SLIPKNOT Bassist VMAN Lived At CLOWN's House For Six Months During Making Of 'The End, So Far' Album

December 26, 2022

In a recent interview with the "Everblack" podcast, SLIPKNOT's British-born bassist Alessandro "VMan" Venturella spoke about the challenges he and his bandmates encountered while making their latest studio album, "The End, So Far". He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "The hardest part was visa issues, because they locked down America [in the early days of the pandemic]. And also you couldn't leave England unless it was… You have to have a work permit, but you also had to have written… There was some sort of written document that had to say that you needed to leave for work; that was the only way you could leave the country. And then there was obviously the testing and stuff. But there was a good [few] months of… no one was going anywhere. Airports were shut — the full works. So I think once it started to kind of ease up a little bit, and people had high-profile jobs — like business around the world — people started moving around. I remember the first plane I managed to get on, it was just me [laughs], and there was, like, six people scattered around. It was the weirdest thing I've ever seen in my life. It was nuts. The airport was dead; there was, like, four people in it. It was like — what's that movie? '28 Days Later'. It was like that.

"So, yeah, once I got the visa thing sorted, luckily, that was it. I went and lived at Clown's [percussionist Shawn Crahan] house for six months, I think. It was great. His wife's amazing. She'd be cooking dinners for everyone. And then other bandmembers would come in and out; Jay [Weinberg, drums] popped in and out; Jim [Root, guitar] popped in and out. I couldn't just jump on a plane back and forth every week, so I had to stay there."

"The End, So Far" was released on September 30 via Roadrunner. The LP was produced by SLIPKNOT and Joe Barresi.

Venturella began working with SLIPKNOT during the recording of 2014's ".5: The Gray Chapter" album, contributing bass tracks along with guitarists Jim Root and Mick Thomson and former touring bassist Donnie Steele. He made his live debut with the band in 2014 at the first annual Knotfest.

In 2019, Alessandro told Bass Guitar Magazine that he landed in SLIPKNOT after getting a phone call from Root while working with MASTODON as guitarist Brent Hinds's tech.

"Me and Jim became friends while I was teching," Venturella said. "He was asking if I knew any bass players. When I found out what for, I put my hand up right away. He pointed out, 'But you don't play bass?' and I said something to the effect that I could do whatever he needed from me. Then I just had to make sure it was true."

According to Venturella, his role early on in SLIPKNOT was to "fill a great man's shoes and do him justice," referring to original bassist Paul Gray, who passed away in 2010. "My approach isn't the same as Paul's. I can't be him and never will be; every player is ultimately born different. That said, if you listen to Paul's note choices on 'Vermilion', he was all over the shop and it sounded great. I wanted to try things like that.

"After listening to his stems, I honestly looked at bass in a different light and understood how to support everything as the backbone," he continued. "Take the bass out of the mix and everything will fall flat on its arse — and equally, if you mix too bass-heavy, you're not going to get your point across either. Lead guitarists, on the other hand, always need to cut through because that's what the job entails. As the rhythm section, we're there to hold the fort."

Gray passed away from an accidental overdose of drugs.

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