Jim Root Says There Were ‘So Many Factors Against’ Slipknot While Making New Album
The End, So Far is in sight. Slipknot's latest album is due this Friday (Sept. 30), but it wasn't necessarily an easy journey in getting to the point of release. Guitarist Jim Root detailed some of the bumps in the road while en route to finishing and releasing the album with Music Radar.
One big change for the new record is that it came together during the pandemic, which provided its own challenges. Within the chat, Root was initially asked about producer Joe Barresi and what he could provide to their band, but he detoured to how even Barresi had to adjust on the fly to the pandemic lockdown conditions.
“Joe Barresi is an amazing producer. He has got an amazing track record, and I feel that we weren’t prepared for Joe Barresi, and I feel like we were not able to use Joe Barresi to his fullest extent, y’know what I mean," Root told Music Radar. "We did not do pre-production. We essentially built this record in the studio, and a lot of that was due to Covid, and us being separated, and the circumstances led us to do the record the way it was done."
Root says of the forthcoming release, “With my mindset being the way it was, I didn’t have a ton of creative input. I felt kinda rushed trying to come up with ideas for this or that arrangement. We weren’t rehearsed as a band. We did not come in knowing the songs top to bottom, and that affected the record. That put us behind schedule. It had us, not really arguing and fighting with each other, but trying to figure it out, like, ‘What is the best way to approach this knowing that we are doing what we are doing?’"
The guitarist adds, “You can make a plan, and you can plan as much as you want, but the big clock above your head and the budget from the label, and all this stuff, the studio we were at and the scheduling of that, there are so many factors that were against us making this record that I am surprised we were able to finish it."
Root shares some frustration with their routine being thrown off, but adds that it doesn't diminish his view of what they are preparing to release. He adds, “It is taking us so long to get it out compared to how long it took us to track it! It’s like, well, if it has taken this long to get it out then we could have taken our fucking time with pre-production, and, in my mind, put out a better product. And that’s not to say that we’re disappointed with what we are putting out; it’s where we are at. It’s what we were able to do, given the circumstances, and the things that we had to work with."
The guitarist compared it to making movies. "Directors will say constantly that they never finish a movie, they just abandon them! I feel like, more than anything with this record, we had to abandon it and move on from it. And Clown was like, ‘It’s not a record! It’s not a Slipknot record! We are still touring on We Are Not Your Kind, on that tour, and by the way here are some songs...’ Well, you can say that, but we are putting a fucking record out and to the fans this is a fucking Slipknot record. No matter what you say, that’s what it is.”
In addition to the different recording approach necessitated by the pandemic, Root says that there's an ongoing balancing act between the band's evolution and staying true to their past.
“We have to evolve. There is no way around it. We are not the same band that put out the Iowa record. We are not the same band that put out The Subliminal Verses. We are just not those people anymore," says the guitarist, who adds that the desire to evolve has pushed him. “That is why I say that I am still trying to learn how to write, ‘cos you want to evolve. If you look at certain bands, like Radiohead or even the Beatles, look at the way they evolved over time."
“I do not want to get away from this, from the Iowa record, the self-titled record; those are a huge part of our career and we still play those songs to this day, and it is a huge part of what we are," he adds. "So, how do you maintain that and then also get to express yourself and evolve musically? It is a weird teeter. It’s a weird balance .... We can’t just go put a dubstep record out; we’re fucking Slipknot, there’s a wheelhouse. There’s something to work from. But how do we take that and let that evolve? And what does that sound like? Who knows?”
Slipknot have already released "The Chapeltown Rag," "The Dying Song (Time to Sing)" and "Yen" off the new album, with song teasers for "Adderall," "Medicine for the Dead" and "Heirloom" also offering a sample.
The band is currently out on the road building up buzz for the new album. Be sure to get your tickets for the run here.