Slipknot’s Clown: I’d feel betrayed if we ever ditched the masks

Slipknot (Image credit: Alexandria Crahan Conway/Roadrunner Records)

Slipknot’s Shawn ‘Clown’ Crahan says he would feel “cheapened” and “betrayed” if the band ever decided to ditch their masks.

Clown was a guest on journalist, author and bourbon expert and advocate Fred Minnick’s YouTube channel to chat about his career and Slipknot’s No. 9 Iowa Whiskey and their No. 9 Reserve Iowa Whiskey.

The pair also chatted about the band’s iconic masks, with Clown saying: “There's not a day that doesn't go by that every member wishes we didn't have to wear that stuff – especially since it was my idea in the sense that I brought it to the table. 

“For all I know, maybe some of the guys think it's the worst thing ever and they went with it because of our love for each other and our dream and our brand. Secretly, some could be just, like, 'I can't believe I signed up my whole life for this.'

“I never forced it on anyone. It seems like it's what we wanted to do and it's helped. It really is who we are.”

Clown continued: “People ask me all the time, 'Are you going to take off the mask?' and I say, 'Why do I need to do that?' You're only asking me because of behaviour, you're only doing that because you have a hypothesis of all the other artists – but I'm not a part of that test. I'm the Clown in a band called Slipknot. We are not your kind. We are not like you. We're not part of your hypothesis.”

He added: “For me, it's pure religion. It's my life and I can't ever fathom going in so personal because of laziness or stress or just the will to not want to put it on any more. 

“I signed a deal with it in the beginning, and there's never been any thought of anything else. I really couldn't fathom us any other way. I would feel cheapened, I would feel betrayed.

“I think that's the difference. It's the self-worth in the dream, in the art that you create. Ours is very precise, and we do not deter away from staying the course.”

In August last year, Slipknot frontman Corey Taylor told Overdrive he couldn’t ever see the band performing without their masks.

He added: “For me, when that feeling stops, when we start trying to cut corners and try to make things easier, just so we can ‘get on with it,’ that’s when it’s going to be time to call it a day.”

The new issue of Metal Hammer magazine, which is on sale now, is a special tribute to late Slipknot bassist Paul Gray.

As well as an in-depth look at Gray’s story and the influence he had on Slipknot’s music, the magazine also features a special collection of tributes from around the metal world.

Plus, the issue comes with £10 of exclusive bonus digital magazines and a brand new, specially curated digi-mag counting down the 20 greatest Slipknot songs ever – and the stories behind them.

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent 35 years in newspapers, magazines and online as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014 before moving to the e-commerce team in 2020. Scott keeps Louder’s buyer’s guides up to date, writes about the best deals for music fans, keeps on top of the latest tech releases and reviews headphones, speakers, earplugs and more. Over the last 10 years, Scott has written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog. He's previously written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald newspapers, covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to tech reviews, video games, travel and whisky. Scott's favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Cocteau Twins, Drab Majesty, Marillion and Rush.