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Slipknot's Clown opens up on a life without tours – and how music is his "medication"

Shawn "Clown" Crahan of Slipknot performs headlining Day 5 of the 52nd Festival D'été Quebec
(Image credit: Ollie Millington/Redferns)

Live gigs, remember those? The smell of sweaty bodies smashing together as they move to the beat of whatever terrible noise happens to be coming from the stage. They’re not always the most civil of occasions, sure, but if you know, you know: there’s really no better feeling than seeing live music. 

For Slipknot’s Clown, this feeling is all too familiar. In a conversation with Beartooth vocalist Caleb Shomo on the latest episode of his Electric Theatre podcast, he reveals just how important performing live is to him – going as far as to call it his “medication”. 

Thinking back to early 2020, when Slipknot were just finishing up their UK / European tour, Clown reflects on the moment frontman Corey Taylor broke the news that, due to the pandemic, live shows would no longer be taking place. 

“I get angry when people take it away – not my livelihood, but my medication,” he says.

“I need to perform with the good people of our culture in order to survive; it’s what I need most. So when he’s like, ‘That’s not happening,’ I’m like, ‘What are you talking about? What in the hell…’ So we got into it a little bit, and he started informing me of all this stuff – he knew it, he had it all down. He’d been watching it. Me? I don’t watch TV. I’m out, man; I’m completely oblivious to anything around me, and that’s how I do what I do, that’s how I maintain who I am with my art.

“I call the manager right away and he gets upset because he’s like, ‘I wasn’t gonna tell you anything because there’s no guarantees yet; nothing has been decided by the world, and I’m trying to get all the facts from the main players – meaning Live Nation who does our tours, and the people we work with.

“And sure enough, man, that was it. I was in Vegas for about four days, my wife started watching the news – she’s like, ‘We might wanna either rent a car or get on a plane because things are getting really weird.’”

Listen to the full conversation between Clown and Caleb below.

Clown shouldn't have too long to wait before Slipknot are back on the road. The band announced dates of a 2021 European tour at the end of last year, should local restrictions allow.

The tour begins at Moscow’s Park Live Festival on July 16, 2021 and runs through to August 19. It includes dates in Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaira, Greece, Austria, Czech Republic, Germany and Sweden, but no UK or Ireland dates as yet.