Watch: Slipknot – The Devil In I
MF: Was there ever a moment where you felt like a new Slipknot album might not happen?
JR: There’s always a moment [laughs] That’s the other thing about this band is every time we do a record, I feel like it’s gonna be the last record we’ve ever done, you know what I mean? There’s so many guys in this band, so many different mentalities, it’s tough with this group of people.
MF: Did you feel like there was a lot more pressure on you guys this time around, like this had to be your Sgt Pepper’s and your White Album in one?
JR: I never felt any pressure, the whole time we working on this. For whatever reason, to me, everything felt very natural and very calm. Outside of the emotions I was feeling and going through, the actual process of writing was pretty therapeutic.
I feel the pressure when we’re done and we’re out of the studio and it’s getting ready to get put out there and it’s out of our hands. That’s when all of a sudden I have the stark realisation of, ‘Oh fuck, we’re done. There’s no more work that I can do it on. There it is world.’ That’s when I kind of start tripping out a little bit.
MF: How do you feel the new members acclimated to the Slipknot recording process?
JR: I think they did really well considering the circumstances that were thrown at them. We threw the book at the drummer, we fuckin’ put him through the wringer. He did not have it easy. But he was up to the challenge with everything that we threw at him. He took it all and props to him for that.
The bass player was a little bit of a different situation, because we kind of had a little bit of a revolving door of dudes coming in and out and trying things. Even Donnie came into the studio for a while and it just to a point where we were struggling looking for somebody and then the right guy presented himself sort of at the last minute. It worked out pretty cool.
MF: Have you been impressed with the way fans immediately began analysing the Devil In I video to find clues about the new members? They sort of treated it like the Zapruder film.
JR: [laughs] I sort of try to stay away from seeing what the fans… I have a hard time with any sort of criticism, not because I have some huge ego or anything like that. This is the most personal record I’ve ever done, it’s probably the most deeply involved record that I’ve done so it kind of crushes me a little bit when somebody doesn’t get it or they’re comparing it to something else.
It kind of makes me throw my hands up in the air, so I haven’t paid too much attention to all that type of shit. I like to keep my world positive. There’s enough negativity kicking around.
MF: You guys have Knotfest kicking off next month. Have you started rehearsals already?
JR: Yeah, actually, I am rehearsing at my house with our new bass player right now. He just flew in and we’re just going through some stuff and refreshing things and learning some of the old songs from the set that he’s never played before and then tomorrow the drummer will be here and I’ve got a little drum set set up in my house and we’re just gonna have a little three-piece jam here till we get together with the rest of the guys in the band in October.
MF: Do you know what the setlists for the upcoming shows will be like? Will it be an even split of new songs and fan favourites?
JR: Yeah, it’s gonna be… I mean, I’m not sure how the headlining set will be, because we haven’t really discussed the headlining set, but for Knotfest we’re doing two nights so we almost have two completely different setlists for both nights. I mean, there’s a couple of songs that we repeat from night to night, but for the most part they’re pretty drastically different.
I think we’re playing four of the new songs. By the time we do Knotfest the album will be out so hopefully people will be a little more familiar with the tunes on the new record.