On December 5, get ready to be disturbed as Slipknot: Voliminal - Inside the Nine smashes it's way to DVD!
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"What I want to know is can you watch something that can change you?" That is the question posed by Slipknot's M. Shawn Crahan, more commonly known as Clown. With one view of Slipknot's latest DVD, Voliminal - Inside the Nine, you will be shaken, jarred and have your attention arrested. And yes, to answer Crahan's question, you will be changed, because Slipknot are that type of band.
If any metal band has the power to educate, entertain and change lives, it's the nine-headed, hard rock enigma known as Slipknot. Since their formation in Des Moines, IA, in September 1995, the band has released three studio albums that have sold over five million copies in the U.S. Their latest studio record, Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses), released in 2004, debuted at #2 on the Billboard 200 album chart and has sold over 1.5 million copies in the U.S. to date, spawning the singles "Duality," "Vermillion" and "Before I Forget." In November 2005, the band released Slipknot 9.0: Live, a gold-certified, double-live album.
Before Crahan reconvened with his eight bandmates to start working on Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses), he was already laying the groundwork for this brutal slice-of-life double-DVD. Equal parts revealing documentary, stream-of-consciousness art film and live video, the discs take the band's fans (a.k.a. Maggots) deeper into the world of Slipknot than they've ever been before.
Created and directed by Crahan, Voliminal - Inside the Nine offers reams of raw, gonzo footage shot across the world from backstage, onstage, on the street, in the tour bus and in the studio, offering viewers a true bird's eye view of the band. It's as though you've been granted unlimited, unprecedented access to the band. Unlike hundreds of formulaic documentary DVDs, Voliminal - Inside the Nine is undiluted, uncompromising and in your face, revealing Slipknot in all their joyous misery, and all their ugly beauty. "For the last three years, I vowed to get to the center of what I know I'm a part of, which is one of the greatest bands in the world today," Crahan says.
The first disc, titled Voliminal, is a 80-minute film made up of rapidly edited scenes shot on handheld digital cameras, for 28 months; during the making of Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses) and on "The Subliminal Verses" world tour. This is not a slick concert film with interspersed backstage footage. Nor is it a travelogue of fantastic sights and fabulous babes. This is survival in the belly of the beast. Crahan has assembled the shots into a dizzying cacophony of deafening sound and jarring imagery that's both challenging and impossible to ignore.
"My intent was to make you sick to your stomach," Crahan says. "It was said to me very early in my career that rock n' roll is 23 hours of hell and one hour of God, states Crahan. "I've always thought about that. So, this film is all that and more. It's seconds in the day. It's lightning responses to actions. It's that voice inside that shouts, 'I'm on top of the world, and I want to die because I'm so isolated and alone in a world that I never even thought existed, but rock n' roll has taken me here."
Like the films of Harmony Korine, Voliminal juxtaposes seemingly unrelated ideas into a collage of disturbingly surreal reality. The result is a shocking, disorienting view of the thrill and terror of dangling on the precipice of the abyss. "It's vomit at its finest," explains Crahan. And that's a beautiful thing, in the world of Slipknot.
In addition to being savage and uncompromising, Voliminal is also a creative work of art. For one scene, a camera was fixed to drummer Joey Jordison's kit. When the drum riser rotates and flips upside-down, viewers experience every vertigo-inducing moment. Says Crahan, "I wanted you to be right there."
Since Voliminal was shot on handheld cameras, the audio is sometimes crackly and distorted, but that just adds to the cinema verité feel of the production. Take to the scene of bassist Paul Gray, which was shot at the front of the stage in a space so noisy, the band's playing sounds like mortar rounds detonating on a battlefield. "That's what I want you to hear because that's what he's going through," Crahan says. Ultimately, Voliminal will put the viewer and the fan at one with Slipknot.
Buried within the septic folds of the first Voliminal - Inside the Nine disc, are nine rabbit holes that viewers can access with their DVD remotes. Each hole will feature a short starring each member of the band.
The second disc of Voliminal - Inside the Nine features exclusive, in-depth interviews with each of the band members. The discussions cover 10 years of band history in unflinching candor. "The band is 10 years old and I felt that we needed to talk for real," Crahan says. "We're going into our places of choice, individually, and you're being invited all the way in. Hopefully you'll be able to stomach what is real."
In addition to personal band interviews, the second DVD will include bonus live footage taken from festivals and television performances from around the world and the music videos from Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses) - "Duality," "Vermilion," "Before I Forget," "The Nameless" and the controversial "Vermilion 2," which was never officially released. Fans will also get an up-close view of the "death masks" Slipknot use in concert.
Voliminal - Inside the Nine, in addition to vividly capturing the last three years of Slipknot, reminds viewers that the band has only scratched the surface of what it will accomplish during its career.
"I'm not worried about going anywhere because we're only getting better," Crahan explains. "We constantly remind all of you that we don't push the envelope because we are the envelope."