Watch: SLIPKNOT's MICK THOMSON Talks About His Early Thrash And Death Metal Influences

December 6, 2023

SLIPKNOT guitarist Mick Thomson was interviewed for the latest episode of Knotfest's "Defender Of The Riff". When asked by host Daniel Dekay about his early musical influences, Mick said: "[IRON] MAIDEN. Fuck, MAIDEN, and early METALLICA, TESTAMENT, ANTHRAX, you know, FLOTSAM [AND JETSAM], SUICIDAL [TENDENCIES], EXODUS, fuckin' that great, great shit — the great shit from that era. It was that kind of stuff. After MAIDEN, I fell in love with that kind of stuff, whatever. And then thrash's natural extension just turned into death metal. It's, like, after years of playing thrash, I'd be, like, 'Fuck, yeah,' like loving how heavy that is, like, 'Nothing could be heavier.' [And then after being exposed to death metal, I was, like] 'Jesus motherfucking Christ. Excuse me, yeah. I think I found something that is.'"

Back in 2011, Mick told Guitar World magazine that some people mistakenly compared SLIPKNOT to METALLICA in the former band's early days. "I was, like, [Yeah, we both have distorted guitars, I guess.' [Laughs] I don't think we're very easily labeled because we don't really stick to one kind of thing. I wouldn't say 'eclectic,' because when I think of that I think of MR. BUNGLE. I think we mix all sorts of different things and it just kind of turns into SLIPKNOT."

Less than four years ago, Thomson told Jackson Guitars that Jimi Hendrix "was the whole reason I started playing guitar. He was a major motivator. My dad had the most amazing guitar-oriented record collection for a non-player. It was hard to not love the electric guitar; I was just enamored with it."

Hailing from Des Moines, Iowa, Thomson joined SLIPKNOT in 1996, not long after its initial formation. The band has been nominated for 10 Grammy Awards and has received a multitude of other honors. SLIPKNOT has sold over 30 million albums worldwide since their self-titled debut was released in 1999. Known in SLIPKNOT as #7, Thomson's innovative guitar style has brought him acclaim across a wide range of metal publications, and has been described as highly influential on many players who sought to capture his unique blend of downtuned riffs and hypnotic lead lines. In addition to seven studio albums, SLIPKNOT has released two live albums, a compilation album, and five live DVDs. Their latest album, "The End, So Far", was released in September 2022.

Before SLIPKNOT, Thomson was part of tech-death metal band BODY PIT, alongside late SLIPKNOT bassist Paul Gray.

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