Stripping Naked and Glass Cutting: The Disturbing Story of How Slipknot Recorded the Song ‘Iowa’

Corey Taylor photo via YouTube
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When Slipknot went into create their sophomore record, Iowa, everyone was in agreement that they weren’t going to be a one trick pony. Corey Taylor in particular was worried about everything sounding too commercial after their blockbuster debut, so they had envisioned going even further into heavier territory than they had started with.

Iowa really did end up being heavier from back to front, but even Corey wasn’t fully ready for the kind of pressure that went into his performance on the final song, the 15 minute-long epic closer, ‘Iowa‘.

Before he had even sung a note on the proper recording though, Corey wanted to soak in the music, putting himself in a specific situation to get the right emotion for the song. Once he heard the basis of the title track though, Corey was shocked by how creepy it was, likening it to “the kind of track that makes you want to punch nuns and babies.

Writing lyrics about spending quality time with a corpse, Corey was willing to go past the point of no return, stripping naked in the middle of the control room and cutting himself up on the recording with broken glass that he saw around the studio.

It ended up taking a lot of Corey though, saying that he only sang the song twice to get the right take, while also vomiting in the studio from all of the torture that he put on his body.

The shocking recording method was not lost on any of the other members of the band, with Corey saying that Clown was on the other side of the control room and had to gather himself after he saw what was happening.

Here’s Corey explaining the whole insane process in his own words when a fan once asked him about the thought process that went into making the song, ‘Iowa’:

Well, as I’ve said before, I’m a little unbalanced, to put it lightly. I can take myself and put myself in several very strange situations kinda like in ‘Wait and Bleed.’ But ‘Iowa’ was really the chance to take it even further.

Basically, ‘Iowa’ is about spending time with a corpse. Don’t judge me. Just doing beautiful fucked up things to it. And it’s not like I was setting out to write a song like that, that’s what the music really just fuckin’ pointed me in the direction towards.

I… take my cues from what the music is making me feel instinctively and that song musically alone… it’s just so fucking creepy and heavy that it makes you just want to punch nuns and babies. So instead of doing that, I just wrote a song about playing with dead things basically.

So that’s basically it and then obviously I was a little fucked up when I recorded it. Stripped naked… I wish you could have seen Clown’s face. He was in the fuckin control room and there’s like this little window in the fuckin control room and I just start taking it off and he’s just like…

I only sang this twice to be honest and in doing that twice I broke like every piece of glass that I could find and then started cutting myself up. And you can hear me actually on the recording doing that like you can hear me like with every cut with every scream.

Like it was almost like method at that point, like I wanted to go so fuckin deep into it that I was willing to go past the point of no return. I wanted to do to myself you know and I got done and I’m basically cleaning myself up and Clown comes in,  and this is coming from Clown okay? One of the most fucked up individuals I’ve ever met… He looks me right in the fucking face and he just goes ‘Taylor what the fuck is wrong with you?’ I’m like this, coming from the guy who shits in his hand and throws it at us. Go fuck yourself.”

Even though it seems like all out war for Slipknot whenever they take to the stage, that kind of rage isn’t just reserved for the live show. These guys needed to go the extra mile for everything the do, and kudos to the sad engineer that had to clean up all of the mess that happened in Sound City Studios that night. 

Watch Corey Taylor Explain The Twisted Way He Recorded The Song, Iowa: