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Deafheaven’s George Clarke discusses Slipknot’s debut LP for 20th anniversary

Deafheaven at Brooklyn Steel
Deafheaven at Brooklyn Steel in 2018 (more by Ester Segretto)

Slipknot‘s 1999 self-titled debut album turns 20 this weekend, and in the two decades since its release, Slipknot have emerged as a highly influential band on some of today’s rising acts in heavy music and beyond. Just ahead of the anniversary, Revolver interviewed George Clarke, frontman of Deafheaven (who toured with Slipknot in 2016), about the impact that Slipknot’s debut had on him. He called it “an album that was very formative for me that also became a gateway to more extreme, more underground metal,” and he later added, “What excited me then that has gone on to impress me further as I get older, is how immersive their approach is. Every detail is constructed with so much intent. They’re masterful at developing and maintaining their own world.”

He talked about how the first time he was introduced to Slipknot was when he was at a friend’s house listening to another now-influential and critically re-evaluated band, Korn, and his friend’s older brother stepped in:

Talk about the first time you heard Slipknot’s self-titled album, and how you discovered it.

George Clarke: It was the summer following sixth grade and I had been spending most of it at my friend Jared’s house. We were in his bedroom listening to Life Is Peachy and I was singing along to the CD into a pillow, trying to convince him that we should start a band. His older brother came into the room laughing at us. He asked if we wanted to hear “some real shit,” then played us “Wait and Bleed.”

And when asked if he still listens to them now, he said, “They’re an important band for my early years of music discovery, and while I don’t listen to the album as regularly as I once did, seeing those songs live still gives me that spark.” Read the full interview (and see an amazing picture of George wearing a Slipknot shirt as a teen) at Revolver.

Slipknot’s first album in five years, We Are Not Your Kind, comes out August 9 via Roadrunner and you can hear lead single “Unsainted” here. Talking about the album recently, frontman Corey Taylor said, “It is probably the furthest we’ve pushed the boundaries of creativity and experimentation, while also not losing our identity.” Slipknot are also touring with Gojira, Behemoth, and Volbeat this summer, and Taylor says, “Not only is [our new live show] interactive — there’s video, there’s fire — but the whole set looks like an industrial complex. This is our attempt to create some Iron Maiden stuff, which is something we’ve been trying to do for a while.”

In more Slipknot-related news, the new Our Band Could Be Your Life audiobook is out now, including the Big Black chapter narrated by Corey Taylor.

Deafheaven are gearing up for a Europe/UK tour with Touche Amore and playing US festivals Psycho Las Vegas and Levitation. And speaking of Touche Amore, frontman Jeremy Bolm’s other band Hesitation Wounds just announced a new album. Hesitation Wounds’ current drummer is Thomas Cantwell of Gouge Away, but it used to be Jay Weinberg, who is currently in Slipknot.

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