SLIPKNOT has released an alternative cover design for ".5: The Gray Chapter" in honor of the album's fifth anniversary.
Percussionist M. Shawn Crahan, better known as Clown, who is also the art director for SLIPKNOT and directed the band's DVDs, took to the group's Instagram last night to share what almost became the LP artwork, before he and his bandmates decided to go with the actual final image.
In an accompanying message, Crahan wrote: "Today marks the fifth anniversary of '.5: The Gray Chapter'. This cover was a strong contender for the final album artwork, and represents where my head was at during the making of this album."
Released in 2014, ".5: The Gray Chapter" was the first album by SLIPKNOT since the 2010 death of bassist Paul Gray and the late 2013 firing of drummer Joey Jordison.
SLIPKNOT frontman Corey Taylor told Fargo, North Dakota's Q105.1 radio station that he and his bandmates didn't feel pressure while making the LP. "As far as pressure, we've never had a lot of pressure, because we approach it that way," he said. "We're, like, 'We're gonna do what we want. If nobody listens to it, that's fine, but we've fulfilled something inside ourselves.' So it was more emotional than it was stressful, to be honest. Because filling in the shoes of Paul, especially, was heavy duty. He was such an integral part of the songwriting process and had such a great ear for it, we knew that we were all going to have to step in and fill those shoes in, and I thought we did a great job. Jim [Root, guitar] came up with some killer stuff, I brought in some stuff, Clown really, he brought in some really killer atmospheric stuff that we were able to build into some great music. I think we all really stepped up to the challenge, and I think it was because we wanted to. It wasn't because we felt we had to; we felt we wanted to, we wanted to be able to do that and really kind of make new music with this band again. So it wasn't so much stressful as it was powerful."
Taylor told The Pulse Of Radio that ".5: The Gray Chapter" is autobiographical. "The whole album is essentially the story of the band over the last four years [prior to the release of the LP], and part of that story is that we've had to reach a point of acceptance with everything," he said. "You know, the last four years have been really difficult for us."
The frontman said that the album is laid out like a story, "from the moment Paul died to the moment we stepped out of the studio. So there are certain songs that deal with, not Joey in particular, but about the tension and trying to deal with the ugliness that we all have in us," he told Metal Hammer.
SLIPKNOT is continuing to tour in support of its latest album, "We Are Not Your Kind", which came out in August.
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