It’s been a quiet year for Slipknot, at least in the public eye, as they’ve opted to halt touring for all of 2017 to focus on writing the followup to 2014’s pivotal .5: The Gray Chapter, which topped the Billboard charts. Corey Taylor has occupied his time with Stone Sour, touring behind their wildly successful Hydrograd album, meanwhile his Slipknot bandmates have been hammering away at new music and percussionist Shawn “Clown” Crahan has offered an update on the writing process.

Speaking with Metal Hammer, Clown first explained the hurdles the last Slipknot album presented. “The Gray Chapterwas pretty much the final learning velocity of our career. We had to replace a bass player, we had to replace a drummer — one of them was walking the earth, the other was buried in the earth. It was a very hard time,” he said. “People were telling us, ‘How is the band gonna write? Joey [Jordison] and Paul [Gray] are gone.’ Fuck you. We made a fucking awesome album that we love. And we’re gonna continue to do that,” Clown affirmed, adding, “I actually have a date that some of us are gonna get together in a studio and get things going for the next one.”

Clown went on to explain that he, guitarist Jim Root and drummer Jay Weinberg wrote “50 fucking ideas” in Los Angeles as they organized what had been written on the road, some of it now having been written one year ago. As for the volume of written content, he detailed, “We have over 27 ideas ready to go — seven or eight of them are full songs. These songs can change, they can be written over, nothing is in stone. But it’s great that we have concrete ideas to begin with. So the future has never been sweeter for Slipknot music.”

While this seems like plenty of material for the new album, Slipknot are still missing one of their primary contributors: Corey Taylor. “I don’t know what Corey’s got in mind, because he will bring his own songs, too, but we’re just writing music and getting ideas and moods and soundscapes — getting it all fucking together,” the percussionist continued.

Fans Maggots can also look forward to new happenings in a visual sense as well. Clown said he’s “studying new forms of art” to inspire the old fans and grab the new ones with “New logos, new videos, new masks, new outfits, new songs, new show,” adding, “That’s what’s great about Slipknot.”

The masked troupe hasn’t gone entirely dark in 2017, however, having released the Day of the Gusano documentary on Oct. 20. The film chronicles the band’s very first show in Mexico in December of 2015. A mosh pit even broke out in a movie theater during a screening in Los Angeles prior to the release!

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