SLIPKNOT Guitarist: 'I Don't Sound Like Anything Except Me'

June 13, 2004 is currently spotlighting several bands that are scheduled to appear on Ozzfest 2004's second stage, including SLIPKNOT, LACUNA COIL, GOD FORBID and ATREYU. A couple of excerpts follow:

SLIPKNOT guitarist Mick Thomson on the tyranny of influences: "I love all kinds of music, but I don't sound like anything except me. I hate the term 'influences.' Hendrix is the reason I started playing guitar, but do I sound like Hendrix? You should never sound like someone else — you should sound like yourself. To do that, you must develop your own way of playing. I used to sit in my room and experiment, and if I came up with a riff that sounded like something I thought I'd heard before, I'd toss it in the garbage."

SLIPKNOT guitarist Jim Root on "the whole package": "I've started to look at guitar playing from more than just a standpoint of using certain modes and techniques. I want to see the guitar in a non-linear sense that encompasses tones, arrangements, songwriting, audio production, and everything else — you have to do it all. For example, I'll look at an effect and first determine what kind of noise I can make with it, rather than doing the usual thing of performing a musical part through the effect. Having said that, I'm always hearing melodies and counterpoints in my head that I attempt to translate into guitar parts."

A rant from Mick Thomson: "Everyone has preconceived notions about SLIPKNOT, but if they actually shut up and listen to our records instead of running their mouths, they'd see there's more there than they ever realized. But everybody is a critic — especially when you wear a mask onstage! But this is really about playing for yourself and making yourself happy. Don't worry about what people think. Don't worry about sounding like this or that. Don't worry about looking cool. I never looked cool. I just sat in my room my whole life playing guitar, and now I'm making a living at it. And I never wanted a career in music. I played guitar because I loved the instrument. So when people play guitar for just four years, and their bands are opening our shows, I think it's funny. I can't help but think, 'I've been playing for 20 years. You picked up the guitar four years ago, and now you're in a band and you have t-shirts. Nice. Your music reflects that, but, hey, whatever.' "

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