Preparation for a new album began in 2007. Joey told the other members to demo whatever they can so they have as much material to choose from as possible.
In February 2008, it was time to enter the studio. Slipknot would head to the Sound Farm Studio in Jamaica, Iowa with producer Dave Fortman. This would be the band’s first album written and recorded in their home state of Iowa. The band decided to record in Iowa because there were too many distractions in Los Angeles, where production of their previous albums had taken place. The band also stated that being close to home was good for their mindset, Corey would drive home every night to see his son.
Unlike Slipknot’s previous releases, this album’s writing process involved all nine band members. They would write more than enough, over 30 songs. Corey and Jim paired up with Sid, performing on keyboards, and Clown to work on “oblique, arty pieces”. Corey would also experiment with tracking in an old well.
Corey: “There was this natural reverb to it that was just intense.”
None of the experimental tracks ended up making it onto the album. However, one of them, “Til We Die“, would appear as a bonus track on the album’s special edition along with “Child of Burning Time” and the similarly experimental “Vermillion Pt. 2” (Bloodstone mix). The track “Sulfur” would be the first combined effort of Joey and Jim, who actually wrote the song in one evening.
New Masks & Singles
Slipknot started working with a new special fx artist, Ralis Kahn, to make their new masks.
The band also got new outfits to wear. This time they were less unified as before, consisting of different kinds of jackets, shirts, jeans etc. More information can be found at our AHIG Suits section.
On April 1, 2008, Slipknot’s website started displaying teasers, 10 in total, to promote the upcoming album. The first nine displayed the band in their purgatory masks. These were big wearable heads, made out of paper mache, and each represented the wearers own face.
The final teaser featured a darkened photograph of the band with their new masks.
Slipknot finished recording the new album in June, 2008.
On June 15, 2008, a 30-second sample and the cover art of the album’s title track, “All Hope Is Gone“, were made available on Amazon.com. The song began airplay the same day and on June 20, 2008, Roadrunner Records put the track on their website where you could download it for free. 3 days later they released the song as a digital single.
The second single from the album, “Psychosocial“, began airplay on June 26, 2008.
Slipknot premiered their new masks on July 1, 2008, with reportedly eight million people visiting the website to view the masks on the first day.
All Hope Is Gone World Tour
The album’s cover art and track listing were released on July 8, 2008. Slipknot began its All Hope Is Gone World Tour the following day. This tour would be their first since 2005. The tour started with the Mayhem Festival 2008.
During the opening date of the Mayhem Festival 2008 on July 9 at Auburn, Washington, Sid broke both of his heels after jumping from an elevated area of the stage and landing incorrectly. Despite the injury, he promised to perform on all dates of the tour in a wheelchair. As promised, he returned to the band, in a wheelchair and with both his legs in casts. The festival tour ended on August 18, 2008.
Slipknot released the All Hope Is Gone album on August 20, 2008.
At the end of the 2008 Mayhem Festival, drummer Joey broke his ankle, due to this all the European tour dates were cancelled.
On October 8, 2008, Slipknot headed out to Japan for the Japanese leg of the tour.
On October 13, 2008, Roadrunner Records announced on its Myspace and on its official website that they would release a DVD of the Roadrunner United concert from 2005 on December 9, 2008. It would be a two-disc DVD of the Roadrunner United release party-concert, featuring songs from the album performed live. The DVD features the full concert and a documentary.
Tokyo’s Loud Park Festival on October 18, 2008 would be their last performance on the Japanese tour.
Next, Slipknot would start their Australian/New Zealand leg of the tour at Auckland, New Zealand on October 22, 2008. This was the first time Slipknot were able to bring what Clown described as “the real set, the real deal” to an Australian audience. The band travelled with over 11 tons of equipment, including hydraulic drum risers, percussionist rigs, pyrotechnics, lighting and stage set-ups. They would end the Australian tour on October 30, 2008, in Perth, Australia.
After having to cancel their last European tour, Slipknot would finally head out to Europe on November 5, 2008. The first show was in Moscow, which was also Slipknot’s first performance ever in Russia. The European tour would end on December 15, 2008, in Luxembourg.
During the European tour, on December 1, 2008, “Dead Memories” was released as a digital single. They also released a music video for the track on the same day.
After a Christmas break, on January 23, 2009, the band would start touring the US again.
Corey said that Slipknot would be changing their stage set for this US leg of the tour.
“We’re getting away from the pyro. We’re going way more visual this time. We’re incorporating a lot of video.”
On the opening show, Clown debuted a new mask, the “Female Clown” which was significantly different from the one he wore earlier on the album cycle.
The US tour would last all the way to March 11, 2009.
The music video for “Sulfur” premiered on April 18, 2009.
Slipknot would continue touring and head to Canada for 4 performances. Clown left the tour to return home after performing on the opening date. The band continued the tour without him. The band later stated that Clown’s absence was due to the passing of his mother. The Canadian leg of the tour would end on May 2, 2009.
After Canada the band heads back to the US for the third time during the world tour, first show being on May 3, 2009. After missing six shows in total due to his mother’s death, Clown returned to the tour on May 8, 2009.
On June 6, 2009, Slipknot returned to tour Europe. Slipknot’s performance on June 13, 2009 at Download Festival was streamed live on the internet, along with various other acts performing at the festival.
The album’s fourth single,”Sulfur”, was released on June 15, 2009.
The tour would end at Croatia, on July 16, 2009.
