During a recent episode of “The NFR Podcast,” MACHINE HEAD frontman Robb Flynn spoke about the SLIPKNOT and the band’s early days.
Remembering his first encounter with SLIPKNOT, Flynn said (watch full interview below): “In my mind, all I’m thinking is just like, ‘Nine dudes in a band?! How are you gonna split the money?! That’s a lot of people!’ And I don’t realize that there’s this whole imagery that goes along with it, Clown was the mastermind of that, and so, I’m just hearing it for the first time, and I’m like, ‘F*ck, this sh*t’s brutal. It’s heavy, it’s like death metal, but it’s, like, singing.’ It was just wild.
“I didn’t really hear the first two or three tracks, I didn’t think they got to those until like halfway through the mix or near the end of the mix, so I didn’t realize that it had this rap element, I just kind of heard this,” he continued. I just have great memories of just sitting in my rental car with those guys going like, ‘OK, f*ck, this is cool.’
“I remember they worked on that one song for a really long time until they got the mix dialed in, and then I’d come up there on other, I was like coming up every few days or something to just work on vocals, and then I’d go back and mix my record with Terry Date down in West Hollywood. I remember coming up, we’d just talk after, like, I’d record my vocal sections and we just kind of stick around, it’s like 11 o’clock at night, there was nothing to do. Indigo Ranch is seven miles off of the main highway, it’s in the middle of f*cking nowhere.
“So there’s nothing to do, so we’d just watch TV sometimes and talk bullsh*t — because it was just those three, I got to be pretty close with him and [percussionist] Chris Fehn. I think at one point they were, we were still working on our record [1999’s The Burning Red], but I think they finished their album, so they had been there, I think it was, I can’t remember how long, it was 22 years ago and I was pretty f*cking wasted, but I want to say it took almost 30 days to mix the record.
“They were finally done, they’re like, ‘Oh my god, I just want to go f*cking crazy now, because I’ve been cooped up in f*cking Indigo Ranch for 30 days 7 miles from the nearest anything.’ So it’s just like, ‘Let’s go to a strip club…’ ‘Yeah, we’ll go to a strip club, we’re gonna rage, we’re gonna celebrate, it’s the last night.’ They’re gonna fly out the next day, the record’s done, hip-hip-hooray.
“At this point, I still had no idea that they wear masks or anything, it’s just like 9 dudes. We go out to this strip club in L.A., and in L.A. back in 1999, if you wanted to drink alcohol, there was some weird rule, a lot of the strip clubs were like if you wanted to drink booze, the girls had to be partially covered, so they’d have like nipple tape over their nipples, and they’d have like a super-small thong on.
“Anyway, we go, and keep in mind, Joey Jordison is maybe a dollar twenty wet, like, he’s a little dude, he’s like 5’3” [160 cm], he was really skinny, he hasn’t been drinking, he’s in totally great shape, so we go to a strip club, and he has like maybe two or three drinks, and he’s f*cking sh*tfaced. Chris Fehn gets wasted, I got to say, this is one of my funniest f*cking ragers at a strip club I’ve ever had. Chris Fehn was so f*cking funny, the girls come, ‘Here comes Brandy to the stage. Ladies and gentlemen, get your dollars out for Brandy!’
“And Brandy or whoever comes out on stage, and Chris Fehn who’s also now hammered after many more drinks, we’re pounding at the bar, he comes up and he climbs up on the f*cking stage, he starts stripping with the stripper, which is the, oh my god, it was one of the funniest f*cking things.
Robb added: “I was in tears watching him, and Joey and I, we’re all at the table, we’re off the pole, like, the table around the pole, and Joey and I and Ross [Robinson, producer] are just, we’re crying like we’re laughing so f*cking hard that we’re crying, and of course, security comes and like ‘Hey man, you can’t do that!’ Chris Fehn just had this way of, like, he’s charming, he’s got this kind of Iowa charm, and he talks his way out of getting kicked out, he’s like, ‘I was just joking, man.’ He was obviously all for fun, he wasn’t being like gropey or nothing, it was just hilarious.”