SLIPKNOT's JAY WEINBERG Tried To Throw Himself Into 'Every Single Note' Of Band's Latest Single 'The Chapeltown Rag'
February 3, 2022
During an appearance on "The Sailor Jerry Podcast", SLIPKNOT drummer Jay Weinberg spoke about the songwriting process for the group's latest single, "The Chapeltown Rag", which he performed live with his bandmates for the first time last November at Knotfest Los Angeles.
"Coming together with the idea of, like, 'Great. We can't play shows [due to the coronavirus pandemic]. Let's make this new stuff.' And 'The Chapeltown Rag' was born out of that," he said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). "And to me, it's such an exciting song. We've played it now twice on stage. And to me, that's where songs really develop their legs.
"I often think it's kind of ironic that you work really hard at making a song and recording it without being informed of how you're gonna play it on a stage which is really, to me, where it starts its life," he continued. "It's incredibly backwards to me because it's, like, the recorded version is the freshest that song is gonna be and then you start to put miles on it after the fact. It's interesting to me. But now that we've played it on stage, I also find how it lives in that kind of environment as well. It's amazing. I'm very happy with that, very proud of that. I feel like it's probably, as far as my own playing within it, that song is a good example of, yeah, just trying to throw myself into every single note and thinking about every single note and the meaning behind it and the intent. You can listen to it on the surface and be, like, 'What the fuck is this shit?' It's all over the place and it's totally crazy chaotic. You can listen to it in that regard and that's true, but that's the very end of a very long process of hashing out every single note and me sitting next to [producer] Joe Barresi talking about this one snare note; it's very important right here. [Laughs] That's how deep…
"Now that I'm in this process, I've learned… My process of applying myself within making a new SLIPKNOT song happen, learning how to find those moments where I can be, like, 'This is really important that I make this musical choice,' or whatever, and doing that for a song. And then it ends up coming out totally crazy, like 'The Chapeltown Rag', but I can hear the intent in that. And that's what makes me appreciate the creative process. You're so in it, you're so interweaved with it, but then it kind of comes out like that and you're, like, 'Wow. I'm so happy that we made these decisions. And yeah, it did lead us down this crazy wormhole but now we're playing this live together and it all makes so much sense.'
"It's one song of our newest creative adventure, but, to me, it's a really rad way to show that character that I feel hasn't necessarily come out — not for any intentional reason, that it hasn't been in certain elements of 'We Are Not Your Kind' and 'The Gray Chapter', but the fact that it's coming out now is super exciting," Weinberg added. "And I think that's because you just try to go deeper, you try to outperform yourself. It's not with anybody else's pressure of, like, 'They've gotta be better. They've gotta do this.' It's, like, I wanna be better for myself. For the people I'm collaborating with, I wanna show that I'm better. And I think that that's a good mindset as you go into just embarking on new musical territories, if you can just bring your 'A' game, you can make some stuff that you're really proud of."
The studio version of "The Chapeltown Rag", which was released on November 5, 2021, was produced by the aforementioned Joe Barresi, who has previously worked with AVENGED SEVENFOLD, QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE and CHEVELLE, among many others.
SLIPKNOT frontman Corey Taylor described the song to Knotfest.com as "a punisher," saying it documents what happens when the distortions of mass media circulate within the echo chambers of social media.
"It's classic SLIPKNOT," said Corey about the track, which is inspired by a Netflix documentary he watched about the Yorkshire Ripper serial killer who murdered multiple women in the West Yorkshire, United Kingdom suburb Chapeltown in the late 1970s. "And it's frenetic. But lyrically, it's coming from a point of talking about the various manipulations that can happen when social media meets media itself. And the different ways that these manipulations can try to pull us in different directions, in the fact that we're all becoming addicts to it, which is very, very dangerous."
Recorded during recent sessions for a yet-to-be-announced new album, "The Chapeltown Rag" barrels forward with the speed of a freight train derailing and incisively eviscerates Internet culture from the inside out with the scream, "When everything is god online…nothing is."
M. Shawn Crahan, better known as Clown from SLIPKNOT, added: "'The Chapeltown Rag' facilitates a sort of mindset that you're going to like: it's along the barnburner side of things."
According to Knotfest.com writer Dan Franklin, "The Chapeltown Rag" chorus sees Corey experimenting with vocal approaches he had never taken before.
"I wasn't even sure if that part was going to be the chorus, to be honest," Corey said. "But I just love the way that the chord progression lent itself this weird, chromatic, minor vibe to it, which I had never really done before. I played with it on 'Vermilion' years ago, but I had never really given it a little more aggression. The harmony that I created for it was just so fucking weird as well that it just gives it that slight dissonant vibe, but it's also very, very melodic and hummable. Writing and pulling yourself out of trying to keep it in some sort of structure allows you to just fucking rip the scab off and let the wound be what it is. Then obviously, the big breakdown at the end where it just fucking goes off the rails is is so heavy, dude."
SLIPKNOT's last album, "We Are Not Your Kind", was released in August 2019. The LP sold 118,000 equivalent album units in the U.S. in its first week of release to land at position No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart. Furthermore, the album made an impact worldwide with No. 1 debuts in the United Kingdom, Mexico, Australia, Canada, Japan, Ireland, Belgium, Portugal and Finland, as well as Top 5 debuts in Germany, France, Norway, Italy, Austria, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Poland, Spain and New Zealand.
SLIPKNOT recently completed the "Knotfest Roadshow" tour, featuring support from KILLSWITCH ENGAGE, FEVER 333 and CODE ORANGE. The 29-date run, produced by Live Nation, kicked off following the band's Knotfest Iowa hometown show in Des Moines on September 25.
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