Slipknot's Shawn 'Clown' Crahan on why they'll never lose the masks

Shawn ‘Clown’ Crahan has explained why Slipknot will never stop wearing their masks.

The band’s percussionist said that he would feel “cheapened” and “betrayed” were his bandmates to decide to ditch the masks that have become synonymous with their brand.

Speaking to the The Fred Minnick Show recently, Crahan – known as “Clown” in the metal band – said that he and his bandmates do not “deter” from their art. “For me, it’s pure religion,” he said of wearing the masks.

“It’s my life. And I can’t ever fathom going in so personal because of laziness or stress or just the will to not wanna put it on anymore. I signed the deal we did in the beginning, and there’s just never been any [thought] of anything else” [quotes via Blabbermouth].

He continued: “I really couldn’t fathom us any other way. I would feel cheapened; I would feel betrayed. I think that’s the difference. It’s the self-worth in the dream, in the art that you create. Ours is very, very, very precise, and we do not deter away from staying the course.”

“People ask me all the time, ‘Are you gonna take off the mask?’” he said. “And I say, ‘Why do I need to do that?’ You’re only asking me because of behaviour. You’re only doing that because you have a hypothesis of all the other artists, some way or not, but I’m not a part of that test, that field research. I’m the Clown in a band called Slipknot. We are not your kind. We are not like you. We’re not part of your hypothesis.”

Crahan’s comments echo those of singer Corey Taylor, who told Ireland’s Overdrive in a 2019 interview that he couldn’t see Slipknot ever going unmasked.

Slipknot Corey Taylor
Slipknot’s Corey Taylor CREDIT: Francesco Prandoni/Getty Images

“It’s such a part of our art,” he said. “It’s also part of the reason why we change the masks with every album. Unlike KISS, they have always used the same make-up and it never evolved. For us, we’ve changed with every album and not only the masks but also the outfits. You can totally tell every album by the uniform. I think things like that have kept Slipknot relevant, it’s kept the music vibrant, it’s kept the live shows different and it’s kept us from stagnating. So, no, I could never see us losing the masks.”

Slipknot were due to host their inaugural ‘Knotfest at Sea’ event in August as well as a summer tour in support of their latest album, ‘We Are Not Your Kind’. Like hundreds of other bands, however, they were forced to cancel their planned festival and shows due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

See NME’s up-to-date list of all the major gig, tour and festival cancellations and postponements here.