SLIPKNOT percussionist Shawn “Clown” Crahan has followed frontman Corey Taylor‘s lead in pushing back against comments from politicians linking the most recent spate of mass shootings to popular culture.
Earlier in the month, President Donald Trump called for curbing “gruesome and grisly video games” that contribute to a “culture of violence” as a response to the horrific shooting sprees in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. This echoed historical patterns of moral panic, such as 1950s concerns about comic books and Tipper Gore‘s efforts to blame pop and rock music in the 1980s for violence, sex and satanism.
“You know, I don’t pay that any mind because art can’t be touched,” Crahan told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “Freedom of speech, you know? Basically, SLIPKNOT‘s my religion, if you want to go that far. You can’t touch this. You can’t fundamentally come into this, because this is my life, this is my spirituality, this is my religion that I worship.
“A lot of times, when they divert the plan, the strategy, to things like music, it’s just because they don’t know what the hell they’re doing,” he continued. “They created all these laws, and now they can’t overturn them or even adjust them. They can’t find a happy medium. They can’t compromise. And so, when it’s like that, they’re always going to blame some fraction. And I’m the fraction.”
In a recent interview with The Ringer, Taylor was asked about the negative pushback he has received from some of his fans for the anti-Donald Trump comments he has made on Twitter and through various media outlets.
Asked if that tension is still a problem at all, Taylor responded: “I don’t know, to be honest. There’s a whole lot of Trump supporters who are very vocal when they’re, like, ‘Keep your f*cking politics to yourself.’ But they don’t say that to people who agree with them. They don’t say that to artists who are conservative and may or may not support Trump, but they definitely support what conservatives believe in. So it’s, like, ‘Oh, you just don’t want to hear me because you don’t agree with me.’ Okay, f*ck you.
“That’s not the way this works. The way a dialogue works is sometimes you’re going to hear sh*t that you don’t f*cking like. Sometimes you’re going to hear sh*t that you don’t agree with. That’s why this over-censorship bullsh*t that’s going on is f*cking terrifying. Because that’s not how freedom of speech works… Or some people go, ‘Well, that’s the last album I buy.’
“Well, the last time I checked, people are still buying Nikes, people are still f*cking going to football games, people are still doing 100 f*cking things that other people find offensive. And it’s, like, ‘Well, guess what. The world keeps turning, and I’m going to keep f*cking talking.”
SLIPKNOT released their sixth studio album, We Are Not Your Kind, on August 9 via Roadrunner Records. Album was once again recorded at a Los Angeles studio with producer Greg Fidelman, who engineered and mixed SLIPKNOT‘s 2004 album Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses) and helmed 2014’s .5: The Gray Chapter.