Slipknot‘s V-Man recently sat down with Metal Wani’s Carl Rourke to talk about the band’s upcoming new album, ‘The End So Far’, due for release on September 30th. The pair spoke in depth about the album’s themes and instrumentation, how V-Man has continued evolving as a songwriter in the Slipknot writing circle, as well as how he navigates life beyond the mask, and much more.
Having described ‘The End So Far’ as a journey, V-Man spoke to what some of that journey felt like for him being part of creating the album.
“Well, I think with, compared to Gray Chapter and stuff, which was one of those records for me that when I turned up I was new to the band. New to everything. New people that I’d not met before. there’s not really much of an input on that. Then ‘We Are Not Your Kind’ came around, and that was the first time I started getting involved in the writing process of certain songs. The melody aspect certainly came out on that record. And I think that kind of bridges over into this record.”
V-Man went on to say,
“There’s definitely aspects of that album [We Are Not Your Kind] coming into here. And I think that it just evolves a lot more. But then also the heaviness, the heavier tracks, trying to push them more. It’s weird because I never really look at songwriting like that. I always just look at it as, for me, when I get home, when I’m doing something or I’m working, that’s never in the brain, you know? It’s always what I’m doing there right now. And when somebody else adds their input, something else might come out of it that I never would have thought about doing, or something like that. And I think that’s how it works. You evolve that way.”
Speaking on how it was to step further into the songwriter’s circle on ‘The End So Far’, V-Man explained,
“Clown really wanted me from what I did previously on ‘We Are Not Your Kind.’ I think he wanted to see what I could do. During the lockdown, I would be sending him stuff, little demos of songs, or even a full arrangement of a song. I’d send it to him. How I thought it should be. And programming stuff. And what I would do if it was me as opposed to someone else in the band, you know? Because it’s all very well if I just send a guitar riff, and it’s just got a hi-hat going like that, it’s not really a song, is it?
When his identity was revealed as the bassist for Slipknot, V-Man shared how he navigates this in 2022.
“I think all the years I was working as a guitar tech and being around, like, other famous people, or being around people that someone would say, ‘Oh wow, I look up to them!‘ or that they’ve got posters of them on their wall, it was a thing for me that when I started with the band I didn’t really have that kind of thought in my head. I just thought that I’m here to do – I mean obviously of course I’m like ‘This is Slipknot!‘, and stuff like that.”
V-Man concluded by explaining,
“But I think as time has gone on and stuff, especially where I live in England, my friends were in bands, or they were successful at some point or whatever. So, for me, I feel like nothing really changed in the sense of “Oh, I better hide who I am!‘ and stuff. So, I like to feel like it never put me into a mentally challenging way to make me think ‘Oh s**t, do I have to rethink how my life should be?” Do you know what I mean? Or ‘Should I do things differently now that things have changed?‘ The other night I went to go see Meshuggah and I just stood in the crowd and watched them from the front of the house because that’s where the sound is best. [Laughs] And I think two people came up to me and were like ‘Can I have a photo?‘ and I was like, ‘Sure.‘ And that was it.”