October 17, 2023

In a new interview with the "Everblack" podcast, original SLIPKNOT singer Anders Colsefni, who contributed lead vocals to the band's "Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat." record, weighed in on SLIPKNOT's long-running feud with MUSHROOMHEAD.

MUSHROOMHEAD released its first album in spring 1995, more than four years prior to the arrival of SLIPKNOT's Roadrunner debut. But the latter band, which was based in Iowa, exploded on to the music scene, quickly dwarfing the commercial heights achieved by the Ohio act.

Asked by "Everblack" if there was a rivalry between SLIPKNOT and MUSHROOMHEAD, Anders said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "After I was in the band. Because none of us had heard of them. We didn't have Internet. It's not, like, a band from another state, unless they come and play shows in our town, which they didn't, we wouldn't know about them, unless they're signed and they're out there. But at the time, when we were putting our thing together, we were influenced a lot by MR. BUNGLE and all the other stage shows that we all loved growing up. We got sick of watching bands just doing their thing. And there's no problem with doing that, but it's, like, we wanted to do something.

"In Iowa, it's the hardest fucking place to get noticed in the United States," Anders continued. "Pretty much farm fields, corn fields and hog lots all over the place around, and it's just a terrible place to try to start a band. So you had to do everything you could. We had to get every good musician, the best of the best, get him to join the band. Like, 'Come on. We've already got these guys in there. Come on, give it a try. It'll be fun.'

"The first time I saw MUSHROOMHEAD, I was in [my post-SLIPKNOT band] PAINFACE and we were in Chicago, Illinois playing a show, and somebody brought a magazine over. He goes, 'Look at this.' And I'm looking at it. I'm, like, 'The bass player has a pig mask. Those fuckers copied me.' Cause I picked out the pig mask for Paul [Gray, original SLIPKNOT bassist] because he was too lazy to go there and get it. Paul, you know this. So I just ran into the theatrical shop and grabbed the first thing I saw. I was, like, 'Oh, a pig mask. That'll work.' I threw a padlock in the nose and gave it to him. He was, like, 'That's work. I can see through it.' So it was a really weird thing."

Anders, who is currently touring Australia and New Zealand with former MUSHROOMHEAD vocalist Waylon Reavis, added: "Waylon and I have determined that it must have been just we were all influenced by the same shit being we were all in farmlands."

Although there had always been animosity between MUSHROOMHEAD and SLIPKNOT, because they are both heavy bands who wear masks, the real hatred reportedly started in 1999 when SLIPKNOT was playing in Cleveland and fans threw things at the group while on stage. SLIPKNOT believed that MUSHROOMHEAD put the fans up to it. The feud ended in 2010 after the death of SLIPKNOT bassist Paul Gray.

In an April 2020 interview with the "Talk Toomey" podcast, MUSHROOMHEAD drummer Steve "Skinny" Felton addressed the SLIPKNOT beef, calling it "a silly fan-fueled and, I guess, media-hyped thing." He explained: "This [was] the '90s, so any sort of news was cool. There wasn't a whole lot back then. And then you get a feud between bands — it's kind of an East Coast-West Coast type of thing. Oh, Lord, here we go. And for some of the entertainment value of it, sure — a lot of us in the band were at the time into it and played it up and had some fun. But I look back and I think I should have did it all when I knew it all. Like, how silly of us to even be...? Obviously, we didn't have any part of it, but to even just jump on the bandwagon of talking to the media about it and going, 'Well, we came first, the chicken and the egg,' and that whole stupid thing. We spent a lot of time complaining about them for nothing. So God bless 'em. They're one of the biggest bands out there. So, it proves that masked heavy metal and that style of entertainment is still relevant, and it's still very relevant."

Felton's comments echo those of MUSHROOMHEAD's J Mann, who told Live Metal in a 2014 interview: "As far as a feud goes, I really think that it was 99 percent media. I don't think we ever really had anything bad to say about them or vice versa. But media was all about trying to sell papers. This was back pre-Internet, in the early '90s when [SLIPKNOT] was taking off and we were signed and people were still trying to sell magazines. But it was really kind of invented, to be honest with you, because fortunately I had the opportunity to hang out with Paul [Gray] and he was a sweetheart of a man. It's sad that he passed away. He was a great guy, and we actually laughed about [the feud]. And then we had a side project and [SLIPKNOT's] Sid [Wilson] is on it. You know what I mean? So the whole basis of it was crazy because we've actually hung out with the guys and we've actually worked with one of the guys. It's just one of those things where gossip sells and creates interest or intrigue. I listen to the band and think they're kickass, and one day I'd like to play with them."

Back in 2011, SLIPKNOT singer Corey Taylor said that he was willing to put his issues with MUSHROOMHEAD to rest for a possible tour featuring the two bands. He said: "My problem has never been with that band, my problem was with their fans at the time. I would welcome it. I'd love to do something like that, you know. Especially now. I think it'd beautiful to put something like that together and just see what fucking happens. Because if it's one thing I've learned, you don't hold on to stupid shit, you let it go."

MUSHROOMHEAD's eighth album, "A Wonderful Life", was released in June 2020 via Napalm Records.

Colsefni kicked off a tour of Australia and New Zealand on October 11 at Crowbar in Sydney. Anders delivered SLIPKNOT's entire "Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat." record from start to finish, marking the first time this record has been heard live in 27 years.

Colsefni, Gray, drummer Joey Jordison and Shawn "Clown" Crahan first performed under the name SLIPKNOT in April 1996 at the Safari Club in Des Moines. Not long after, Mick Thomson and Craig Jones joined the band and the trajectory of modern metal was changed forever.

SLIPKNOT erupted on the local metal scene and by October 1996 they delivered "Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat.". This LP became the foundation of what is now SLIPKNOT's twenty-eight-year legacy.

A short time after leaving SLIPKNOT, Anders went on to form PAINFACE, which later evolved into ON A PALE HORSE.

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