On September 9, 2009, Slipknot planned on commemorating the 10-year anniversary of their debut self-titled album by hosting a one-day festival in their hometown. Slipknot were to headline the festival, which would host two stages, the second stage showcasing local bands. However, the festival was canceled shortly after it was announced, for unknown reasons.
On August 22, 2009, Slipknot canceled their appearance at the KISW Pain In The Grass event due to Joey being rushed to hospital hours before their set was supposed to start. Despite planning to return for the following date in Kennewick, Washington, Slipknot again canceled their appearance hours before their performance. Slipknot also canceled their remaining dates on the tour due to Joey’s health, promising to reschedule the first two dates.
As previously promised by the band, Slipknot rescheduled their first canceled appearances in Washington from August, allowing all previous ticket holders the opportunity to attend. First show was on October 10, 2009, the tour would last to the end of October, last show being on the 31st of October, 2009.
After the World Tour, Slipknot would go on their 3rd hiatus.
During the hiatus, several band members focused on their side projects. Corey founded Junk Beer Kidnap Band and returned to Stone Sour with Jim, Clown continued working with his band Dirty Little Rabbits; and Joey returned with his band Murderdolls and became the new permanent drummer of Rob Zombie. Chris is a full-time bassist with metalcore band Will Haven and Sid started his solo project Sid.
Paul Gray 1972 – 2010
In 2010, Paul was planning to tour with Hail!, but on May 24, 2010, he was found dead in a hotel room in Iowa.
The day after his death, the other members of the band held a live, unmasked, press conference alongside Paul’s wife and brother.
At first the band was hesitant to comment on the future of Slipknot.
Later the members made conflicting statements in interviews. According to Joey there was another Slipknot record already kinda in the making, while Corey said he was very conflicted about whether or not he wants to do anything with Slipknot.
On September 22, 2010, Slipknot’s fourth video album (sic)nesses, premiered in select theaters across the United States. Entrance to the screenings were free and it included free giveaways.
A week later, on September 28, 2010, (sic)nesses was officially released. The double-disc release features a recording of their performance at the 2009 Download Festival, along with a 45-minute behind the scenes documentary created by Clown. There’s also the four music videos from the All Hope Is Gone album.
In 2010 Slipknot announced the Memorial World Tour that would happen in 2011 in honor of Paul.
Corey stated that he was willing to perform the shows for the fans, but he wasn’t sure about recording another Slipknot album any time soon due to the absence of Paul and his own involvement with Stone Sour. Joey had other plans, as according to him, he and some other members of the band had already separately recorded demos of new material. He hoped to start recording sometime in early 2011. Corey has maintained he had no interest in making a new record without Paul.
For the tour, Donnie Steele, an ex-guitarist from the MFKR days, was brought in to fill in for Paul, performing from backstage. Slipknot would headline the Sonisphere Festival in Finland, France, Sweden and the UK. They would also co-headline the festival in Greece, Turkey, Switzerland and Italy with Iron Maiden. In Belgium they headlined the Graspop Metal Meeting festival.
The Memorial World Tour started on June 17, 2011, in Athens, Greece. The band wore red jumpsuits, similar to the red S/T suits seen in the early days. Many of the members also wore similar masks to what they used to wear back then.
After touring Europe for almost a month, last show being on July 10, they took 2 months off from touring.
On September 25, 2011, Slipknot performed in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, at the Rock in Rio Festival. Then it was time for another break.
On February 8, 2012, it was announced that Slipknot would return to North America for the Mayhem Festival tour. But before that the band would head out to Australia.
Slipknot returned to touring on February 25, 2012, for the Australian Soundwave Festival tour. After 7 performances, on March 5, 2012, the band was done with touring. For now..
On May 29, 2012, Roadrunner Records posted a teaser video titled Antennas to Hell. Later that day, Corey announced that Slipknot will release a greatest hits album. He also said the band was not yet recording new material but was putting together demos for a new album.
Knotfest was officially announced on June 4, 2012.
June 30, 2012 kicked off the Mayhem Festival tour in the US.
While touring, on July 23, 2012, Antennas to Hell is released by Roadrunner Records. On July 31, 2012, they would also release (sic)nesses on Blu-ray.
For this tour Slipknot had new outfits, red IOWA styled jumpsuits. As they usually do, some band members introduced their new masks to the world while some wore their old ones.
Mayhem Festival tour would last to August 5, 2012 but Slipknot wasn’t done yet.
Three days later they would start their last leg of touring. Slipknot played two shows in both the US and Canada. Then it was time for the first ever Knotfest.
Knotfest was a two-city event and took place on August 17, 2012 in Council Bluffs, Iowa and August 18, 2012 in Somerset, Wisconsin. The festival shows also debuted the Slipknot museum. The second day of Knotfest, August 18, was live streamed on the internet.
On May 11, 2013, Slipknot performed at the Ozzfest Japan 2013. They debuted new white jumpsuits and some of the band members also had new masks.
On June 14, 2013, Slipknot headlined the Download Festival for a second time. The band performed to roughly 90,000 people and was twice forced to stop the set to allow the front barricade, which had split open under the crowd’s pressure, to be repaired.
On December 12, 2013, the band announced through its official website that Joey Jordison had left Slipknot after 18 years. On his official Facebook page, Joey later said he “did not quit Slipknot” and that he was “shocked” and “blindsided” by the news.
More about Slipknot at our .5: The Gray Chapter section.