Slipknot's Mick Thomson: 10 albums that changed my life

Mick thomson of Slipknot
(Image credit: Steve Brown)

The first album I ever bought was…

Kiss – Destroyer (Casablanca, 1976)

“It was the first LP I didn’t have to share with my brother and I got it for 25 cents at a garage sale. I was about seven. I’d heard of Kiss but the record cover was awesome and I left dents all over it from where I traced the artwork so many times.”

My favourite album artwork is…

Kiss – Alive II (Casablanca, 1977)

“It’s not necessarily the greatest but the artwork on Alive II with Gene’s sweat running, the blood coming from his face and the make-up running had a profound influence on me. You only have to look at my own band to see how much so.”

The album I break the speed limit to is…

Malevolent Creation – Envenomed (Arctic Music, 2000)

“I was in a vehicle with Malevolent Creation’s Phil and other friends in Florida and they were playing it for me before it was released. We were speeding to it and we ended up crashing into the back of a car in front and totalled it! So we actually did break the speed limit to it.”

The album I wish I made is…

The Rolling Stones – Exile On Main Street (Rolling Stones, 1972)

“Show me a better record top to bottom. Every song is amazing and it’s a double album so that’s a lot of amazing songs. It comes out firing and it’s untouchable. One of the greatest records ever.”

If a kid asks me what metal is, I’d hand them a copy of…

Deicide – Deicide (Roadrunner, 1990)

“It would depend on vibe, and obviously there’s The Number Of The Beast and Master Of Puppets, but this is completely raw, with great riffs and it’s incredibly angry. The recording isn’t clean at all and when I first heard it in ’91 or ’92 it was so extreme. The solos are chaotic, it’s totally Satanic. This and Once Upon The Cross are great.”

The album I want played at my funeral is…

Electric Six – Fire (XL, 2003)

Electric Six is a fucking incredible band. They can write a catchy song that’s funny and it does that while still being smart. I think it’d be great to turn this up on a solemn occasion. You can’t be down when that record is playing.”

My favourite work-out album is…

Flotsam & Jetsam – Doomsday For The Deceiver (Metal Blade, 1986)

“The speed of the songs and stuff like She Took An Axe, which is a song about [1892 suspected axe murderer] Lizzie Borden are really fast and it sets an aggressive mindset which is good for a work-out. You can’t go wrong with either of the first two Flotsam & Jetsam albums.”

The album I want to be remembered for is…

Slipknot – Slipknot (Roadrunner, 1999)

“It’s impossible ’cos every album is different and they all make us the band we are, but this album launched us. We had years to make that album and with all the time in the world and no pressure, we just played with total freedom. It’s very honest and we felt that shit. We took the time to make it as nasty as we wanted and I think it stands the test of time.”

Nobody would believe I own a copy of…

Fishbone – Trust And Soul (Columbia, 1988)

“The monster bass on it is one of the reasons I love it but it’s just that shit that puts you in a good mood. Some days I just need to hear Bonin’ In The Boneyard then I’m set for the day.”

The album that should not be is…

Metallica – Metallica (Elektra, 1991)

“I understand now that I’m in a band that you have to stop repeating yourself or you’ll be bored but I loved those first four albums so much and I was horrified when I heard The Black Album. I felt insulted and didn’t listen to them for years but that’s over now. Are there similarities to how Slipknot have changed? I don’t think so and, besides, I certainly never cut my fucking hair.”

Originally published in Metal Hammer 269, May 2015

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