After more than two years in hibernation, Slipknot are about to re-emerge with a new look and a new album, which is cryptically titled Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses.
The band will don its third series of masks on this year's Jägermeister Music Tour, which begins March 30 in Orlando, Florida (see "Slipknot, Chimaira, Fear Factory Set For Jägermeister Music Tour").The new masks are more streamlined than those Slipknot wore on the 2002 tour for their second album, Iowa, but the look is basically the same.
"It's just an extension of what we wore last time, they just have more elaborate detail," said drummer Joey Jordison. "You can still tell which guy is who, so I don't think the kids are gonna be confused."
Nor will they be confused by Slipknot's new music, Jordison said. As with the masks, the vibe is instantly familiar, but the songs are more developed than the group's prior material. The first track released will be "Pulse of the Maggots," which comes out the same day the Jägermeister Music Tour launches.
"It's got the feel of Ministry crossed with Slayer," Jordison said. "It's heavier than f--- and it's really cool. Also, it's the first introduction to the shredder old-school guitar solos of Mick [Thompson] and Jim [Root]. Mick and Jim are two of the best guitar players I've ever heard, and I think it's cool that we never really showcased their talent at playing technical metal solos. But when you hear them play back-and-forth solos on that track, it's so insane that it kind of makes you laugh."
"Pulse of the Maggots," like many songs on Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses, due May 25, is about the band's development over the last couple of years and the relationship it continues to nurture with its fans. "It's a rallying cry anthem, and it's about how our fans still hold the flag for a band that has been gone for two years. It's a tribute to them, fully."
Slipknot chose the name Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses because while the album is an obvious cry of rage and frustration, there's an underlying theme of bonding and unification.
"I don't necessarily look at it as a negative or evil title," Jordison said. "I just think there are so many internal thoughts and so much intensity within the lyrics that there are a lot of different meanings that can be pulled out of it. A lot of feelings went into the making of this record, and after digesting the whole thing you can really see that we're dealing a lot with getting back together and learning how to be a band again."
The first "official" single, "Duality," expresses the dichotomy of the bandmembers wanting to be away from one another and striving to get back together. "It's about realizing how important we are to our fans and how important they are to us, and how important we are to each other," Jordison said. "It's about creating that movement again."
The track is the most experimental single the band has ever released. "It's got one of the heaviest grooves we ever came up with," Jordison said. "It's a dark song, but the chorus is very liberal as far as tones and things that we've never done before, and the things we've done with [singer] Corey [Taylor]'s voice are really wild."
Slipknot will shoot a performance video for the song later this month in their hometown of Des Moines, Iowa, with Mark Klasfeld and Tony of Vem and Tony.
"It's gonna really show the actual intensity of the band," Jordison said. "Doing it in our hometown will really bring out an ethereal type of vibe that I don't think we could capture by being in L.A."