Slipknot is an American heavy metal band from Des Moines, Iowa. Slipknot was formed in September 1995 by vocalist Anders Colsefni, guitarist Donnie Steele, bassist Paul Gray and drummer Shawn Crahan under the name of The Pale Ones. Crahan moved to become a percussionist upon drummer Joey Jordison's arrival, and Josh Brainard was added as a second guitarist around the same time.
The band played their first live performance in December 1995 under the name Meld, before Jordison suggested Slipknot which was the title of a song they were working on at the time. The band began recording songs in early 1996, during which time Steele left. He was replaced by Craig Jones, who moved to samples after current guitarist Mick Thomson joined. Slipknot's debut demo, “Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat,” was released in October 1996 without contributions from Jones or Thomson.
Slipknot recruited a new lead vocalist in 1997 in Stone Sour's Corey Taylor. This moved Colsefni to backing vocals and percussion duty – though he left the band shortly after and was replaced on percussion by Greg “Cuddles” Welts. By the end of the year, the band had adopted two traditions which they still adhere to today: uniform coveralls and individual numbers for all the members.
In 1998 a second demo was recorded with contributions from a new member, turntablist Sid Wilson. Producer Ross Robinson showed interest in Slipknot, which helped them become noticed by record labels. Later that year Welts became the first and only member to be formally fired from the band, being quickly replaced by Chris Fehn. Shortly after, Slipknot signed to Roadrunner Records.
With a major label the nine-man unit began work on their full-length debut, disregarding “Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat.,” which the band themselves label a demo. Recording began in late-September 1998 and was essentially completed by November, at which point the band returned to their hometown of Des Moines. During the Christmas period, Brainard left the band and was replaced by James Root, who recorded guitar on the final two tracks recorded in February 1999, “Me Inside” and “Purity.”
Their album, “Slipknot,” was released in 2000 and became the first Roadrunner release to be certified platinum by the RIAA. The album was re-released in December 1999 with "Purity" (as well as its prelude “Frail Limb Nursery”) removed due to copyright infringement.
Slipknot's second studio album, “Iowa,” was released in 2001. “Iowa” was a huge commercial success, reaching #3 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart and #1 on the U.K. Albums chart.
Rumors that Slipknot had split up were snubbed and the band began recording their third album in late-2003. Produced by Rick Rubin, “Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses)” was released in 2004. It reached #2 on the Billboard 200 and #5 in the U.K.
In 2005 “9.0: Live” was released. The band's first live album did not perform particularly well, reaching only #17 on the Billboard 200 chart. Their fourth studio album, “All Hope Is Gone,” was released in 2008. Generally well received by critics, the album reached the #1 position on nine record charts worldwide, including the Billboard 200, becoming the first Slipknot album to do so.