Slipknot’s Clown on breaking stigma around mental health

Shawn “Clown” Crahan
Shawn \u201cClown\u201d Crahan

Slipknot’s Shawn “Clown” Crahan has spoken about the importance of discussing mental health following the deaths of Chis Cornell and Chester Bennington.

Both Soundgarden’s Cornell and Linkin Park’s Bennington died by suicide this year – and Crahan has urged people to reach out to each other and break the stigma that surrounds mental health.

He tells NME: “My friends are dying and I can’t take that any more. Personally, I just want to say that I’m so saddened by the pain, the loneliness and the isolation.

“I’m not sure what happened – I’m not in people’s minds, but it’s a frightening thought to know that someone has something else on their mind that you don’t know. I just want to say how sorry I am and how much love I have for the families of what’s been going on recently.

“To the general public, just remember the people around you. You might not know what they’re thinking so it’s always nice to be checked in on, and to check in on people.”

Crahan adds there should be no stigma around metal health and has encouraged people to seek professional help if they feel they need it.

He continues: “What people need to know is that there are beautiful, wonderful people in the world who have empathy and work with the human condition. They understand what being sick is.

“It’s not a human being’s fault to have chemical imbalances. We’re just scared. The people who you think are the most solid are often the most hurt. As the world grows and technology grows, it’s getting harder to communicate and kids to socialise. We need to take behavioural health recovery seriously.”

Crahan has himself had his own struggles with depression following the deaths of both his parents and Slipknot bassist Paul Gray in 2010. And he reports that getting the help he needed saved his life.

He explains: “My mom died and then Paul died within a small time. I went to become an outpatient – I was just so scared of that word ‘inpatient’ and residential living.

“I took my therapist and my wife’s advice and I went on an outpatient programme and it changed my fucking life – it saved The Clown’s life.”

Crahan says he was told that he hadn’t had time to properly grieve the deaths of both his parent and Gray and adds: “I didn’t know I needed a certain amount of time. What the world needs to know is that it’s OK to need help.”

Meanwhile, a young Linkin Park fan named Rosie is raising money for the Samaritans and highlighting the work they do by learning one of the band’s songs every day of the school holidays.

Her mum set up the page on Rosie’s behalf and so far they’ve raised £280. Find out more on her Just Giving page.

The downward spiral: Why is depression on the rise in metal bands?

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent more than 30 years in newspapers and magazines as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. After initially joining our news desk in the summer of 2014, he moved to the e-commerce team full-time in 2020. He maintains Louder’s buyer’s guides, scouts out the best deals for music fans and reviews headphones, speakers, books and more. He's written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog and has previous written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to video games, travel and whisky. Scott grew up listening to rock and prog, cutting his teeth on bands such as Marillion and Magnum before his focus shifted to alternative and post-punk in the late 80s. His favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Ned's Atomic Dustbin and Drab Majesty, but he also still has a deep love of Rush.