SLIPKNOT's CHRIS FEHN: 'This Band Is Made Up Of A Mental Sickness'

On a recent afternoon, eight of the members of SLIPKNOT were crammed into a tiny NBC dressing room for an appearance on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien". (Percussionist Shawn "Clown" Crahan had to stay behind with a sick wife.) Joey Jordison (No. 1), Chris Fehn (No. 3) and Corey Taylor (No. 8) brought some seriously sardonic humor to their talk with The Associated Press.

AP: How did you come up with the concept for this band?

Taylor: Just looking at not only what was going on a local level but an international level and just kind of being disgusted. It was all flash and no filling. It was very plastic with no presence. The thing we wanted to do was make a statement. It occurred to us that if we remove ourselves from the equation and just presented a unified front, it would have a greater impact, a more artistic impact. It's really a physical manifestation of what the music is.

AP: And what is the music?

Jordison: Dark, very dark, but at the same time very moving and beautiful in its own way.

AP: Why wear masks?

Jordison: It shows we're a solid unit. All of us coming together for a purpose. The masks are a physical representation of how the music makes us feel.

AP: It must make you feel bad. One mask looks like Leatherface from "The Texas Chain Saw Massacre".

Taylor: It's really easy to compare us to stuff like that, because we wear masks. But we don't write about horror movies, we don't go out of our way to act like a horror movie.

Fehn: I think this band is made up of a mental sickness. When I joined the band, before and after practice, they'd be looking online at murder photos, death and bondage photos.

Taylor: We had issues.

AP: What kind of issues?

Taylor: You don't have enough time, or tape. And you'd have to go get help afterward. All you have to really do is listen to our music.

AP: Seriously, what is your problem?

Taylor: As far as our beefs go, you'd have to grow up in Des Moines, Iowa, and really deal with the things that we had to deal with. I don't want to get into my background because I already talked about it on albums so I don't want to rehash. But there are real beefs that we have, and it hasn't changed since day one why we do this.

Jordison: I hate the cliche of it, but growing up is hard. For anyone. So there's that backdrop. You find something to grasp onto like music, and you try to get it going and be creative and you get put down, and get your fliers torn down.

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