SLIPKNOT's SHAWN 'CLOWN' CRAHAN Opens Up About Personal 'Sacrifice' His Family Made During Band's Formative Years

February 12, 2024

In a new appearance on The Break Down With Nath & Johnny podcast, SLIPKNOT co-founder and percussionist M. Shawn Crahan (a.k.a. Clown) spoke about the personal sacrifices he and his family had to make during the band's formative years. He said in part (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "It's hard to talk about the sacrifice like my wife has put in. We had an agreement and the agreement was, 'Go ahead and do this thing you think you're gonna do, whatever that is, and as long as it doesn't go backwards…' I was married three years before I started SLIPKNOT with Paul [Gray, bass] and Andy [Rouw, a.k.a. Anders Colsefni, vocals].

"There's all these real misunderstandings about who started the band or whatever," he continued. "And the bottom line is it was Andy Rouw, the original singer, myself and Paul. But Andy ended up leaving really early in the game. And so once we were signed, it was just basically Paul and I… I'm here to tell you my friend Paul Gray was at my wedding three years prior [to] he and I and Andy starting the band. And that's that. And so I had family. I had two kids at that moment. When Paul came to the wedding, we were eight months pregnant walking down the aisle. He had L.A. County Jail pants on, peroxide hair, pack of Marlboros, totally the realest person at my wedding besides close, close family. But you skip forward and then we start the band and then a year or so after starting the band, we get pregnant and have our third child, and we have that child before we're signed. So, we have three children and lots of work raising children. And I've been married now five, six, seven years — three years before we even started the band, so everybody needs to kind of figure it out about reality of what sacrifice really is."

Crahan added: "First and foremost, I made a decision to take a pretty selfish path. I can say that. We've lost a child. When something as horrendous and unexplainable as that is, you look back on your path and you realize the decisions you made, and it's not too hard to realize the ones that were bad decisions real quick, when you don't get to say goodbye to someone or hello to someone again. So moving forward through those sorts of thoughts, making agreements, saying goodbye to kids, buses leaving, these sorts of things, and promising my wife we would always make sure it was moving forward. And here 25 years [later], we're just relevant and it hasn't stopped. It's pretty amazing. I'm blessed."

Shawn's daughter Gabrielle Crahan died on May 18, 2019 in Los Angeles, with Shawn announcing the death the following day. The 22-year-old was one of four children Shawn had with his wife, Chantel, whom he married in June 1992.

Gabrielle was remembered in her obituary as a "social butterfly" with an "outgoing personality, cheerful attitude, compassion and loving heart." The obituary said Gabrielle fought hard against drug addiction and worked to help others who were also struggling. "She fought it bravely, and no matter how many times she fell, she would always get back up again," according to her obituary.

"If there was anything she wanted to leave behind in her memory, it was standing up for others, always being empathetic and compassionate and never giving up on the battle against addiction," the obituary said.

Although no official cause of death had been revealed, TMZ reported that Gabrielle died from what appeared to be a drug overdose. Police and the fire department responded to a call for a possible O.D. at a Hollywood home, where they found Gabrielle's body. CPR was administered, according to the site, but failed to revive her. Law enforcement sources said there was drug paraphernalia and evidence of narcotic use at the scene.

Gabrielle died just two days after proudly showing off an Alcoholics Anonymous coin she'd been given to mark five months sobriety.

"5 months" she wrote on Instagram, sharing a smiling selfie.

In her obituary, Gabrielle was described as "a beach girl at heart" who "loved swimming and tubing at the lake, riding her long board and feeling the sun shine on her face."

Gabrielle's brother Simon and older sister Alexandria both expressed their grief over her death on social media.

Shawn previously discussed his daughter's death in an April 2021 interview with Terry "Beez" Bezer of's "Mosh Talks With Beez". At the time, he said: "When you have a loss like that, you can't imagine the steps backwards you take and the words that come to mind that you have to take notice to and then take stock to. And there's not a single thing anybody in the world's gonna say that's gonna change it. Period — end of story. I mean, think about that. There's nothing anybody in the world could ever teach me — I'm a human that can be taught — no one can teach me or give me a tool that will make that acceptable, ever. So you take a lot of steps backwards. And when you do that, you notice, 'Wow. I've been abusing my own art.'"

In September 2018, Shawn Crahan paid tribute to his daughter on her birthday by sharing a throwback picture of a young Gabrielle. He wrote: "We love you Gabri."

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