Slipknot's Clown On His Exit Strategy
Nine-piece metal outfit Slipknot begins their headline run on this year's Rockstar Mayhem tour this Saturday in San Bernardino. Their percussionist M. Shawn Crahan -- also known as Clown -- meanwhile has recently released his first art book of photography, The Apocalyptic Nightmare Journey, as well as launched a film imprint with Slipknot vocalist Corey Taylor called Living Breathing Films. (Production will begin on their debut films after the tour is completed.)
We spoke with him about the band, his planned retirement (it involves his wife being topless) and the effect the death of Slipknot bassist Paul Gray two years ago had on him.
During live performances you often put yourself at risk of physical injury by doing insane stunts on-stage. Has your recovery time gotten longer as you've gotten older?
Oh yeah ... I'm always injuring myself. I don't know if it's because I'm a klutz or an idiot, I don't know. I just had major knee surgery. I took a trip to Australia, and when I got back I couldn't move my left leg. The normal healing time runs up to the exact date of our first show on Rockstar Mayhem. I'm not worried though about me. I'm worried about Clown. Clown will take the weakness of me, and tell me to deal with it. And then Clown gets to disappear after the show, but I am stuck with all of the damage. But I wouldn't have it any other way.
I treat every show like it's the last. Since the beginning, every show we've told ourselves that this could be the last. My kids know that if I die on-stage, that's where I should have gone. I don't want to, though. I want to live for a very long time. I'd like to retire and leave on a good note. Whenever Slipknot calls it a day, I ain't coming back. I'm in Tahiti with my wife, wearing some stupid briefs on a beach with a Corona in my hand, while she is walking around topless.
So when Clown disappears for good, you're going to disappear for good then also?
Oh yeah, I'll be gone, dude! I'm not going to be a relic. I have other dreams and other aspirations. I want to be a grandpa. I want to give my wife all the time she deserves for all of the time I've been on the road, all of the anniversaries I've missed.
I lost my dad when I was on the road. Something you never want to experience is to get done with a show, be told "that was a great show" and then find out your father died while the show was going on. But my dad knows I was living my dream and was proud of me and taught me everything I know, and is with me every day. But when I hang it up for good, there will just be a few quick words and I'll go on my way.