We Are Not Your Kind

We Are Not Your Kind

As aggressive and intense as Slipknot looks and sounds, their approach to creating music is as tender and nurturing as a doe’s love for her fawn. For their sixth studio album, We Are Not Your Kind, the Iowans took their time—four years—working on their communication and brotherhood. Most of all, they responded with force to a world in crisis. Slipknot percussionist Clown (aka #6, government name Shawn Crahan) has noticed that fans (lovingly called “Maggots”) constantly praise 2001’s Iowa, but he encourages them to read the room. “I always have to stop and remind them of the temperature of the world at that time,” he told Apple Music. “And then they step back a little and realise that the world was upside down, and you needed music to get through. We feel that the world's like that again.” On this album, anti-authoritarian anthems (“Birth of the Cruel”, “A Liar’s Funeral”), martyrdom (“Unsainted”) and heady meditations (“Insert Coin”, “What’s Next”) are dropped into the band’s swirling circle pit of electronic-tinged thrash metal. Clown took Apple Music through We Are Not Your Kind track by track. “We gave the music and ourselves a deep breath,” he explained. “Everybody's all in.” “Insert Coin” “It's a way of saying, ‘I'm here waiting for everybody else. And here they come.’ It's like being on a foothill overlooking the ocean, and just seeing everybody making their way through rough waters. It's an aligning. Insert the coin. Let's go.” “Unsainted” “The whole album has that theme where you look at a song, measure by measure, beat by beat. And you wonder just how much colour, temperature and love you can give it. And it was an amazing experience, and it fit perfectly. And it was the mentality of the album. When that song came about, years ago, I do remember hearing the guitar riff and the chorus. And I can remember just being like, ‘This is the first song on the album.’ It was just magical. This is new, this is us, this is where we're at.” “Birth of the Cruel” “That’s one of my favourites. It shifts. It's intense. It's driving. We've had it for a while. Corey Taylor says, ‘I'm overthrown/I'm over your throne.’ These plays on words I just live for.” “Death Because of Death” “That's another example of what life is. It’s very atmospheric, making you question things. It's another little puzzle piece. It's like a snake that creeps up on you, and it's gone before you realise what you can do. They may be short, but it may be very venomous. And that may affect you in a way you didn't seek, if you give in to it.” “Nero Forte” “I challenge myself personally. I've learned a lot from people that have been in this band. Just being out on the road, the peers that I've been around, and the respect level that I have for these people, I recognise it's so beautiful. I wanted to take everything I've learned to write a little cadence—the breakdown area that you hear was really important to me. And the chorus just blows me away. The falsetto—20 years in the gig and Corey Taylor’s singing falsetto. What’s better than that? Talk about evolution and still taking chances, and just loving music. It's like hitting the beach running for your life.” “Critical Darling” “This one draws a lot of reaction. The vocal melody is my favourite. I love his headspace. Corey's my favourite singer of all time because he's able to delve so deep into his own self and bring up this personal stuff that most people may not want to do for themselves. But he does it for himself and all of us. It's very different for us, but at the same time, it’s exactly us. I think it really helps the other colours of the album.” “A Liar’s Funeral” “These sorts of tunes can be very difficult for many different reasons. It starts off with a demeanour that you think you know what's going to happen, but you realise this is the heaviest you’ve heard Corey sing so far on the album. It gets to a place you find yourself still in the chair with a stare. And this is one of those songs that I battled personally for and the song got its due. Everything got dot-crossed, and here it is: ‘Burn, burn, burn, liar!’” “Red Flag” “That's your traditional Slipknot feeling right there. It's got a very thrash feel. It's fun, it swirls, and it’s not like ‘Get This (Or Die)’ or ‘Eeyore’ different. I believe it's much needed in the temperature and the ingredients of the album.” “What’s Next” “Intermission is a nice way of saying it. I mean, I've never really thought of it that way, but maybe that's why it falls into the slot that it does. Innately, we don't have these ideas about how to get people back into the reality of the music, and not get caught up and giving their dog some water or something. This sort of vibe is so us and where we're at, and even where we’ve been from 1998 to here. So, yeah, ‘What's Next’ is like ginger—it's like resetting the palate, countered with a potentially condescending notion. It's a nice little trot.” “Spiders” “‘Spiders’ is an anomaly—the song everybody thinks they understand and has something to say about. We've been talking about this quote that gets passed around: ‘It's easy to make something simple sound crazy, but it's almost impossible to make something crazy sound simple.’ Listening to ‘Spiders’, it sounds simple, but it goes into some weird places. It’s a pivotal part of our career, because we're always searching ourselves. We're always gaining further and further as artists, because music's God to me. So I don't shame anything we make. In the end, it's got to have everybody and it's got to be Slipknot. And ‘Spiders’ is as Slipknot as it gets. ‘Spiders’ is coming for you.” “Orphan” “A very, very heavy, heavy song. ‘Orphan’ was the very first song that we had arranged and figured out early. And then we got away from it forever because everything else came in. Corey came in about a year and a half after some things were written, and ‘Orphan’ was one of those songs that he had been given to write lyrics to. I can't remember what it used to be called. He texted me and said that he was naming it ‘Orphan’—I knew it was going to be really heavy-duty personal. And just that word, orphan, creates a colour in one's mind that is, for me, very grey, numb, just monotone and unable to move. I remember staring at my text. Then Greg Fidelman, the producer, looks over at me. I'm like, 'This song's going to be called "Orphan".' We're all just like, ‘Whoaaaa.’ So it's a very deep song with a traditional sort of feeling for us." “My Pain” “‘My Pain’ has been around for a second. And again, it's all about communication. That is a very, very important song for the world, for individuals. We have songs like that: ‘’Til We Die’, ‘Heartache and a Pair of Scissors’, ‘Skin Ticket’, ‘Prosthetics’, ‘Danger - Keep Away’. We have this otherworldly source that we go to. And I think this is one of those songs, but it's a little more focused into its own reality.” “Not Long for This World” “It draws heavy imagination. It paints pictures in my brain. It’s like we’re taking you to Fantasia—the Walt Disney movie. Mickey goes in to mess with the wizard’s wand, and he gets into these brooms while getting water. I’m 49, but as a kid, that was frightening. This song paints the end of the world not to be contrived. It’s very important in the steps of the album. You start on step one, and you work your way to the end, till you're at the top. You either jump or you go back down. You could say it's setting up ‘Solway Firth’. I don't know if it's a concept, because everything we do is a concept. I could cite that everything from '98 till now has been a concept, because art is heavy with us—in the music, in everything.” “Solway Firth” “When I heard Corey at the end say, ‘You want a real smile? I haven't smiled in years,’ I cried. I hurt. I hurt for me. I hurt for my family. I hurt for people around me. I 190% hurt for him. I hurt for whoever he was talking about. I hurt for everyone. And it was like: This will be the last song on the album. Nothing can follow that line. Anybody who's going through shit on this planet, that's a way of saying it, ending it, getting up and changing your potential immediately. And there's this little false ending before it. So you're like whisked away for a moment, and then it's like, bam! You get the biggest smack in the face, and it's up to you to get up and believe that you have control to change your destiny.”

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