And They Blew The House Down!
Backstage Pass Special
by Debbie Seagle
In the car on my way to interview Chris
Fehn, #3 and percussionist for the platinum selling Slipknot, I
was a little worried. I had read somewhere that members of
were never interviewed without their masks
and I was going to find myself staring smack dab into the face of a ghoulish
pinocchio nightmare. Okay, in such cases, is it rude to stare at
someone's nose? Would I be able to tear my eyes off that nose and
concentrate enough to speak intelligently, or would I be too preoccupied?
There is no etiquette book for these types of situations! Thankfully
I was spared the embarrassment of forgetting myself and reaching out to
touch that nine inch nose as I look at it quizzically. After introducing
myself to the band's tour manager, I was escorted onto the tour bus and
introduced to Chris Fehn. Thankfully, Chris was a quiet, calm, smiling
Well, if you are all waiting for me to
tell you what Chis, alias #3, or 3 of 9 looks like, keep waiting!
I'm not going to tell. Not even if you tickle me or offer me money.
Lets just say (girls) that I didn't go blind and I didn't run screaming
from the bus. That's just all I'm going to give up. Let's just say that
none of them need to wear masks and leave it at that, okay? So lets
mosey on back to the lounge in the rear of the bus and talk to Chris .
(Debbie Seagle for) Rock N World:
Well I'm here today because I get tons of requests for coverage of Slipknot
by the Rock N World and antiMUSIC readers.. So, I’ve never seen you
live before, I’ve heard an awful lot of talk about your show. I’ve
heard your CD, I think its great.
Chris Fehn: Cool.
RNW: Very heavy, very dark.
I don’t see the comparisons though, to Korn and Limp Bizkit, the way I
hear a lot of people lumping you into a lot of the rapcore scene now.
Any opinions on why people are doing that?
CF: Oh, its just something
to talk about, you know? Some way to try and categorize. Its
just a bunch of labels that ain’t nothin to me at all.
RNW: I agree. Since
I’ve never seen a Slipknot show before and since I’m going to be
the eyes and ears of the fans tonight, can you tell me what I can expect
tonight from this show that people say "You’ve got to see?"
CF: Everything and anything!
RNW: Its wild?
CF: Pretty much, yeah.
It would probably be a different interview after you saw it.
RNW: Yeah, you know what?
I’d love to have a chance to ask some questions. I’m sure I’m going
to have a lot after the show.
Why the two percussionists?
CF: Why not, you know?
RNW: Okay, true, true.
Why not three guitarists then?
CF: True. A lot of bands
have those too.
RNW: In my research on Slipknot
I noticed that there is a very uniform theme throughout the interviews
that I’ve read with you guys, and that is that you’ve got a real healthy
respect and gratitude for your fans.
CF: Oh, absolutely.
You know, that whole grass roots thing that really got you guys going.
Not a lot of play on MTV. Radio play now, a little bit more.
But I think that their (the fans') numbers are increasing just because
of word of mouth and people seeing the show. What do you perceive
the average Slipknot fan to be like?
CF: Like myself.
RNW: Okay, and what is that
like? What attracts them to Slipknot?
CF: Well, its got to be the
music first, you know what I mean? Any album that I had when I was
a kid, you know, I wouldn’t go travel four hours to go see certain bands,
but certain ones I would. I’d be there six hours before anyone even
thought about showing up, you know? Slayer shows and stuff like that.
RNW: So you listened to Slayer,
you listened to Sabbath . . .
CF: Yeah. So its like,
the kids, that’s how I am too. If a band really does it for me, I’m
going to be all over it.
RNW: I’ve heard people describe
Slipknot as the band that teenagers love and parents hate. I’m not
quite sure why I hear that. Do you think that parents might be afraid
of the image that they see you projecting maybe?
CF: Which would be what image?
RNW: A scary image, I think
to some parents who know their teenage kids are coming to the shows.
Like I said, I don’t know, I’ve never been to your live show, but reports
I’ve heard of the shows are like, unbridled anger and aggression and release
of tensions, etc.
CF: The key word is "release."
Its not some thing where we’re f***in up the fans, you know what I mean?
Its nothing like that.
RNW: I haven’t heard of a
lot of violence or anything.
CF: If you want to see violence,
you can turn on the TV.
RNW: For sure.
CF: That’s some serious s***
there. This is just music and
an afternoon with kids that like the same thing. That’s all it can
be. Any parent that, you know, that’s how they were brought up then,
I guess. They weren’t able to do their Elvis thing or whatever, I
RNW: Don’t you think that’s
the same though, in every generation?
CF: Absolutely, there’s always
RNW: Yeah, the "Elvis factor."
One of the things I do for Rock N World is I write a feature column called
"Backstage Pass." What I try and do is give the fans a peek at what
its like to be on the road, what its like to be a musician, a touring musician.
Without shattering the illusions or fantasy that music creates. But
I’d like to talk a little bit about what a typical day is like for Slipknot
when they are on the road on a show day, and then what a typical day would
be like when you have an off day on the road somewhere. I know I’ve
read that some of you guys like to do Nintendo and Play Station.
CF: Yeah, all that.
RNW: Some of you like to sleep
a lot, some of you like to play on the computer, online, surfing.
You’ve got two great web sites. But for you, what’s a typical day
like on show day?
CF: On show day? Like
CF: Wake up, usually get something
to eat, chill out for a little bit. Do sound check, then I listen
to a lot of music, you know? Cause that’s the s***. Music is
the s***. So I just do that. We’re not during the day gettin
all f***ed up or nothing like that. We’re just, you know, getting
a lot of things done that we need to get done, you know? In a nine
person band there’s a lot of work that has to be done too, between all
RNW: I can imagine.
Are you guys writing right now? Writing for the new . . .
CF: All the time!
RNW: I don’t want to go too
much into the masks and the coveralls, I think that’s been covered a million
times, but as far as you being #3, 3 of 9, I understand that the numbers
now kind of mean something to each one of you, as well as the masks being
some sort of an extension of your personality or an exaggeration of your
personality. So what does three mean to you - what significance has
it taken on for you and the appearance of your mask? How do they
relate to you?
CF: Well, all numbers are
important. Numbers are very, oh how do I explain this? There’s,
everything is numbers. Spirits and all that stuff, you know?
Its like, mine personally, I don’t know. It just came, its given
to me. It wasn’t something I picked or . . . cause my favorite number
is eight. But the mask is just a thing that happened. It kind
of allows you to do things you might not normally do or say, but I guarantee
with this band we still would. We’d be slammin just as hard and being
just as f***ing crazy as if we didn’t have this stuff on.
RNW: Do you think there’s
going to come a time when you guys are going to get away from that or .
CF: You mean, like, the masks?
Yeah, kind of like with KISS, you know, they did the make-up for a while
and they were really anonymous and that was really cool for a while.
And then they just kind of got tired of it and then they were like, the
make-up’s giving me a rash and I don’t want to do this s*** anymore.
Now they’re back, so . . .
CF: I don’t know, I mean,
we’re not going to today.
RNW: And your mask is, what
would you call that persona?
CF: The persona?
RNW: Yeah, is it Pinocchio,
lets say? Childlike, mischievous?
CF: Yeah, absolutely, all
RNW: Have you ever had any
thoughts of modifying it or changing it at all? Do you have an idea
for other things you could do?
CF: There’s some stuff in
the works, for the next record I think.
RNW: Does that apply to everybody?
CF: I don’t know.
RNW: Are we going to be seeing
some different faces now?
CF: Don’t know. I don’t
yet. Always constantly thinking about stuff.
here for the rest of the Slipknot interview and special