SLIPKNOT played its first concert in 18 months Saturday night (September 4) at the Rocklahoma festival in Pryor, Oklahoma. The gig marked the debut of SLIPKNOT frontman Corey Taylor's new mask, which he had been working on for the past few months.
This past May, Taylor spoke to Andy Hall of the Des Moines, Iowa radio station Lazer 103.3 about the evolution of SLIPKNOT's masks and what fans can expect to see during the band's current touring cycle.
"The mask has been a part of us forever," he said. "The mask is king. And for us, especially people like me and Clown and the guys in the band that really allow those masks to evolve, it's important for it to be a reflection of who we are in that music. And I can tell you that the mask I'm working on is very disturbing. It's gonna be hard to look at. And it'll probably be my favorite mask that I've ever put together. It's little bits and pieces of things that have intrigued me, of masks that I've had in the past. And it's gonna have a devil-may-care kind of terror to it, let's put it that way."
Corey worked on his previous mask with special effects legend Tom Savini, whose extensive career in the film industry and especially the horror genre dates back to the late 1970s, including in such films as "Friday The 13th", "Dawn Of The Dead", "From Dusk 'Til Dawn" and many others.
The other members of SLIPKNOT performed with their current masks for the first time in May 2019 when they appeared as the musical guests on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!"
During a 2017 appearance on an episode of Viceland's "The Therapist", Taylor was asked about the significance of wearing a literal mask when he is performing with SLIPKNOT. He responded: "With SLIPKNOT, at least for most of us in the band, the mask is part of the art — it's not just the visual and the shock; it's a representation of who I am in that album. So, for me, it's as natural as having a different hairstyle for one album and tour cycle, wearing different clothes for an album and tour cycle. It's a part of the dynamic. It's one of the things that you look forward to. Not just writing the songs, not just putting the music together, not just putting the visuals together, but what… who am I in this album?"
Corey spoke about the changes in the SLIPKNOT bandmembers' masks in a 2014 interview with Metal Mania Radio. "With every album, some of us have evolved our masks more dramatically than others, but there's always a difference, they've always changed a little bit… This band evolves with every album, and it just makes sense that our masks [would as well], because we're not the same people. It's not something that we sit down and we talk about as a group, we just kind of do it. As unified as we all are, the mask is really something that we trust each other to do individually and we trust them to do the right representation."
This past June, SLIPKNOT announced the 2021 incarnation of the "Knotfest Roadshow". Support on the trek will come from three Grammy-nominated heavy music luminaries, KILLSWITCH ENGAGE, FEVER 333 and CODE ORANGE. The 28-date run, produced by Live Nation, kicks off following the band's previously announced Knotfest Iowa hometown show in Des Moines on September 25. The "Knotfest Roadshow"'s first official date happens at Tinley Park, Illinois on September 28, with the tour then snaking its way across the U.S., wrapping up in Arizona in early November.
Photo courtesy of Rocklahoma