New Slipknot music has arrived. The band's new song, The Chapeltown Rag, is out now, and will make its live debut at the band's livestream set from Knotfest Los Angeles later today.
While the song's subject matter of serial killers doesn't seem entirely out of the ordinary for Slipknot, fans might be surprised to know it was inspired by vocalist Corey Taylor's binge-watching habits after watching a documentary about the Yorkshire Ripper, UK serial killer Peter Sutcliffe.
"Everything was just kind of steering towards violence, or a history of violence," Taylor told Knotfest. "It was just such a weird echo of social media and the fact that social media tries to steer you towards violence or steer you towards the most toxic thing – the most toxic moment. So I looked at it from that standpoint."
The first song released from Slipknot's as-yet-untitled seventh album, The Chapeltown Rag was described by Slipknot founder Shawn 'Clown' Crahan as "a punisher" and named for the Leeds suburb where Sutcliffe's crimes were committed. Conflating the bungled investigation into the murders and social media might sound a little "old man yells at cloud", but Corey is quick to point out Slipknot aren't about to enter their Gran Torino years.
"It’s classic Slipknot," Corey told Knotfest. "It’s frenetic. But lyrically, it’s coming from a point of talking about the various manipulations that can happen when social media meets media itself. And the different ways that these manipulations can try to pull us in different directions. We’re all becoming addicts to it, which is very, very dangerous."
In July the metal world was rocked by the announcement that iconic ex-Slipknot drummer Joey Jordison had passed away. Tributes poured in from across the rock and metal world, while Slipknot themselves put out a short statement commemorating their former bandmate, saying simply "Without him there would be no us".
Jordison was only the second member to depart the group since Slipknot broke through into the mainstream with their 1999 self-titled debut. Asked by Knotfest if he missed his former bandmate, Crahan admitted he sometimes hallucinated seeing Jordison while onstage, particularly when performing Jordison-favourite The Heretic Anthem. He went on to say, "I’m fucking human like everyone else. I’m on a life trip. What I can tell you is that yeah, man, I’m greatly stricken."
Vocalist Corey Taylor was no less effusive in his memories of the drummer. "It’s been tough," Taylor told Knotfest. "He was such a complicated guy. Probably one of the most talented people I’ve ever met. It’s still taking me time to process. But the things I do remember, there were so many good times, so many great fucking shows with him and just so many good memories of creating music with him. That’s the stuff that I’m really trying to focus on."
In September Slipknot played their first show since February 2020 at Rocklahoma, where vocalist Corey Taylor debuted a new mask. Speaking to Knotfest about any disappointment the band may have felt being unable to fully realise the tour cycle for their chart-topping sixth album, We Are Not Your Kind, Taylor was undeterred. "It didn't stifle our feelings of optimism [about the album]," Taylor insisted. "If anything, [the pandemic] made us miss [playing]."
As such, while Taylor worked on his debut solo album CMFT, the rest of Slipknot reconvened to start work on their next album. "It was a weird best-of-both-worlds thing," Taylor said. "[It was] almost like a two-for-one, which was the only way to really make any sense of the situation that was going on."
Working with producer Joe Baresi (Tool, Avenged Sevenfold, Queens Of The Stone Age), the band completed work on their seventh studio album, which Crahan has described as a "cobra in a basket". "I feel like the searching ends here," Crahan told Knotfest. "Some really big things happened on this one. And I feel like they were… not missing links… but maybe they were the last assignments that we had to complete for ourselves."
The band have currently confirmed a string of shows in July and August 2022 but no UK shows have been confirmed.
The band are currently due to close out their 2021 tour commitments with their very first livestream from Knotfest Los Angeles. The show, which takes place at the Banc of California Stadium, also stars Bring Me The Horizon, Killswitch Engage, Fever 333, Code Orange and Vended. Tickets start at $15.
The Chapeltown Rag is available on all major streaming platforms now.