Among the gang of Slipknot side projects that appeared in the wake of the band's breakthrough success and alleged dissolution, perhaps the most curious was To My Surprise. Percussionist Shawn Crahan, aka Clown, began work on the project in June 2003 with Des Moines homies Brandon Darner (vocals, guitar) and Steven Robinson (bass, guitar), and eventually arrived at a sound totally opposite to his full-time gig, and pretty impossible to classify at all. Of course, Rick Rubin was floored by the demos. The famously bearded figurehead served as executive producer for To My Surprise's eponymous and eclectic debut, which was issued by Roadrunner in October 2003. Cross-pollinating psychedelia, introspective pop, and arty, metal-influenced experimentation, it was clear that there was more to Crahan than his clown-mask alter ego. ~ Johnny Loftus, Rovi