of me. I just want to start crying, because, man, this guy is so talented. And I'm in a band with him. What am I bitching about? I need to praise a little more. So it was very easy for me to go through with because I had something to do. Right now, I have nothing to do. I'm not doing a goddamned thing."
Read the entire interview at www.bellaonline.com.