The definitive history of every Slipknot mask

Iowa (2001)

Doubling down on the horror aesthetics, Slipknot switched out the colour in favour of darker hues for Iowa. It perfectly reflected what many members saw as their darkest era, a pressure cooker of vomit, spite and bile that also somehow saw them climb to the top of the charts. 

Metal Hammer line break

Corey Taylor

Corey Taylor

(Image credit: Mick Hutson/Redferns)

Taylor’s Iowa mask was virtually the same as the one for the band’s self-titled debut, except it was blacker to fit the band’s mood at that time. “I was drinking like a fucking fish. It was bad, it was a scary fucking time to be in Slipknot because we did not give a fuck and not in a good way.”

Mick Thomson 

Mick Thompson

(Image credit: Mick Hutson/Redferns)

Thomson wore the same mask for Iowa as on the band’s debut. Now painted to look metallic, it featured a grill across the mouth – a nod to the old hockey mask – and would be something the guitarist would more or less stick with forever more.

Jim Root 

Jim Root Slipknot mask 2001

(Image credit: Mick Hutson/Redferns)

Root’s mask barely changes throughout the band’s history and by Iowa, it was simply a more detailed version of its predecessor – a jester’s face, with zipper mouth and menacing red eyes. “The guys chose this mask to tame me,” he said. “I was a timid guy before I joined this band. Now I’m a freak.”

Craig Jones

Mick Hutson/Redferns

(Image credit: Mick Hutson/Redferns)

By Iowa, Jones’s crash helmet had become a bondage mask but it still had the porcupine-like nails protruding from it. He added a mouth zipper and, during interviews, the notoriously quiet sampler would delight in slowly drawing the zip closed whenever he was asked a question.

Sid Wilson

Sid Wilson Slipknot Mask 2001

(Image credit: Mick Hutson/Redferns)

The DJ’s mask evolved rapidly from the simple gas mask of the band’s debut, to a more skull-shaped gas mask for the band’s follow up. Wilson had nine of them made, giving each its own name.

Shawn Crahan

Shawn 'Clown' Crahan Slipknot Mask 2001

(Image credit: Hayley Madden/Redferns)

Clown’s mask developed quickly from the traditional (if spooky) clown face of the debut to the sinister Iowa incarnation. Still a clown, this one featured an upside down pentagram, two horns and a portion of the scalp torn back to reveal a bloody brain.

Chris Fehn 

Chris Fehn Slipknot Mask 2001

(Image credit: Mick Hutson/Redferns)

Fehn’s Iowa mask was virtually the same as the one he wore in the self-titled album, but for one difference: “The smell gets worse, it smells like puke, sweat, and piss!”

Paul Gray

Paul Gray Slipknot Mask 2001

(Image credit: Mick Hutson/Redferns)

Gray was one of the few members of Slipknot to enjoy the Iowa period – “Hell, I had a great time,” he said – and wore an updated, slightly more human latex version of the pig mask he used on the band’s debut but this one had slits across the mouth.

Joey Jordison 

Joey Jordison Slipknot Mask 2001

(Image credit: Mick Hutson/Redferns)

Jordison added black corpse paint to his Iowa Kabuki mask, and still enjoyed the inscrutably blank nature of it. “You feel however you want to feel; scary, evil or perverted,” he said. “All those things held in one mask”.

Tom Bryant

Tom Bryant is The Guardian's deputy digital editor. The author of The True Lives Of My Chemical Romance: The Definitive Biography, he has written for Kerrang!, Q, MOJO, The Guardian, the Daily Mail, The Mirror, the BBC, Huck magazine, the londonpaper and Debrett's - during the course of which he has been attacked by the Red Hot Chili Peppers' bass player and accused of starting a riot with The Prodigy. Though not when writing for Debrett's.