Root: Gray helped me write new Slipknot songs

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Slipknot’s Jim Root believes late bandmate Paul Gray helped him write songs for latest album .5: The Gray Chapter.

The Grammy-nominated record is their first after the bassist’s death in 2010, and frontman Corey Taylor has heaped praise on the guitarist for “stepping up” with his writing.

Root tells Mcall.com: “I realised when I was demoing in my garage that I was approaching the way I put arrangements together a little bit differently.

“I was exploring the fretboard, trying different places to play. I was putting spots in the songs where I could hear, like, ‘This might be something that Sid Wilson would want to go over. This might be something Craig Jones might want to go over.’ I also had to think about the way Corey might sing.

“Then I realised – that’s the way Paul would work. I had an epiphany. It dawned on me that he was helping me through it. I’m not hugely spiritual or religious, but that made me think: people do live on through you.”

Root believes it’s part of the healing process and reflects: “He’s always going to be involved in everything we do.”

The Gray Chapter topped the US album chart on release in October – but the guitarist noted it only needed 130,000 sales in its first week to do so.

“I remember when we first started selling records,” he says. “In order to have a number one you’d have to sell at least half a million, if not more. Now it’s a fraction of that. It shows you the state of where everything’s at.”

But he adds: “I don’t put too much into that anyway. We don’t see a penny off record sales and we never have. For us it’s all about touring.”

Slipknot, who headline the 2015 edition of Download, return to the UK next month with Korn and King 810:

Jan 14: Dublin 3 Arena

Jan 16: Sheffield Motorpoint Arena

Jan 18: Glasgow SSE Hydro

Jan 19: Newcastle Metro Radio Arena

Jan 20: Manchester Arena

Jan 22: Liverpool Echo Arena

Jan 23: London Wembley SSE Arena

Jan 24: Cardiff Motorpoint Arena

Jan 26: Nottingham Capital FM Arena

Jan 27: Birmingham Barclaycard Arena