Slipknot's tight-lipped commitments might be causing fans to lose interest

Slipknot are fantastic live and have produced a number of great albums, but their in-fighting and delays are tiresome.
Slipknot performing live in Padova
Slipknot performing live in Padova / Pacific Press/GettyImages

Few bands are better than Slipknot live. They give shoutouts to fans and never fail to entertain. The stage is huge and the musicians spread out so that even though the band certainly sees themselves as a collective, they are also talented individuals. There is nothing that Slipknot does that is not done with a lot of forethought. Therein lies part of the issue.

The band seems at times less like a democracy and more of a frat house. New members many times must go quite a long time before anyone knows who they are. That implies a bit of a hazing ritual. Someone is in charge - surely vocalist Corey Taylor and percussionist Shawn "Clown" Crahan are near the top of the leadership chain - of the decisions and how the group is run. Rock and roll doesn't work well with a nine-member board.

The recent albums are so painstakingly produced that small decisions affect any song. What noise to put where might throw off something a minute later? That, of course, can lead to great music. But as with the band's last album, 2022's The End, So Far, too much tinkering can cause inconsistent results. There were a few tracks on the record that were worthy of Slipknot, but the entire album was not one of their strongest.

Slipknot teases a new album which is a narrative getting quite boring

Fans don't care too much about the drama. We just want to be entertained. Kurt Cobain was being sarcastic when he sang, "Here we are now, entertain us," but the reason that simple line is so memorable is because it contains so much truth. There is enough to worry about in our own personal lives as far as who is staying and who is going and when something will happen that music is a way of escaping.

Instead, Slipknot constantly hems and haws about when new music will be forthcoming and what goes into making every track. Oddly, there is no problem with touring. They announce dates often, and they play those gigs. The group seems a bit like Jekyll and Hyde in terms of tours versus new records.

Perhaps the group should eschew creating new music. The band's catalog is strong enough that Slipknot could tour for decades without needing new tunes to mix in. Kiss is a great example of what Slipknot could be. Plus, if what we are getting is diminished quality, such as with The End, So Far, then we could say, "Nah, we are full. Just play the hits and we will be happy."

In a recent interview with Revolver, Clown was asked about a new album soon. He began his answer in the classic Slipknot way. In essence, "What I can say..." In other words, he doesn't know so stop teasing fans.

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Clown said, "Well, one thing I can say is this: There's always going to be new Slipknot music. But we've also said that there is a filter, and we are the filter, and that filter must go through everyone. And when I was telling you that we're doing a lot better communicating, now apply that to communicating about music."

Yawn. Just release a new album or don't. Fans like Slipknot's music and they should. What we don't need is so much drama and politician-style answers. We have other bands we can move on to if that is the case.

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